Youth Sing Praise began in 1982 as a ministry of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL. The original idea was to welcome young people from every diocese in the US to learn and perform new liturgical music. The hope was to inspire contemporary liturgical music to be written and sung in liturgical settings. Somewhere along the line, it morphed into the performance of a faith-based musical including the occasional commissioning of entirely new shows. It has been a fluid, changing program which, we believe, affirms that the Holy Spirit is alive and active in our work.
Theatrical youth often find themselves living on the fringes of their peer society. At Youth Sing Praise these gifted young people find Oblate hospitality, affirmation and encouragement. The Youth Sing Praise experience shows them that they are not alone in their faith journey or discernment of a vocation. Since 2011, the YSP Foundation has been responsible for funding and programming, and in 2014 received designation as a 501c3 charity organization. Enrollment is up 60% in 3 years, and the Foundation has raised over $50,000 in donations from friends and supporters in that time.