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Category: Omer Westendorf (1916 – 1997)
Omer Westendorf (1916 – 1997) was a Roman Catholic hymnist and publisher born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He started publishing music after World War II, when he brought home for his parish choir some of the Mass settings he had discovered in Holland during the war.
He founded the World Library of Sacred Music, importing music from Europe to USA. Later, as World Library Publications, the company began publishing some of its own music, including new works with English texts by some of those same Dutch composers, for example, Jan Vermulst. In 1955 he published the first edition of The Peoples Hymnal, which morphed into the Peoples Mass Book in 1964. This was one of the first hymnals to reflect the liturgical reforms proposed by Vatican II.
Omer wrote a number of compositions for liturgical use and is best-known for Where Charity and Love Prevail, Sent Forth by God’s Blessing, and Gift of Finest Wheat.