The winning hymn and theme song, which were chosen from among some 177 entries, were announced in August. Composers Diane Mahoney and Kathleen Pluth both earned a cash prize of $2,500 and the opportunity to have their compositions professionally performed and recorded in both English and Spanish.
Entries were evaluated, the organizers say, on such criteria as poetry, musicality, creativity, theological and doctrinal soundness, beauty, appropriateness for liturgical use, and expression of the mission of the National Eucharistic Revival. Father Dustin Dought, associate director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship, served as the nonvoting chairperson of the committee of judges.
Mahoney’s original composition, “We Do Believe, O Lord,” was selected as the Congress’ official theme song and is “appropriate to be sung at Mass, adoration, and any other gathering of Catholics where music might be used,” the organizers said.
Mahoney, a longtime church organist and occasional composer, told CNA in August that she entered the contest with “very little hope” that she’d actually win but with an openness to God’s will. She said her song is based on the passage from Mark’s Gospel in which a man tells Jesus: “I do believe. Please help my unbelief.”
Mahoney said she has wanted for years to use that passage in a Communion setting because, she said, receiving the body of Christ can help people recover their belief in him.