By Ken Canedo. 156 pp. Pastoral Press, 2018., 800-548-8749

On the heels of a book about the 1960s folk Mass movement, Canedo has told the story of the coming of age of contemporary Catholic music.

Composer and music development specialist at Portland-based Oregon Catholic Press, Canedo describes a golden era marked by more reflection on Scripture and tradition by the likes of the St. Louis Jesuits, John Michael Talbot, Marty Haugen and David Haas.

All wrote music many of us still sing in Mass now.

Canedo has written like a documentarian, giving context.

From Watergate to disco and the Me Generation, he explores how Catholic music often called society to a higher purpose.

Though some quotes could have used editing to maintain narrative flow, the book offers valuable primary source interviews with composers who had a major impact on their times and the future.

At St. Louis University in the 1970s, Canedo shows us, the fire department made the Jesuits give tickets for the Easter vigil because too many people were coming to pray with the new music.

He examines the rise of the charismatic renewal that embraced contemporary Catholic music and emphasized a personal relationship with Jesus, in turn influencing hymns.

Personal appeals to faith made by St. John Paul II led to more personal spirituality in songs.

As Canedo describes it, it is “music that moves me to celebrate the God who has walked in our shoes, who was tempted to sin like I am, and who experienced grief, loss, and joy.”