Deacon Robert Kinghorn, above left, speaks with Jonathan Michael in Episode 4 of The Sacred Project. This episode discusses Kinghorn’s “Church on The Street” ministry. Photo courtesy Jonathon Michael

Sacred music passion fuels TV series

  • March 27, 2024

A new television program airing March 30 looks to combine sacred music performances with riveting discussions from local ministers of the Catholic Church.

The show is known as The Sacred Project, a title shared with producer Jonathan Michael’s latest and first worship album. A graduate of Toronto’s St. Michael’s Choir School, Michael is looking to utilize his many years as a cantor to create a series that’s as melodious as it is thought-provoking. 

The inspiration for The Sacred Project was born through Michael’s passion for recording music. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and after reflecting on a vocal career that spans more than four decades, including singing at parishes such as St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Patrick’s and St. Edward the Confessor, Michael decided it was time to get back in the studio and record new music. 

“I had recorded albums in the past but I’d never done a sacred album and I was very interested in doing that shortly after COVID,” Michael said. “I reached out to some musicians, we got some renditions done of some of my favourite songs that I enjoyed over the years and we ended up having a rehearsal at St. Rose of Lima Parish in April of 2023.” 

He recalls a question asked of him at this rehearsal in the Scarborough parish from a woman who happened to come into the church to pray. He sees it as the launching point behind the upcoming television series. 

“How else do you plan to utilize your voice to connect with others?” the woman inquired.

“That statement really resonated with me and I was ruminating over that comment for quite some time,” Michael said, looking back. “Then it dawned on me that I could leverage my voice and music to create a platform where I could give many of the wonderful ministers that I’d worked alongside for a number of years an opportunity to either tell their backstory and speak about topics that are central to the Roman Catholic faith.” 

Despite being a rookie in the field of television production, Michael and his team were able to line up interviews with various ministers across the GTA and begin shooting in the middle of October 2023. A month and a half later, filming wrapped and the five-part television series was steadily taking shape. 

The show remains true to Michael’s goal of producing a series that explores various churches and their ministers with his musical renditions of sacred classics such as “Be Thou My Vision” and “You Are Mine” among others interwoven through each episode.

The unique approach creates a nonstop feeling of emotional connection, whether from dialogue or music. 

“The messages that the ministers were giving are very powerful and meaningful, and in my years of service as a cantor, I’ve heard people also talk about being very moved by music,” Michael said. “I figured, let me give an opportunity to hopefully move people with music and move people with each minister’s story.” 

The first season will consist of five half-hour episodes, each featuring an exclusive interview with a minister, many of whom appear regularly on the Daily TV Mass (of which Michael is also a cantor).

Musically, Michael promises an array of exciting renditions of sacred classics to accompany each episode.

“This isn’t anything that has been out there or done before in terms of replicating the music. A lot of these arrangements have been specifically written for the piano score, so I think that the music is second to none. A lot of gifted musicians were involved with the recording and I’m very proud of the recording. I think that people will really enjoy the music when they hear it,” Michael said. 

Episode one will feature Msgr. Patrick O’Dea of St. Edward the Confessor Parish and will delve into his vocation to the priesthood, the importance of musical ministry and how the Church responded during the pandemic. 

Michael is joined in episode two by Fr. Michael Coutts, a Jesuit, where they will explore how people are able to keep their faith during times of bereavement and tragic loss. Episode three will see Deacon Mike Walsh speak about the Daily TV Mass as it celebrates its 25th anniversary, and episode four will highlight Register columnist Deacon Robert Kinghorn and his Church on The Street ministry as well as his latest book. 

The series wraps with an appearance from Fr. Henk Van Meijel, who will speak to the importance of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Bonus content from the series’ shooting is also expected to make an appearance.

“Because some interviews range anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and 15, there was such amazing content and I was really upset that I had to omit some of it. I’m going to put the actual half-hour episodes and the unedited episodes up on my website after they air so people can catch the full unedited interviews with the ministers as well,” Michael said. 

The Sacred Project debuts on Yes TV March 30 and runs for five consecutive weeks. 

“I can’t wait for people to experience it,” Michael said.

“I think the combination of the music and the interviews will leave a lot of people inspired, moved and hopefully wanting to see more.” 

For information, see or Donations to offset the series’ costs can be made to

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