National Association of Pastoral Musicians
May 24, 2022

Press Release: 2022 NPM Major Awards Given to Pastoral Ministers

The National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) presented two awards to pastoral ministers who have faithfully served the Catholic Church throughout their lives. NPM’s Executive Director, Jennifer Kluge, shares the joy of the Association for both awardees: “What a pleasure it is to bestow NPM’s most prestigious awards on those who have not only impacted music and the liturgy, but continue to lead us in a dynamic and faith-filled Church.”

The Pastoral Musician of the Year award is given to an individual who exemplifies the best of NPM, one who has given substantial witness or promotion to the role of pastoral music in parish, diocesan, or institutional life. This year’s Pastoral Musician of the Year recipient is Peter Kolar. Peter Kolar is a bilingual composer of Salvadoran-Polish heritage who has contributed much to the liturgical music landscape of the U.S. His numerous works reflect a fluency in classical, folkloric and pop styles. A native of Detroit, MI, Peter holds the position of Editor for Spanish and Bilingual Resources at GIA Publications, Inc.

Before coming to GIA, he spent 22 years with World Library Publications, where he was the founding editor of the bilingual missalette “Celebremos/Let Us Celebrate”. Peter’s Mass setting “Misa Luna,” sung for the papal liturgy in Philadelphia, is a recipient of the distinguished Mass setting award from the Association of Catholic Publishers. A classically-trained pianist, his solo CD “Variations” showcases technical prowess on his primary instrument, though he is equally at home enlivening the party with polkas on the accordion. While living in Chicago, he led the Holy Cross Marimba Ensemble, comprised of inner-city youth from the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

A respected clinician and teacher, he presents frequently in the area of multicultural worship and was a member of the chant committee for the U.S. Spanish-language Misal Romano tercera edición. Peter holds a Masters degree in music composition from Northwestern University and resides with his wife Mariana and two daughters in El Paso, TX. He is a parishioner of Saint Mark Parish and directs the El Paso Diocesan Choir, ministering in conjunction with Bishop Mark Seitz to serve the church of the border region.

When asked about this year’s award, Mr. Kolar shared his appreciation: “What a tremendous honor it is to be recognized as Pastoral Musician of the Year! I’m so grateful to NPM for the opportunity to have served over the years as one small piece of its vital mission. It is a privilege to be among a family of musicians so dedicated to their ministry and compelled by a love for the liturgy and the beauty it inspires. To be able to do make music for the glory of God and in service to the church is a wondrous gift we share. Thank you, NPM, for this distinction, and above all, for your unwavering commitment to the important work of music ministry.”

Andrea Ramos, Associate Director for Music for the Diocese of Austin and a member of the NPM Board of Directors, celebrates Mr. Kolar as the 2022 Pastoral Musician of the Year awardee:

When I think of a true “servant,” one of the first people that comes to mind is Peter Kolar. An accomplished pianist, composer, music editor, and speaker, Peter has made invaluable contributions to the field of pastoral music through his knowledge, musicianship, and eagerness to form pastoral musicians, particularly those serving bilingual and Spanish speaking communities. NPM is proud to honor this exemplary pastoral musician who has devoted his life and career to serve those on the peripheries, his local community of El Paso, and the wider Church through his musical gifts.


The Jubilate Deo award is given in recognition of a substantial contribution to the development of pastoral liturgy in the United States. The 2022 Jubilate Deo recipient is Joyce Ann Zimmerman, C.PP.S. Joyce Ann Zimmerman, C.PP.S. is a Sister of the Precious Blood from Dayton, Ohio, who taught high school mathematics and religion for fifteen years and then has taught in universities and seminaries. Since 1991 she has ministered full time in pastoral liturgical education. She is the founding director of the Institute for Liturgical Ministry in Dayton, Ohio, and is the founding editor (1992) and columnist for Liturgical Ministry (published quarterly for three years by the Institute for Liturgical Ministry and then by Liturgical Press; it went out of print at the end of 2011).

For eighteen years she was the editor and lead writer for the annual publication Living Liturgy: Spirituality, Celebration, and Catechesis for Sundays and Solemnities. Sr. Zimmerman is an adjunct professor of liturgy; a liturgical consultant; has been a theological consultant to the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship; was a member of the national Roman Catholic/Reformed Churches Dialogue, Round 7; is a frequent facilitator of national workshops and programs on liturgy, spirituality, and other related topics; and is an award-winning author of numerous books and articles on liturgy and spirituality. She holds both the civil and pontifical doctorates and is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy and the Catholic Academy of Liturgy. She is the recipient of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy’s 2008 Michael Mathis Award; the 2010 Georgetown Center for Liturgy National Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Liturgical Life of the American Church; the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commission’s 2015 Frederick R. McManus Award for her outstanding contributions to liturgical scholarship and ministerial formation; and the North American Academy of Liturgy’s 2020 Berakah award.

Sr. Zimmerman expresses her gratitude for being this year’s Jubilate Deo award recipient: “I feel deeply honored to receive this important award from NPM.  At the same time, I feel great humility because nothing we do is ever accomplished alone, by our own efforts.  All the fruits of our ministry are possible because of the community we are as Church, as God’s holy people.  So, I am grateful to NPM for celebrating me in this way, and I am also profoundly grateful to all who have walked with me throughout my many decades of ministry.” Jeremy Helmes, Chair of the Board of Directors for NPM, reflects on awarding the honor to Sr. Zimmerman: “Sr. Joyce Ann Zimmerman has made invaluable contributions to the worship of the Church over the past decades through her scholarship, her teaching, and her ministry to the Church at prayer.  As a fellow southwest Ohioan, I’m very proud to present the 2022 Jubilate Deo award to Sr. Joyce Ann with the thanks of a grateful association and a blessed Church.”

The 2022 NPM Major Awards will be presented to Mr. Kolar and Sr. Zimmerman during the 45th NPM National Convention, which will take place June 28-July 1 in Louisville, Kentucky. A list of past award winners is available here on the NPM website.



Amanda Bruce, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications



National Association of Pastoral Musicians
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Phone: (240) 247-3000


Related links:

Press Release (PDF)

NPM Website:

The GIA Team – Peter Kolar:

Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics – Sister Joyce Ann Zimmerman

Galt House Hotel – Louisville, Kentucky: