The Southern Cross The Southern Cross

Read the latest edition. Latest edition

Song hitting the right note


A catchy tune with a powerful message has proven the perfect formula for a new song that reflects the Catholic Church’s current focus on ‘journeying together’ at a local and global level.

Comments Print article

The first performance of Together on the Way at the recent Diocesan Assembly received rave reviews, so much so that the band is now gearing up to record the song in a studio early next year.

Pastoral Life and Mission assistant director and talented musician, Peter Bierer, wrote the song with the help from his wife Lauren, who “cleaned it up” at the end of the process. Lauren, a pianist and vocalist who also works at the Archdiocesan Office, brought together musicians from around the Archdiocese and performed the song three times during the Assembly held at Nazareth Catholic Community.

“We had really incredible feedback about all the music at the Assembly,” Peter said.

“People were really excited by Together on the Way. The musicians – a mix of teachers, Diocesan workers and young people – were phenomenal and their execution and performance was excellent.

“The trick with music-leading in the church is for it not to be a performance but a leadership of ministry. This group of musicians were in the right mindset, they had the right understanding of music as ministry and it not being a stage performance.

“To hear people singing the song was amazing…when you’re a composer of liturgical music or worship music and you hear someone else singing your songs it is an indescribable feeling. It’s like letting go but seeing a coming to life of what this music was meant for.”

Peter said the words for the song were inspired by not just the Assembly, but the Plenary Council and International Synod and this “whole movement of where we are journeying, how are we getting there and what’s our work together as the body of Christ, people of God”.

“What a song does is that it unifies a community around a theme, around an idea, and my hope when I wrote it was that people could take it home and use it to keep the message of the Assembly and this whole synodal journey alive, to keep it in front of us. If it’s an earworm tune, it plays around in your head,” he said.

It is hoped studio space will be secured early next year and the group will then record two versions of the song. One will be a backing track so congregations without musicians can use it to sing along with, and the other will be the complete four-minute version performed at the Assembly. Both will be available to download on the Archdiocesan website and streaming services such as Spotify. The sheet music for Together on the Way is already available to download at

Peter, who also created a musical version of the prayer for the Assembly, said he has written “too many songs to count” over the years, including the 2008 album, All Creation Groans. He and Lauren both trained in music at university and have played in several different bands and music groups. Together they write songs and perform under the name Secret Hill.

The musicians joining Peter and Lauren for the Diocesan Assembly were: Joseva Saukuru, Aloisio Saukuru and Sisilina Saukuru (Noarlunga parish and Cardijn College graduates who were also youth delegates at the Assembly); Jackie Wilde (teacher, Cabra Dominican College); Valeska Laity (director of Mission, Cabra Dominican College); Ben Ryan (APRIM, St Martin de Porres School); Elise O’Neill (Brighton parish); Julian Nguyen (coordinator of COYYA) and James Meston (ArchD, COYYA).


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More Local stories

Loading next article