Dufner, Delores OSB

Sister Delores Dufner (b. 1939) is a member of Saint Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and is a nationally-renowned hymn writer. She holds master’s degrees in liturgical music from St. Joseph’s College, Rensselaer, Indiana, and in liturgical studies from Notre Dame, Indiana. She is currently a member of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, the National Pastoral Musicians (NPM), the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Monastic Worship Forum.

Sister Delores was a school music teacher, private piano and organ instructor and parish organist/choir director for 12 years. She served as liturgy coordinator for her religious community for six years, director of the St. Cloud Diocesan Office of Worship for 15 years and liturgical music consultant in the Diocese of Ballarat, Australia, for 15 months. Since then, she has been writing liturgical, scripture-based hymn and song texts which are found in many Christian hymnals. Her hymns have been published in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and China.

Sister Delores has received 64 commissions to write hymn lyrics for special occasions or needs, and her lyrics are the basis of over 80 choral octavos. She has five published hymn collections:

  • Sing a New Church, 48 hymns (Oregon Catholic Press, 1994)
  • The Glimmer of Glory in Song, 79 hymns (GIA Publications, 2004)
  • And Every Breath, a Song, 72 hymns (GIA Publications, 2011)
  • Criers of Splendor, 56 hymns (GIA Publications, 2016)
  • Never Silent in Your Praise, 34 hymns (GIA Publications, 2023)

She has also written lyrics for several larger works:

  • 1994: Uvacharta Bachayim/Choose Life, an opera/oratorio by Mona Lyn Reese for orchestra, choir, and soloists
  • 1997: When Music Wakes My Sleeping Heart by Joel Martinson for congregation, SATB, brass quintet, timpani, and organ
  • 2006: Dazzling As the Sun by Gwyneth Walker, pub. E. C. Schirmer for SATB choir and organ
  • 2006: Listen by Eric Ewazen for a cappella TTBB
  • 2008: Seasons of the Spirit, a cantata by David Evan Thomas, self-published for SSA trio, bells, violin, viola, cello, and organ
  • 2010: Of Beauty by Richard Robert Rossi, pub. Colla Vocefor choir and orchestra, to be performed in Carnegie Hall in summer of 2024

She has received several awards for her work:

  • 2002: Spirit and Truth Award from the Notre Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy, in recognition of significant contributions made to pastoral liturgy
  • 2005: Lawrence Heiman Citation from St. Joseph’s College, Rensselaer, Indiana, for contributions to liturgical music
  • 2013: Named a Fellow of The Hymn Society (FHS) in the United States and Canada
  • 2014: Lifetime Achievement Award from NPM, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians
  • 2017: Christus Rex award from Valparaiso University’s Institute of Liturgical Studies, for lifelong commitment to liturgical renewal