Browsing The Northern Cross

Catholic rock fest returns with Nashville priest as headliner

By Deacon Kyle Eller
The Northern Cross

Father Kevin McGoldrick

Built Upon a Rock Fest, the free outdoor Catholic rock concert, is back Sept. 14 for its third year on the grounds of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth, and there is one big difference between this year’s headliner and those of previous years — he’s a priest.

Father Kevin McGoldrick is a priest of the Archdiocese of Nashville, where he works as a chaplain for Aquinas College, in addition to using his music to engage the culture with the Gospel, with the support and encouragement of his bishop.

“He was a musician before he was a priest,” said Marie Mullen, chairperson of the festival.

In fact, he’s been a priest for 10 years and a musician for more than 30.

Mullen described his music as “very eclectic,” drawing from a number of different styles.

Father McGoldrick’s bio describes it as “a bluesy-pop style” that “has a fresh sound that incorporates his broad musical influences from John Mayer to G Love and Special Sauce.”

He has made appearances in a variety of national Catholic media outlets.

The opening act for the concert is Dana Catherine, a singer-songwriter and former youth minister from North Carolina. Mullen says Catherine has a more mainstream, pop, up-and-coming artist sound.

Dana Catherine

“She really connects a lot with teens and the younger crowd,” Mullen said, although she is quick to note that overall the festival is designed to be enjoyable for adults, trusting that if it’s good enough for the grown-ups, young people will be drawn to it too.

As in past years, thanks to a host of volunteers and sponsors, especially the Knights of Columbus, the event’s platinum sponsor, admission to the concert is free. So’s the food, where lines should move even faster than lasts year’s improvements.

Things will kick off with Mass at the Cathedral celebrated by Bishop Sirba. Confession and adoration will be available throughout the event.

In fact, this year the offerings for confession will be expanded, taking place both in the outdoor confessional near where the concert is being held and in the Cathedral itself.

One important change this year is the time, which will be earlier. This year the Mass begins at 4 p.m., and concert gates open at 5 p.m., with the whole event wrapping up at 8 p.m. No registration is necessary.

For more information on the concert and the artists, visit the website at You may also want to follow the organization on Facebook, where there are recurring Rugged Rosary giveaways in the lead-up to the concert.