My Journey to the Daily TV Mass – Toronto Markham Wedding Funeral Singer

As a singer, the summer of 2020 was shaping up to be quite promising with a number of wedding and event bookings under my belt. Further, my musical band (The Jonathan Michael Group) had also made some headway as we had finally secured ourselves an amazing pianist and bass player who were capable of playing any song for the first time as though they had been playing it for years. We were  so happy about the caliber of musicians we had recruited that we were talking about putting together a Christmas album.

And then the world changed in March of 2020. Due to the virus, in person practices were no longer safe and that meant another summer of performances at festivals and events down the drain for my band. Further, to add salt to an already very open wound,  many of my clients who had booked me for summer weddings and events started calling to cancel or postpone due to their venue either being closed or unable to accommodate a large number of people.

And then the worst news I could possibly dream of became a reality. I received a call from my Pastor at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish advising me that due to the virus being spread rather easily from singing, all musical services were being suspended until further notice. Further churches were also limited to  being at 30% capacity which also meant  they would be facing  financial hardship, prolonging the return date for many musical ministers.

For the first time in my life, I found myself celebrating Sunday mass in front of a TV with my family. This became a weekly family tradition in mid-March as we would congregate in our living room and celebrate the 11a.m. mass together. As Mathew 18:20 says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” It was a bit surreal when we found ourselves celebrating Easter Sunday service watching the Daily Tv Mass from the National Catholic Broadcasting Council (NCBC). Mainly because as a cantor, I was essentially living at my church (St. Margaret of Scotland Roman Catholic Parish) during holy week as I would be celebrating services on Holy Thursday, two services on Good Friday, Easter Vigil mass on Holy Saturday and singing three services on Easter Sunday.

I had two choices at this time. I could either ruminate about how unfortunate the situation was and become bitter or I could try and make the best of what was less than an Ideal situation and try and open some news doors in the midst of a pandemic.

I remember thinking to myself while watching the Daily Tv Mass whether the NCBC could use any new cantors. Although they already had an excellent roster of singers, I figured it could never hurt to ask. As a result I called up a friend, who also happened to be the deacon at my church (Robert Kinghorn – https://catholicregister.org/item/30763-church-on-the-street) and asked him for the name of the contact at the NCBC. Deacon Kinghorn was a regular on the Daily TV Mass and always providing riveting homilies. He provided me with the phone number for the “Chief Pooh-Bah” (as he eloquently put it) and encouraged me to contact him.

I remember making the call to Mike Walsh in July and speaking with him about the possibility of canting at the TV mass. As luck would have it, they were changing the time of the recordings and were looking for some new cantors as the new schedule conflicted with some of their singers. To make a long story short, I was asked to audition for one of the masses at the end of August/2020 and made my official Daily TV Mass debut on September 16, 2020. Since then I have been recording approximately 6 masses a month and have had the privilege of meeting some amazing musicians and thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Daily TV Mass production.

It’s amazing to see what can happen when we decide to take action on something that we really want. For over 20 years, I always wondered what it would be like to be part of the Daily TV Mass production. I am proud to say I’ve taken the proper action to answer my own question.

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your incredible voice on The Daily TV Mass. I look forward to the days when you lead us in song. We are Blessed to have you and several of the other talented singers to lead us. Mike from NJ

  2. Jonathan

    Your have an awesome vouce!
    My husband and I watch The Daily TV Mass every single morning. Never miss a day!
    We are so blessed to hear your beautiful voice.
    Wish we had first names of the others so we could place a name with the face!
    But now we know who YOU are, so we can say, it’s Jonathan! Ha!
    Thanks to you and all the cantors for your love and devotion to the Lord.
    Jane from Missouri

  3. Jonathan, I listen to you over and over again.
    I remember the first time I heard you I was left in Awe.
    The first Christmas of Covid you were the lead Cantor.
    I asked who you were and thought you should be at No 1
    You are truly blessed with a voice like yours.

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