A native son, the Rev. David Hemann, returns to Fort Dodge Sunday through Tuesday for Holy Trinity Parish's mission with talks and music.
He will celebrate 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday at Corpus Christi. At 7 p.m. he will give a concert of his unique blend of Christian music, followed by a social at the parish center.
Hemann calls his concerts prayers. "'Whoever sings, prays twice' says St. Augustine," Hemann said.
At 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Hemann will present talks and a few songs at Corpus Christi church. The Monday talk will be followed by a social. The sacrament of reconciliation will follow his Tuesday talk.
Hemann also will visit St. Edmond on Tuesday to present programs for elementary, middle school and high school students.
The youngest of six boys, the son of Roman and Dorothy Hemann graduated from St. Edmond High School, Loras College in Dubuque, and the seminary in Rome, Italy. He celebrated his ordination to the priesthood in 1985 at Corpus Christi.
Hemann has been involved in music throughout his life and currently presents concerts of original spiritual music. His interest in music and the priesthood began at the age of 4, he said.
"I came from a devout Catholic and intensely musical family in Fort Dodge," he said. "While drums are my first instrument, early on I learned to play the guitar. Even before going to kindergarten, I remember sitting on the couch and I stopped my mom as she was going up the stairs with a basket of laundry. I told her I made up my own song and it wasn't even Jingle Bells."
Through his music he has learned "you can reach people's minds, but if you use music, too, you can touch their hearts."
Hemann shares how his music is also his favorite form of prayer. "This is what I do when I have my own prayer time - I sing."
He doesn't write these songs to entertain people, he said, although he said he's glad they do. "I write them to praise the Lord."
His original music has earned him an award sponsored by the United Catholic Music and Video Association for his song "Walk on Water" as the best praise and worship song of the year in 2007. He had been nominated in five categories.
Not his first Unity Award, Hemann was recognized for best religious television presentation in 2004 for co-hosting a EWTN television show, "Alive With Baptism." Episodes of the show concluded with his original songs.
Hemann has produced six CDs, which include collections of prayers and wisdom in song, with his latest CD, "Psalms of David," focusing on Old Testament Psalms with vocals set to classical guitar music, backed by harp and cello. Hemann covers a wide range of musical styles in his CDs, including folk, Irish, monastic, a bit of rock and classical.
CDs will be available for sale, or can be ordered through his site: www.fatherdavid.net.