August 7, 2017

Grammy/Dove award winning Christian artist to play at Westfield State

Staff report

(IObserve photo/courtesy of John Michael Talbot Ministries)

WESTFIELD – John Michael Talbot, considered a pioneer in Christian music, will be performing at the Denver Stage at Parenzo Hall at Westfield State University Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.

St. Mary Parish in Westfield and the Albert and Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center at Westfield State University are sponsoring the concert.

“I’m a fan. I’ve been in touch with him for a couple of years. I heard he was doing this concert series, so I contacted him and they came back and said yes,” said Father Frank Lawlor, pastor of St. Mary Parish.

“He is a very interesting man. He is constantly writing music. He’s about to tour in the Holy Land. Demand is building. We have sold 120 tickets so far and we have capacity for 500. His fan base is not just St. Mary’s, it’s global,” Father Lawlor added.

Talbot has released 53 albums in his 37 years in the Christian music industry and was a founding artist for Sparrow Records, a Christian label now under Capitol Christian Music Group.

Father Lawlor said the concert is part of St. Mary’s evangelization efforts.

“I am a big believer in creating opportunities for people to come together under the religion umbrella so we can meet people of various stripes and learn from each other,” said Father Lawlor.

Talbot is a convert to Catholicism. After dropping out of high school, he toured with his brother’s band, Mason Proffit, in the late 1960s. When the band broke up, he embarked on a spiritual journey, which led him to the Catholic Church. He founded a community, The Brothers and Sisters of Charity at Little Portion Hermitage in Arkansas. Some of his songs include, “Holy is his Name,” and “Breathe on Me.”

Talbot continues his ministry through his music.

“John Michael Talbot’s music is considered contemplative or meditative as well as joyful and uplifting. The purpose of his music is to give greater honor, glory and praise to the Triune God,” said Father Warren Savage, Catholic chaplain at Westfield State University.

“The concert is sponsored by St. Mary’s and the Albert and Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center to demonstrate, in a concrete way, the importance of ecumenical and interfaith relationships. Opening the concert to people from all walks of life allows others to experience the richness of the Christian tradition through music,” Father Savage added.

Tickets are $30 for general seating and $50 for a VIP package, which includes preferred seating, the chance to hear the sound check and a signed CD. Students pay $15.

Tickets can be purchased online at

For more information, call St. Mary Parish at 413-562-5477.