Testimonies & Awards


  • Grammy Nomination for “I Shall See God” (GIA); 1991
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award; The University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN (with Marty Haugen & Michael Joncas), 1995
  • Catholic Press Association Award; 2003, 2017
  • Crosier Award for Ministry (Crosier Brothers and Priests); 2004
  • Pastoral Musician of the Year: The National Association of Pastoral Musicians; 2004
  • “Servant Among Us” Award: The Servants of Jesus; Saginaw, MI, 2011
  • Emmaus Award for Excellence in Catechesis: The National Catholic Education Association; 2014
  • Association of Catholic Publishers Award; 2015, 2016
  • Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters: The University of Portland, Oregon; 2015
  • The 2017 Pax Christi Award, St. John’s Abbey and University; Collegeville, MN (with Marty Haugen & Michael Joncas); 2017


Enriched over the past forty years by his music, blessed are we who have the love, compassion, inspiration and grace behind the life-giving compositions of David Haas!

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM; Author; Center for Action and Contemplation
Albuquerque, NM

David Haas is one of the most beloved composers of liturgical music active today. He is a wonderful, caring person who has dedicated his life to quality liturgy and to mentoring our young people. He’s also a lot of fun!

Alec Harris
President, GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago, IL

For as long as we have been singing, we have been singing David’s music. His songs have been part of Hangad’s repertoire since the very beginning—one of the first songs we learned and recorded together was “Now We Remain.” Our homegrown composers here in the Philippines were influenced by his music, and after years of serving in this ministry, we find that we still go back to his music, again and again. We cannot exactly pinpoint why his songs stay with us, but perhaps it is in singing and praying them that we find our own prayers, our own voice. David’ songs have a personal and prayerful quality, and this has resonated deeply with Hangad. Imagine our surprise when we finally had the opportunity to meet and sing with him during his visit to the Philippines in 2016! It was, and continues to be, a true meeting of minds and hearts. It was if we had known him all of our lives, and in a way, that is true, and continues to be the case! As long as we have been singing, we have been singing David’s music.

Mariel de Jesus
Hangad Music Ministry; Manila, The Philippines

It has been a pleasure and honor to work with David Haas.  I was a team member for the Music Ministry Alive! summer program for several years.  It was this program that changed the way in which I understand Youth Music Ministry.  Many of us have been witnesses to the declining presence of youth in our parishes.  David saw this decline as well and became and still is an advocate for our youth in music ministry.  With his keen sense of spirituality and commitment to our youth, he has managed to create a new future for young people in pastoral music.  I have always marveled at his ability to not only be a great composer but also to be a great pastoral resource and advocate for liturgy and ritual in the Catholic Church.  David has helped to change the face of liturgical music in this century.  As shepherd, musician, composer, liturgist, friend, seeker of justice and peace, David Haas has paved the way for all of us to walk closer towards the Kingdom of God.  For that, I am most grateful.

Lynne’ Gray, Director of Music
St. Anthony Parish, Bowie, MD

I have known David Haas as a student and have watched him grow and mature over the years. I have always been immediately impressed by his love of Sacred Scripture. He knows well and lives by the adage of St. Jerome, patron saint of Scripture scholars who said: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”  A love that is found in so many of the hymns he has composed is also very much present in his musical settings of the Psalms. While most of us know and appreciate David as an accomplished composer of liturgical music, a musician, a campus minister and founder of Music Ministry Alive!, he is also a fine author, and I would suggest that we can also learn a great deal from his writing. For David not only sings every note in his musical arrangements but writes and arranges every word with meaning in his books. Break open a Haas book. You will not be disappointed.

Dr. Arthur E. Zannoni
Biblical Scholar, Teacher, Theologian; Roseville, MN

As a Vatican II Council Father, I am elated to see the kind of work David is doing. One of the most significant messages of the Second Vatican Council was the call we issued to all the baptized believers to reclaim our biblical heritage and to use it to promote the Reign of God. David is doing this through his many-talented approach to contemporary liturgy. I cannot think of any other minister of music and liturgy who has done more creative work or helped more people to understand better their call to worship through the celebrations of the liturgical year. I applaud his use of the modern media to further this purpose in such appealing ways.

Bishop Remi De Roo
Bishop (ret), Victoria, British Columbia
Council Father, Second Vatican Council

My parish communities have been singing praise and supplication to God through David Haas’ sacred song for over thirty years. Through David’s music they have internalized scripture, their faith, their reliance on God’s goodness and what it means to belong to God. Throughout these years I have watched David form and inspire liturgical ministers, including cantors and choirs, young people and whole congregations with his wit and wisdom.

Jackie Graham, Director of Liturgy
St. Thomas Becket Church, Eagan, MN

“We are called,” as David wrote, “to love tenderly.”  But sometimes, we need to sing it to feel it and feel it to live it.  No one helps us along that path of love better than David Haas.  His work invites us to sing, feel and live a life of love.  No follower of the gospel could hope for more.

Tim Shriver
Chairman of Special Olympics International, Washington DC

I have known David as a good friend and colleague for nearly four decades.  I salute him first as a composer dedicated to providing music to help the People of God sing their faith in communal worship; he has a rare gift for crafting melodies that folks want to sing conjoined to scriptural, liturgical and poetic texts that explore the full gamut of humanity before God.  I value him as an educator, both for his presentations ranging from parish settings to international conferences and for his many books and articles.  I admire him as a pastoral minister, especially for his work with young people at Benilde-St. Margaret’s and Cretin-Derham Hall high schools in the twin cities and the Music Ministry Alive! summer programs.  And I esteem him as a committed Catholic Christian, passionately committed to deepening his understanding of the Gospel and sharing that understanding with others.

Fr. Michael Joncas
Composer, Liturgical Theologian,
Artist in Residence and Teaching Fellow for Catholic Studies,
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

Being a composer of sacred song is not what David does, it is who he is. It’s his vocation. He lives this passion every day. It permeates his being more than any other composer I have personally known. David Haas is pastoral musician, composer, lyricist, preacher, liturgist, missionary; he is consumed with zeal for the Word of God—forever paraphrasing that word in song. He cares, cares about everyone, with special focus on youth and those marginalized by society as well as by the Church.

Robert J. Batastini
Vice President / Senior Editor emeritus
GIA Publications, Inc; Chicago

The music of David Haas is a treasure.  His songs were formative for the Roman Catholic church as it implemented liturgical changes after Vatican II, but they quickly moved beyond denominational boundaries, becoming favorites and deeply enriching the worship of many congregations.

Deborah Carlton Loftis, Former Executive Director;
The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, Richmond, VA

David has contributed so much to the music of the Church. We owe him much for his life-long commitment to pastoral music ministry and his many prayerful compositions.

Carey Landry
Composer; Hospital Chaplin, Indianapolis, IN

Faithful service, collaborative spirit and generosity of heart are three things that come to mind when I think of David Haas. Over the many years he has continued to offer the gifts of his artistry and deep sense of ministry to the Church in America. Something that began in him as a teenager continues to be the passion of his life. When one watches him work, it’s clear that he relishes the opportunity to make music with other artists. And in this he’s given voice to many new composers and performers who might not otherwise have found their way. His love for the People of God has inspired his desire to pass along the wisdom of his experience to younger generations, to ignite in them the same passion for music as a vehicle for the prayer of a community. I’m glad to call him a friend and colleague in ministry.

Dan Schutte, Liturgical Composer and Workshop Leader
San Fransisco, CA

David draws us into currents of hope. When he sings, he is a man caught up, a man in flow. When he sings, he becomes the song he is singing. And his singing makes him brave. He speaks the truth as he sees it, not looking over his shoulder for approval and disapproval. Whenever I sing his songs, hope flows through me and makes me brave. David has given us the gift of himself.

Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ
Author of “Dead Man Walking”

The music is what touched me first. David Haas helped me pray. He had obviously experienced an honest friendship with God, and he was sharing the fruits of his prayer with those who sang and prayed his songs. Today I’m honored to list David among my friends. His passion for the Church is founded upon God’s promise of justice. He constantly opens for me new horizons of belief and service.

Fr. Paul Turner, Pastor; Director of Liturgy, Diocese of Kansas City
Kansas City, MO

David’s passion, as I have experienced it, is not only that music be beautiful and soul stirring, but that it be in the service of excellent liturgical prayer.  That means many things:  inviting the voice of the people in, encouraging honesty in our intentions and experiences, and holding up the imperatives of justice and peace-making in our sung worship.  David’s craft, I believe, has found a long-awaited friend in Pope Francis!  This is what our church is to be about.

Fr. Michael Byron, Theologian;
Pastor, St. Pascal Baylon Church, St. Paul, MN

David Haas writes consistently singable and memorable melodies.  Time and time again I have experienced first-hand how his songs engage congregations musically, poetically, theologically, and emotionally.  Having admired his work for years, I am now proud to call him a collaborator.  It is a joy to hear the new music he creates for my texts.

Adam M. L. Tice, Text Writer, Ordained Minister
Goshen, IN

David Haas has been a powerful source of inspiration and formation in my own life and ministry. His great skills as musician, liturgist, composer, retreat director, youth advocate, keynote speaker, workshop clinician and more, has made David a popular and favorite presenter for so many.  I know David as a friend, brother and colleague. If you have the chance to bring David Haas to your part of the world, I can guarantee that you and your community will be greatly blessed.”

Jesse Manibusan, Two by Two Ministries
Pacifica, CA

Thank you, David Haas, for making your life–changing music!  What a blessing that – for my own prayer, and for the people I serve as pastor – I can now so easily find just the right music and inspiration.  Keep up the good work, and know that there are so many of us who are deeply grateful for the gift that your music is for this world!

Fr. Joe Kempf
Author, Catechist, Workshop Leader;
Pastor, Sacred Heart Parish, Eureka, MO

Born into a family of such surpassing musical interests that he and his siblings, as he has said, spent most of their childhood in concerts, recitals, lessons, and lots of rehearsals, David Haas became an internationally renowned Catholic composer, musician, minister, and teacher.  It is no exaggeration to say that his music is played and sung around the world, in thousands of churches and dozens of languages and faith traditions.  He is an accomplished author, teacher, and pastoral minister, but today we pay particular honor to the way in which he shaped his capacious musical talents and shared them with the world; his work has elevated hearts, shivered souls, and gathered millions of people together in song.  That is great and holy work, and that is why the University of Portland today confers the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, HONORIS CAUSA, on David Haas, of Eagan, Minnesota.

On the occasion of its One-Hundred-and Thirteenth Commencement Exercises
May 13, 2015
The University of Portland; Portland, OR