An interview with John Limb, publisher of OCP for 25 years.

Who is OCP? 

We are a 100-year-old non-profit whose mission is to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all; to provide financial support for the Archdiocese of Portland and the Diocese of Baker in Oregon, as well as many Catholic churches and communities around the country through our Parish Grants program; and to support Catholic music and liturgy through our Diocesan Sponsorship program.

Today, OCP administers more than 20,000 music copyrights and employs almost 160 people.  OCP also publishes the Catholic Sentinel and El Centinela, diocesan newspapers for the Archdiocese of Portland and important evangelization tools for Archbishop Alexander Sample.

The best of OCP’s work, of course, is reflected in our people—the inspired and talented composers and text writers who create the music, our passionate and committed staff, and our loyal customers who trust us to help guide their music choices.

Who does OCP serve?

We serve God’s people by providing music to liturgical worshipers all over the world. In my 25 years at OCP, we have been honored to expand our repertoire to include music from the St. Louis Jesuits and St. Thomas More Group. We have reached out to younger generations through Spirit & Song, the contemporary division of OCP, and we have integrated the traditions of our Hispanic, Vietnamese, and Filipino brothers and sisters.

As publisher, I am humbled that two-thirds of Catholic churches in the United States choose our worship resources, as well as many churches worldwide. That motivates our continual evolution to serve liturgical worshipers of today and tomorrow. Many of our artists record their music right here in Portland, at our recording studio.

Why did OCP decide to merge LicenSing Online with 

A key part of OCP’s mission is understanding the challenges of today’s music ministers and addressing those challenges. One of the struggles was that many of our customers had to purchase two separate licenses to gain access to reproduce the music they needed to enrich their liturgies and other church and community celebrations. By merging LicenSing Online with, we have made it easier for our valued customers to find all the music they need in one place and to report their usage of our music and the music of the other member publishers in one place.

Merging LicenSing Online and was good for the Church and good for our customers!

What styles of music can our license holders look forward to from OCP?

Customers will enjoy a wide variety of music styles. The diversity of OCP’s repertoire reflects the diverse population of today’s Catholic-Christian worshipers. Our copyrights include everything from Gregorian chant-style antiphons to contemporary hymns, like Dan Schutte’s “Here I Am, Lord.” Our Mass settings are all available including Mass of Christ the Savior by Dan Schutte, Mass of Renewal by Curtis Stephan, and Mass of Glory by Bob Hurd and Ken Canedo.

Music ministers will have access to the full breadth of OCP’s music for contemporary liturgies from Spirit & Song artists like Jesse Manibusan and Steve Angrisano. People who minister to Hispanic communities will have expanded access to Spanish and bilingual music from artists like Jaime Cortez and Bob Hurd. Customers seeking music for their Vietnamese communities will have access to music that has been adapted for multilingual services.

Is all of OCP’s music available to be licensed on the new ONE LICENSE? 

Yes, the all new ONE LICENSE provides reproduction, practice track, and podcast/streaming access to all of OCP’s more than 20,000 music copyrights. Customers can find downloadable congregational versions and recordings for many OCP titles on ONE LICENSE, or they can simply reproduce the congregational version from a printed OCP missal or hymnal.

OCP is committed to continually adding new music to ONE LICENSE as it becomes available. Our goal is to continue to serve the people of God by providing music that enriches their lives.

Looking forward to the upcoming liturgical year, are there any must-have titles to have on our work lists?

Jesus to Jordan’s Waters Came 

This song’s text, by Michael Joncas, gives new life to Brother James’ Air, a setting of Psalm 23.

O God, You Search Me 

This song by British Catholic hymn writer Bernadette Farrell has gained popularity among Christians of a variety of denominations.

O How Blessed 

Based on Matthew 5:3–12, this piece by Dan Schutte is a musical setting of the Beatitudes.

There Is a Longing 

By gifted British composer Anne Quigley, this piece has become a favorite of many liturgical musicians and their congregations.

In Every Age 

Based on Psalm 90, this song by Janèt Sullivan-Whitaker opens with the beautiful verse, “Long before the mountains came to be / and the land and sea and stars of the night / through the endless seasons of all time / you have always been, you will always be.”

Because the Lord Is My Shepherd

Based on Psalm 23, this song by Christopher Walker was one of his first to be published in the U.S. Try this popular song for the Communion processional.

Lent and Holy Week are coming up. Do you have any song suggestions from the OCP repertoire? 

Yes, our staff has curated a list of our new and top songs for Lent and Holy Week, which we invite you to explore at

More information about OCP is available at 1-800-LITURGY (548-8749) and Find OCP on Facebook at OCPMusic and OCPMusica.

Photo copyright: Stokpic.  This image is available for download at