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Franciscan priest spreads joy with original music videos

J-P Mauro - published on 11/18/20

Fr. Sandesh Manuel's YouTube channel has over 100 recordings of original songs and covers.

It’s always thrilling to see someone take immense joy in doing what they were so obviously meant to do. That’s one of the things that makes Fr. Sandesh Manuel’s YouTube channel such a treat. An extremely artistic Franciscan priest, Fr. Manuel brought his talents to YouTube, where he produces music just for the sake of spreading his joy.

Fr. Manuel’s channel only dates back to November 2019, but in one year he has produced over 100 musical recordings. He keeps up this prolific pace by releasing another video every Friday. The songs are a mix of hymns, covers of popular songs, sacred music, and original pieces.

Beyond genre

His original songs are so impressive because they show a remarkable range in style. His catalog moves smoothly from his R&B styled “Never Lost” to the dramatic “The Last Song of St. Francis Assisi,” and then on to his “Laudato Si Rap. As a classically-trained guitarist with a beautiful light tenor, the singer/songwriter priest has some catchy hooks. Fr. Manuel approaches Catholic content with the utmost reverence, all the while having a ball with his videos.

He wrote on his official website:

I just want to share this joy to this world but never intend in any form to influence someone. I’m a YouTuber but not an Influencer. I’m doing these videos to remind myself about what’s happening in my life, documenting it, and wanting people to smile when they see my videos!  Let`s be joyful, positive and move ahead together … and let`s be kind to ourselves and everyone because we don’t know what the other person is going through.

The sacred works that he has produced, featured above, are marvelous to watch. Taking full advantage of his posting at Vienna’s Franciscan church, he fills these videos with shots of the building’s gorgeous golden interior. These recordings also benefit from the fantastic acoustics of the church, which give Fr. Manuel’s vocals an excellent ring.

An artist to his core

One of the things that we love the most about Fr. Manuel is that he seems so down to earth and creative. When he is not in clerical vestments, he’s clad in the humble robes of the Franciscan order and donning his signature pinstriped hat embroidered with a Poké Ball. His lyrics, such as those of “Listen to the Wind,” reach people where they are and spread the faith through perspective.

In addition to being an accomplished musician, Father Manuel is also an excellent visual artist. In his recording of the Bach/Gounod “Ave Maria” he filmed himself painting the Madonna and Child. His artistic style is as eclectic as his music and can range from abstract interpretive pieces to near photorealism.  Visit Fr. Manuel’s official website to view dozens of his original artworks.

Click here to browse Father Manuel’s musical catalog.

Read more:
Musician-priest Fr. Rob Galea’s online ministry surges during months of isolation

Sacred MusicVocations
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