Delores Dufner, Librettist
Delores Dufner, OSB, writes scripturally based hymn and song texts, which have a broad ecumenical appeal and are contracted or licensed by 34 publishers in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and China. She has received nearly 50 commissions to write texts for special occasions or needs and has published over 155 hymns. She has authored three hymn collections: Sing a New Church (1994, Oregon Catholic Press), The Glimmer of Glory in Song (2004, GIA Publications), and And Every Breath, a Song (2011, GIA Publications).
Sister Delores was librettist for Mona Lyn Reese’s opera-oratorio, Choose Life, Uvacharta Bachayim, which was premiered in 1994. In 1996 Delores was one of five winners out of 900 contestants in an international English language hymn competition to update Mary’s image in song. In 2002 she was a recipient of the Spirit and Truth Award from the Notre Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy, in recognition of significant contributions made to pastoral liturgy.
Sister Delores and two of her hymns are featured in A Panorama of Christian Hymnody by Eric Routley, edited and expanded by Paul A. Richardson and published in 2005 by GIA Publications. Also in 2005, she received the Lawrence Heiman Citation from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, for her contributions to liturgical music.
In May of 2007 her text, “Listen,” was set to music by Julliard professor Eric Ewazen and performed by Cantus at Saint John’s University. In July of the same year, the National Catholic Youth Choir performed her hymn text, “Mary, First Among Believers,” at the National Pastoral Musicians’ Convention in Indianapolis. In 2008 her commissioned cantata text, “Seasons of the Spirit,” with musical setting by David Evan Thomas, was premiered at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph. Later that year, her text “Of Beauty,” with musical setting by Dr. Richard Rossi, was performed at the dedication of the renovated fine arts building at Eastern Illinois University.
Sister Delores is a member of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and holds Master’s Degrees in Liturgical Music and Liturgical Studies. She was a church musician and teacher of school music and private piano lessons for 12 years, and Liturgy Director for her monastery for 6 years. She served as Director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese of St. Cloud for 15 years, and subsequently worked as a liturgical music consultant for the Diocese of Ballarat, Victoria in southeast Australia for 15 months. She is a member of, and occasional presenter at, NPM (National Association of Pastoral Musicians), The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and the Benedictine Musicians of the Americas; she is also a member of the Monastic Liturgy Forum and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers).