University to bestow honorary degree on missionary, musicologist

May 2, 2024
Contact: Theresa Carson
(847) 412-1606 or
Father Piotr Nawrot SVD, a musicologist who specializes in Mission Baroque, will receive an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of America (CUA) on May 11.
While serving as a missionary in South America in the 1990s, Father Nawrot discovered Baroque compositions by the Moxo and Chiquito people. These manuscripts had not been seen outside their villages for more than 200 years.
Village elders revealed the music—an integral component of their culture and daily life—only after questioning Father Nawrot for hours about his faith and religion.
Since then, the priest has translated and published more than 30 volumes of music that was used by 17th and 18th-century Jesuits to introduce Catholicism to the indigenous people of Bolivia.
In 1998, he received a Guggenheim grant to study the influence of indigenous peoples in the establishment and development of Baroque music in Bolivian reductions.
Through his academic research and as director of the International Festival of Renaissance and Baroque Music in Bolivia, Father Nawrot continues to make this music known and available to audiences outside of South America.
Father Nawrot is a member of the Society of the Divine Word, the largest Catholic religious order to focus on missionary work. He earned his master’s degree in liturgical music from CUA in 1988 and a doctorate in musicology in 1993. In addition to his work in musicology, he is a theology faculty member of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland.
Father Nawrot will receive the honorary degree with Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Professor Emeritus John Finnis of the University of Oxford and the University of Notre Dame, writer Teresa Pitt Green, and actor Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus in “The Chosen.”
To interview Father Nawrot, contact Theresa Carson at (847) 412-1606 or
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