The National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) is the organization for liturgical musicians who serve in the Catholic Church. Its mission is to foster the art of musical liturgy. The NPM, with some 3,000 to 4,000 members nationally, serves nearly 3,000 parishes across the United States. The association has tapped Lauren McCaul, music administrator for the diocese, as its regional representative.
“I have been elected as the regional representative to the National Council for Region 11,” McCaul says, “which encompasses California, Nevada and Hawaii.”
During her term McCaul will serve as a conduit for information that must be communicated between the national organization and the NPM chapters and local Offices for Worship in three states.
The regional representative positions are new this year, and were created in the hopes that by having someone at a more local level to gather information and assess needs, the national organization will be better able to serve its members.
McCaul is looking forward to making an impact.
“NPM has historically had a large presence on the East Coast and in the Midwest, and I see my role as an exciting opportunity to help bring it more soundly to the West Coast, as well,” McCaul says. “I hope to help start more chapters here in our region. We already have four new chapters in the works.”
McCaul emphasizes that as we emerge from the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, new challenges will arise for music directors in our parishes.
“These are exactly the moments when we need to be able to support one another and share best practices and ideas,“ she says. In light of my new role as a regional representative and these known dynamics, we are actually creating an NPM chapter here in the Diocese of Orange. Being able to be part of a local chapter as well as having a connection to the national organization can be a source of great comfort and guidance during these difficult days.”
McCaul adds: “My personal hope is that it will provide new resources and a place of camaraderie for all of us, and that looking into the future we can find ways to partner with the Diocesan Office for Worship to present skill-building and educational opportunities for all the musicians of our diocese.”