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The Sacred Project: Cantor Jonathan Michael highlights passion for sacred music in upcoming television series

Posted : Mar-22-2024

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Jonathan Michael has been a cantor in Catholic parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Toronto for 42 years. A graduate of the world-renowned St. Michael’s Choir School in downtown Toronto, the singer went on to post-secondary studies in Ottawa before returning to Toronto to provide music in parishes, as well as for special functions and fundraisers. Michael has performed for the Prime Minister of Canada, various city mayors and other dignitaries.

Michael’s current undertaking is called, “The Sacred Project” a television series highlighting the singer’s latest musical recordings. In light of this endeavour, Michael took some time to enlighten our readers on the project and how we can tune in and take part.

Jonathan Michael in The Sacred Project

1. Tell us about The Sacred Project: What prompted you, as a singer, to turn songs into television episodes?

As recent health crisis subsided, I had a strong desire to record an album of sacred music. A week prior to recording, we had just finished a rehearsal at St. Rose of Lima parish and a parishioner who was in the church praying came up to me afterward and was very complimentary of the music. I explained to her that I was putting together an album and she asked me, "how else do you plan to utilize your voice to connect with others?”

That question really resonated with me and I was ruminating over it for quite some time. It dawned on me that I could leverage my voice and music to create a platform where I could give many of the wonderful ministers that I have worked alongside for several years an opportunity to either tell their own story or speak about topics that are central to the Roman Catholic faith. And hence, The Sacred Project idea was formed.

Jonathan Michael in The Sacred Project

Each episode of The Sacred Project is 30-minutes full of sacred music selections I recorded along with insightful interviews with the different liturgical ministers that I’ve had the opportunity to meet over my years of being a cantor. Full length versions of each episode will be available at a later date at http://thesacredproject.ca.

2. What touched you most while working on this project?

What I found most remarkable was how passionate my guests were when talking about their ministries. I specifically remember in my interview with Deacon Robert Kinghorn, how emotional he became when speaking about his Church on the Street ministry. He recounted a touching experience when a drug dealer he had engaged with called to express gratitude, revealing the profound impact their conversation had.

I recall too, in my conversation with Monsignor Pat O’Dea being very surprised when he advised that in his young adulthood that he was involved in the air force and learning how the Vietnam war played a very crucial role in influencing his journey toward becoming a priest.

3. What was your approach in selecting songs for this project?

I have been fortunate to perform a number of beautiful sacred songs with some talented musicians during my four decades of singing. The selections that I choose are songs that have personally resonated with me and have elicited a strong emotional response in me whenever I have performed them. I am of the belief that strings (i.e., violins and cello) have an extraordinary ability to enhance the beauty of a song so with this in mind, I enlisted the expertise of a seasoned cellist who also specializes in song arrangement to craft unique cello and violin parts tailored to accompany the piano scores for every song featured on the album. The result is, in my opinion, the best recording that I have put together to date. For those interested, the album is available on The Sacred Project website http://thesacredproject.ca or on my website http://musicbyjohn.ca.

Television Schedule

Tune in to The Sacred Project Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. starting on March 30, 2024 on Yes TV – Rogers cable channel 9, Bell cable channel 1651.

Jonathan Michael in The Sacred Project

March 30 at 12:30 p.m. – Episode #1


Jonathan Michael in The Sacred Project

April 6 at 12:30 p.m. – Episode #2


Jonathan Michael in The Sacred Project

April 13 at 12:30 p.m. – Episode #3


Jonathan Michael in The Sacred Project

April 20 at 12:30 p.m. – Episode #4


Jonathan Michael in The Sacred Project

April 27 at 12:30 p.m. – Episode #5

Concert Dates

Upcoming Jonathan Michael concert dates featuring the songs from The Sacred Project

May 9, 2024: St. Edward the Confessor Parish, 75 Churchill Ave, North York

June 13, 2024: St Margaret of Scotland Parissh, 222 Ridley Blvd, Toronto

May 15, 2024: St. Marguerite d'Youville Parish, 2490 Sandalwood Pkwy E, Brampton

Complete details and concert information can be found on the website at http://thesacredproject.ca.

To help offset costs associated with producing an album of sacred music and the accompanying television series, please consider supporting Jonathan Michael in his music ministry by sharing his music with friends and family. You can further support Michael by watching the television series, attending his concerts and purchasing his album., Michael hopes that The Sacred Project will resonate with viewers and he invites those who appreciate the show to consider contributing to his GoFundMe page as the donations will help defray the expenses involved in producing a Season 2 of this television program. The GoFundMe page can be found at this link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-sacred-project.