For this future priest, music is the gateway to connection with a higher power

A Portugese seminarian in Bavaria says now is the time to reflect on how to “give the best” of ourselves.

By Joy Diaz, Leah Scarpelli & Caroline CovingtonDecember 6, 2021 7:49 am, ,

Manuel Vaz Guedes is a monk at Catholic Seminary of Saint Peter Wigratzbad in Bavaria, Germany. Vaz Guedes, 25, who is originally from Portugal, has loved music from a young age – especially jazz. He thought when he entered seminary he would have to give up music, that it somehow wouldn’t be allowed. But he found it was just the opposite. He says music is a very important part of seminary life. In some ways, it helps him feel even more connected to God.

Vaz Guedes and other monks released an album for Christmas of Gregorian chants called “Sancta Nox: Christmas Matins from Bavaria.” The chants are what monks sing or pray every day, he says. And they could be an opportunity for others to listen, reflect, and reconnect with themselves, too, as we enter the holiday season.

“It’s been a wonderful experience. I hope I do not get used to it in the wrong way because we do it every day, so we are used to beauty. God created everything, so he is the source of beauty, so there’s no better way to find our creator than to find it in music.”


Manuel Vaz Guedes.

“I think we are in a world that is very individualist. I think COVID has this good consequence, that it can bring the best of people. And if people try to understand that their reason for living is not only about health, is not only about money, is not only about power, it’s not only about ideology, I think people can give the best of themselves.”


“To pass to action, you need, before, a moment of silence and a moment of introspection and of prayer. I think it would be very good if we profit this time to make a silent meditation and to put these important questions of existence.

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