A party will be held on Sept. 20 to celebrate a book, five music albums and the priest behind it all.
Before moving to Nova Scotia 22 years ago, Father Johni Mathew was a singer-songwriter who attracted attention wherever he went.
"I was a musician before I became a priest, but I continued to compose and perform in addition to my pastoral ministry while in India," said the Roman Catholic priest who has been serving at St. Andrew's Parish in Eastern Passage for the past two years.
Although he left his performing life behind, the music never left his heart.
"I did not sing for nearly 16 years," said the jovial 59-year-old with a grin. "But a few years ago I was coaxed to sing at a wedding."
After that he was asked to write lyrics for Dr. K.J. Yesudas, a classical musician who has recorded more than 50,000 songs in many languages.
Johni says he would be humbled to have had one of his compositions performed by this phenomenal Indian music legend, let alone dozens.
Now, after five Christian music albums later, and a new book, The Table of the Word, Father Johni says he feels more than blessed.
"When I first came to Canada I was like a fish out of water. But now through the encouragement I have received and the love that has been shown to me, I feel part of this community."
The Table of the Word is a compilation of Johni's homilies over a three-year cycle.
"Supported by stories and practical examples, each message provides insight and inspiration for daily life for relationships, ethics and much more," said Johni.
The music CD, The Meditation of the Soul, is blended in Western and Carnatic genre, says Father Johni and is composed by eminent music directors to his lyrics based on biblical themes.
The launch party is planned to take place at the Lions Club Auditorium, 65 Hornes Road, Eastern Passage on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. The duration of the program will be about an hour and a half with reception. For more info, email Father Johni at firstname.lastname@example.org