This web site is a memorial to those individuals who were passionate about the reform of the
Roman Catholic liturgy as set forth in Sacrosanctum Concilium (the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy)
and who now, in eternal life, worship the God whom they served in this life.

Eleazar Cortés

Eleazar Cortés

Eleazar Cortés was one of the elder statesmen of Spanish-language liturgical music in the US, with a rich legacy of beautiful music and years of service to the Church.

Eleazar was born in Michoacán, Mexico and lived in New Mexico. He studied philosophy and theology at the Interdiocesan Seminary of Montezuma and would later complete his theory and composition studies at the Cabrillo University in Aptos, California. Being immersed in regions where English speakers lived and practiced their faith with families of Hispanic origin, Eleazar treasured Latin American traditions. Through his compositions, Eleazar highlighted cultural elements that transcended physical boundaries.

For several years Eleazar was a music teacher at Don Bosco Catholic School and director of music at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Watsonville, California. He also worked as a teacher in Salinas and Watsonville and at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was director of music at the historic Old Mission in San Juan Bautista, California, for some time.

Eleazar composed several collections of liturgical music for Oregon Catholic Press and for World Library Publications, each with a variety of songs that are sung by various generations of Catholics in Mexico, the U.S. and the rest of the American continent. The Liturgical Assembly benefited from Eleazar’s gift of capturing and expressing intimate feelings of faith and love in moments of happiness or sadness.

Eleazar's versatility and creativity is matched only by his readiness and eagerness to collaborate with both Spanish and English-speaking musicians. His songs and compositions spread his devotion and are witnesses of his faith. Many have also inspired musical performances, movies and television series. Orchestras, as well as mariachi and folk music groups, enjoyed playing his compositions for decades and thus, pay homage to Eleazar, keeping his legacy alive.

Through his songs, Eleazar gave a glimpse of the life and spirit of most Mexicans by reflecting on the beauty and authenticity of a specific region or tradition and highlighting the nation's unique musical instruments or rhythms that characterize the nation’s joy and richness.

We give thanks to Eleazar for the music that shaped and guided the liturgical expression of the Hispanic community and for not only being an example for musicians, but for Catholics as well, inspiring all to share their gifts and to offer comfort, faith and love to those who surround us.

Tribute from OCP Publications.