Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Atlanta Teen Sings In National Catholic Youth Choir

Published September 28, 2006

As part of the National Catholic Youth Choir, founded in 2000, nearly 40 high school choristers from across the U.S. recently spent 15 days at Saint John’s Abbey and University in central Minnesota in a rigorous daily schedule of several hours of rehearsal, classes in religion and liturgy, plus sports and recreation.

The choir prayed and worshiped as a choir and with the monastic community daily, and ended each day with sung Compline. Participating in the NCYC from the Atlanta Archdiocese was Natasha Sanjaya, daughter of Faddy and Ria Sanjaya. Natasha is a member of the Our Lady of the Assumption Youth Choir under the direction of Natalie Codelli.

The National Catholic Youth Choir performed in St. Cloud and Plymouth, Minn., Combined Locks, Wisc., and Kalamazoo and East Lansing, Mich., during its 2006 tour.

In past years the choir has sung throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and Georgia.

The choir is sponsored by the School of Theology Seminary and meets on the grounds of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota. The conductor of the choir is internationally renowned choral clinician Dr. Axel Theimer. Father Anthony Ruff, OSB, a monk of Saint John’s abbey, is the founding director of the choir. The group was founded under the motto “Spreading the Catholic Faith Through Great Music” as a response to the call of Pope John Paul II for a “new evangelization.” Singing the music of various Christian traditions ranging from medieval Gregorian chant to 20th-century music, the primary focus of the choir is liturgical, and the choir seeks to implement the directive of Vatican Council II that the “treasury of sacred music” be preserved and fostered in the modern liturgy.

Catholic youth going into grades 10-12 in 2007 are invited to apply to participate in the next National Catholic Youth Choir, which will convene at Saint John’s Abbey and University during the summer of 2007.


Information is available at or from Father Anthony Ruff, OSB, at (320) 363-3233 or