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Band of priests sing ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ to send kids to WYD

Musical priest

Pixel-Shot | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 07/19/23

The members of 'Priests in Concert' knew each other from seminary; now they're playing on stage to raise funds and evangelize.

A group of musical priests from the Archdiocese of Washington has banded together to raise money for young people of the archdiocese making the pilgrimage to WYD 2023. Called Priests in Concert, the band includes nine priests who all knew each other from their time in Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Hyattsville, Maryland.

A clip of a performance in May shows the talent of these priests, all of whom are members of the Neocatechumenal Way. This Catholic movement sends lay individuals and families on missions aimed at rekindling the faith. Seminarians and priests of the movement are called to go forth and evangelize, and that’s just what Priests in Concert does in their shows

The clip, taken from a show at the Pearl Street Warehouse, in Washington, D.C., shows only four of the nine members, playing through “Tennessee Whiskey,” a song popularized by the impeccable voice of Chris Stapleton. While the lead singer of Priests in Concert, Fr. Daniele Rebeggiani, has a much different timbre, the Italian-born priest put on a great show, complete with melismatic lines. 

In an interview with CNA, Rebeggiani noted that many of the priests in the band felt called to the priesthood while attending World Youth Day. To this end, they hope that their efforts to raise funds to send young people to WYD 2023 may lead to more religious vocations. The priest went on to recall the moment when he knew that he wanted to be a priest:

“We were speaking to youngsters that were living on the streets, on drugs,” he said, “and I’m giving my experience to them and seeing how one of them especially opened up and spoke of his suffering, and he was very happy that someone was reaching out and talking to them about Christ’s love for them.

“And I remember thinking in that moment, feeling very happy, thinking, ‘If this is happiness to speak of Christ, to give my life for the evangelization, this is what I want to do.’”

After “Tennessee Whiskey,” Fr. Rebeggiani switched gears to a bouncing Italian tune, which we unfortunately could not place and whose title was not stated. The band is also known for playing such popular hits as “The Eye of the Tiger,” and “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” A more recent rendition of the latter tune can be heard in the video below, featuring the full 9-man band. 

Priests in Concert has reportedly already raised some $20,000 between ticket sales and donations to their first concert. With another concert planned for late July, they hope to raise the remaining $10,000 of their goal. Having discovered a new, entertaining way to evangelize while raising funds for worthy causes, it will be interesting to see to what cause the band directs its efforts when WYD has ended. 

Visit Priests in Concert’s official website to learn more about the band and see a full schedule of their upcoming performances. 

MusicPriestsWorld Youth Day
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