Laurence Rosania at Saint John the Baptist.

About the Directors

Laurence Rosania, director of music and liturgy, is a conductor, pianist, organist, teacher, and composer whose music is sung throughout the world and appears in Breaking Bread, Glory and Praise, Unidos in Cristo, JourneySongs, and many other hymnals. He has performed and recorded widely throughout the country, and has been music director at St. Paul the Apostle (mother church of the Paulists) and the Jesuit Church of St. Francis Xavier. Laurence holds a BA from Yale University and an MA in Religion from Fordham University, and originally came to New York to work with Dorothy Day at the Catholic Worker.

Thomas DeFrancesco, associate director of music, is a New York City-based music director, arranger, and pianist, who has performed in several Broadway, Off-Broadway, and local projects. He has enjoyed working with and arranging music for the cast of Sesame Street and their annual outreach program with Project Sunshine. Thomas holds a BA from Wagner College and serves on the music staff at The Third Street Music School Settlement.

About the Cantors

Robert Gordon-Brown

Jerrod Sanders, a native of North Carolina, received a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and did graduate studies in Music Therapy at New York University. He has sung Bach’s Hekules auf dem Scheideweg and the Koffee Kantate at Teatro Communale in Florence, Italy; the Mozart Requiem at the Iglesia de la Conception in Marbella, Spain; and Bach’s Magnificat in D at Parroquia de Santa Cruz in Madrid. He has toured nationally and internationally in the opera Porgy and Bess with the Houston Grand Opera and Living Arts-New York. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Porgy and Bess in the role of Mingo.

Joe Simmons is a nationally recognized leader in the cantor ministry as a clinician, convention speaker, and author. In addition to his ministry at Holy Cross-Saint John the Baptist, he serves as director of music and cantor for The Sunday Mass, a national broadcast of the Passionist Community on Freeform TV (formerly ABC Family) and In 2008, he was honored to serve as psalmist for the papal Mass in Yankee Stadium during Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to the United States. His recordings of inspirational music, Sudden Waves and Singing Out, are widely used in healing ministries. Website:

Kathryn Zimmer, soprano, is music director for the contemporary music Mass at Saint John the Baptist (Sunday, 5:15 p.m.). A native of rural Nebraska, Kathryn holds a Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a BFA in Music Performance from the University of Nebraska. A versatile performer, she lends classical music in performing and organizing the annual concert to benefit the parish food pantries, as well as folk and popular music in recording and performing live with her band.  She has released five collections of her own compositions in this folk/pop style, which can be found on her website.


Holy Cross

Holy Cross Church houses an Aeolian-Skinner organ, which is located in the rear gallery in the choir loft. Installed in 1933 and completed in 1941 with the addition of a set of chimes, it replaced an organ built in 1882 by J.H. & C.S. Odell. The earliest organ, with one manual and two octaves, which had been built by Hall and Labagh in 1854, was destroyed in the fire of 1867.


More information to come soon.