The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
Click for past issues online

September 29, 2000 Issue
Renew 2000

Kellnersville musician creates Renewing song


By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor

Renew me, O Lord,
Touch my heart,
Bring me back to Jesus,
Renew me O Lord,
Touch my heart,
Bring me home again.

These lyrics are from the refrain of Renew Me, O Lord. You won't find this song in your Renew materials or any songbook. If you wish to hear it, you won't find it on CD. The song was written especially for Renew at St. Joseph Parish, Kellnersville. Parish musician John Van Dyke composed the song at the start of Renew 2000 and it is sung at Masses during each Renew season.

"It's actually my second Renew song," said Van Dyke. "It's a recessional song. People seem to really like it. They ask for it once Renew starts."

Van Dyke wrote his first Renew song in the mid 80s, the last time diocesan parishes participated in Renew. Songwriting comes naturally to Van Dyke who has written numerous pieces over the years.

"I don't know how I go about it," he said. "It just comes together."

The verse of Renew Me, O Lord compares Renew to the story of the Prodigal Son.

Like the Prodigal Son in the story, Who lost his father's home,
I've been away from my Father, And I feel so all alone.
Take my hand and lead me, Back where I belong,
At your table feed me, Once more make me strong.

Van Dyke recalls talking about the story of the Prodigal Son at the start of Renew 2000, so he put it to music.

"The first time we had a Renew committee meeting I played it at the meeting," he said. "It's easy for the people to learn. They are used to new music being introduced, so we practiced it quickly before Mass and have used it during Renew ever since."

St. Joseph has 30 to 40 participants in Renew 2000. Van Dyke's song helps parishioners recognize the start of Season V, said Sr. Marlene Greatens, ANG, parish director at St. Joseph.

"John has written many great songs," she added. "He is very talented and very humble."



This issue's contents | Most recent issue's contents | Past issues index


Top of Page | More Menu Items | Home

© Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
1825 Riverside Drive | P.O. Box 23825 | Green Bay, WI 54305-3825
Phone: 920-437-7531 | Fax: 920-437-0694 | E-Mail: [email protected]