Welcome to Munificent

Munificent is a lay apostolate devoted to publishing works of contemporary catholic artists — original music with aesthetics based on purity and simplicity. The label is centered in a spirit of generosity and doing something great for God. “Man can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself.” Gaudiem et Spes 22

For Mary Queen of Heaven

“And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God” — Psalm 40

ASCAP Munificent Expressions

The Founding of Munificent

Since the age of 15 music has been a part of my life. In my younger years I played in bars and clubs and for teen dances and enjoyed the band scene. As my interest in music deepened I explored the serious side of music and was able to perform symphonic music, chamber music and in jazz bands and trios. My performing led naturally to teaching music and I developed a teaching practice that eventually led to helping found McNally Smith College of Music.

The professional side of life is a vibrant part of us, but the core is our vocation to our family. As our sons grew up and to our surprise were called to religious life, our faith in God’s plan for each person deepened in ways in which my wife and I had not expected. Now as parents of religious we drew even closer to the mission of the Catholic Church and our role as laity. After personal spiritual direction with priests from the Legion of Christ, I felt called to begin a personal apostolate. This over time led to the founding of Munificent.

I have always enjoyed building things with others and I invited my talented cousin Dan to join me in this new venture. We both have had a passion for music from our early years and we desire to work with Catholic Artists who are interested in giving witness to the faith that nurtures them in their art. This does not mean that we are interested in religious music per se, but rather in the artists themselves and helping them bring out their best in their art. Sometimes this means bringing their art to market and other times just through encouragement and coaching.

I prayed about the right name for this apostolate and tried out several. Then at a Regnum Christi retreat I heard a talk about the generosity of God and how we as people need to grow in appreciation for God’s goodness, which we often take for granted. Instead we can focus on growing in the virtue of generosity. A generous heart is the foundational response of answering the Lord’s vocational call. I contemplated how much generosity is involved in the arts. “Man can truly discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself” (Gaudiem et Spes 22) As artists discover their true self they learn to give generously from deep within their souls. This mirroring of God’s generosity by the artist led me to choose the name Munificent for this apostolate. We are all striving as artists to do something great for God.

As a record label we are searching for the new sounds of Catholic art coming from each artist. We look for music that has the qualities of innocence, purity, simplicity and beauty that radiate some new expressions of love of life and family. We are not interested in major productions, earthiness or the constant mix of tensions that is so much a part of the cultural ferment of today. We hope to seek out the artist and see what gems we can come up with to share with the culture. In this little way we hope to participate in the building of the City of God among us.

Musical tastes vary greatly and we appreciate variety. As a small independent label we choose those things that interest us and hope they will interest others as well. Good art takes time to develop. We hope to start as a small seed and as we mature contribute something of lasting value.

In Christ,

Doug Smith