Priest goes country, writes bluegrass Mass

“There was some Catholic toe tapping to the strains of banjo and fiddle” as the first bluegrass Mass was celebrated recently “exactly where it belonged: the ‘birthplace of country music,’ Bristol, Virginia,” according to a story written by Jean Denton in The Catholic Virginian, newspaper of the Diocese of Richmond, Va.

We learn how Father Edward Richard, a bluegrass musician and a professor and vice rector of Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, brought bluegrass musicians together at St. Anne’s Catholic Church to help him lead worship through the music he composed for the “Saint Anne Rhythm and Roots Heritage Mass.”

The Mass was the brainchild of St. Anne’s pastor, Father Timothy Keeney.