I want to share with you some of the best music I have come across in this Year of Faith. Amazing are the variety of styles, instruments, cultures, and spirituality that makes up music of our Catholic Faith.
Here are some of the best Catholic music videos:
Music in Liturgy – Office of Black Catholics – Archdiocese of Washington
Robert E. Person – Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Jazz Gospel)
Gradual and Alleluia, (Gregorian Chant)
Nyanyukeni Wakristu – (Kenyan Catholic Music)
AVE MARIA -Placido Domingo & Michael Bolton – Nana Mouskouri
Lord I Need You – Matt Maher at World Youth Day – Rio 2013
Hillsong – Mighty to Save – With Subtitles/Lyrics
Prayer of St. Francis being sung by Sarah McLachlan
I Shall Not Want, from Fortunate Fall, 2013 (Audrey Assad)
The Youth Apostles Institute is a vibrant and growing ministry serving the Diocese of Arlington and Richmond in Virginia. Youth Apostles is a non-profit organization officially approved by the Catholic Church as a mixed Public Association of Christ’s Faithful. Youth Apostles are priests and laymen who work with other volunteers to inspire young people to live a Christ-centered life. They are currently serving in many parishes and college campuses across Virginia.
Youth Apostles Mission Statement:
The Youth Apostles Institute is committed to evangelize, teach, advise, challenge, console, and love the young with the ultimate purpose of inspiring them to live a Christ-like life centered on prayer and the Sacraments in the Catholic Church.
Youth Apostles Institute was founded by Dr. Eduardo Azcarate in 1979 after working with young people for many years at his parish, St. Anthony of Padua in Falls Church, Virginia. Dr. Azcarate started a new program at the parish based on his own Jesuit approach to teen formation, called Catholic Life Community (CLC), which developed into Youth Apostles.
I recently joined the Youth Apostles on their annual retreat in Duck, North Carolina on the Outer Banks. It is a wonderful experience to have daily Mass and prayer with this inspiring community of priests, young people, and their families. I was very proud that my godson, Matthew Clem, became a candidate of YA during this retreat. I had the opportunity to talk with their current director, Fr. Jack Peterson, YA, who joined as a young man and inspired by the same retreats–answered the call to become a Youth Apostle priest.
Youth Apostles: Dr. Eduardo Azcarate (Founder), Matthew Clem, Dr. Joseph Clem, Fr. Jack Peterson (Director)
Fr. Jack explained the inspiration for Youth Apostles comes from the three patron saints who were chosen by the early community: St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. John Bosco. As men who aspire both to cultivate their own interior life and to put the fruits of this prayer into action, the community’s founders looked to examples who could help us form our heads, hearts, and hands for the work. St. Ignatius was very scholarly and represents the HEAD of Youth Apostles in its work for teaching the faith. St. Francis was chosen for his love of the Eucharist and community, and represent the HEART through his work for the poor and rebuilding the church community. St. John Bosco represents the HANDS of the community through his inspiring work with youth. Fr. Jack sees a great need for serving young people and offering ministry drawing youth to a life centered on a loving community in Christ.
Fr. Jack is currently very concerned about the issue of the widespread use of pornography and negative effects on youth. He has taken this concern to help in ministering at Youth Apostles in education, catechesis, and the sacrament of reconciliation. I have included some useful links below on this subject.
The Youth Apostles Institute is a 501c3 Non-Profit ministry now serving in many parishes in youth ministry and campus communities. Fr. Jack hopes that Youth Apostles will grow to more diocese in the near future and asks for your support. Please help Youth Apostles with your prayers, time, and treasure. Youth Apostles are now serving the following college communities:
Today marked the completion of six new Habitat for Humanity Homes in a wonderful rebuilt neighborhood called Sunrise Park. This Habitat Humanity project is unique, as it is the first entire trailer park replaced in America with affordable housing for its residents. My parish, Church of the Incarnation, helped contribute $60,000 and provided over 1,000 hours of labor toward construction of one new duplex home serving two families. With the help of other faith communities and business partners, this neighborhood has been transformed into a lovely place to call home for many families who provided their own sweat-equity and investments in making this a reality. This has been so successful Habitat for Humanity is now using this model to replace a larger 100 acre trailer park called Southwood.
Sunrise Trailer Court, Charlottesville Virginia (before Habitat for Humanity project)
Sunrise Trailer Court used to be a neighborhood of 16 trailers, and its residents agreed to work with Habitat for Humanity to offer them affordable housing in a co-housing neighborhood model offering apartments, duplex homes, community center and market rate homes. Local architects offered plans that provided, affordable, durable, green, and beautiful buildings for the site. The residents were not displaced during construction, but were offered the new apartments built on-site, while their homes were constructed.
The families who moved into new homes today gave heartfelt thanks to Habitat for Humanity and all the community members who make it happen. Rachel Mayo is a new homeowner from the new house our parish built, and wrote for today’s dedication:
Rachel Mayo (new homeowner)
“I would like to thank the people from Habitat who made this dream possible for me and my family. There are no words to express to you how grateful I am. I always wanted to own my home and never thought it was possible until people at Habitat gave me hope. Thank you all for everything that made this happen.” Rachel Mayo
Mayo & Fuentes Families Homes (New duplex home built by Habitat for Humanity)
New community center, offering important gathering point for neighborhood residents.
“Our Catholic tradition, eloquently expressed by Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI, insists that shelter is one of the basic rights of the human person. The Second Vatican Council has said with great directness: ‘There must be made available to all men everything necessary for leading a life truly human, such as food, clothing, and shelter…” ["The Right to a Decent Home," USCCB, 1975]
Parishioners from Church of the Incarnation after workday this past April
Please consider volunteering or contributing to Habitat for Humanity to help in this worthy cause to bring affordable housing to those in need in your community. There are more links at the bottom of this blog for contacts with Habitat for Humanity in your community.
Steel sculpture of Habitat for Humanity “Family” Logo, made from old trailer’s I-Beams at Sunrise Park
THE HABITAT STORE
Another great community asset is the Habitat Store here in Charlottesville. It offers new & used building supplies at 25-75% off retail prices. Many local contractors recycle their building supplies here and assist others with affordable housing. Volunteers help run this store which offers many great products to anyone interested.
The Habitat Store
SPONSORS for Sunrise Park with Habitat for Humanity
I was very happy to visit my Uncle George for his 84th Birthday at Notre Dame this past week. Our family is very proud of his ministry as a Holy Cross priest serving in Bangladesh for 56 years. Uncle George served the people faithfully until this year, when his health has forced him into retirement at Holy Cross House at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
Uncle George began missionary work in East Pakistan and in 1964 survived the stabbing of a bayonet from a soldier, during a time of warfare that established Bangladesh as a separate nation. Uncle George served in many capacities as a priest, but saw the need for better health care in this very poor country. He was honored to know Mother Teresa who inspired his work in Bangladesh. Uncle George began a new apostolate starting a sick shelter and offering pastoral care of the sick in hospitals. This became known as the Nevin Clinic. His other great contribution was the spiritual direction for seminarians and his chaplaincy for Sisters. Uncle George loves Bangladesh and served there until this year when his health no longer allowed him to continue. During our stay we had a surprise visit from four Holy Cross Sisters from Bangladesh who were at an international conference at Notre Dame. George remembered them fondly, and they had great admiration for him.
Fr. George Pope and Holy Cross Sisters from Bangladesh
My brother Mike Clem wrote a song honoring our Uncle George and his wonderful work serving the poor in Bangladesh. It is called From Dacca, and is performed by his folk music group Eddie From Ohio and a sample can be found with this Amazon link.
Holy Cross House
HOLY CROSS HOUSE
Holy Cross House is a wonderful retirement community on the campus of Notre Dame University serving the retired priests and bothers with nursing care and spiritual supports. They have a very caring staff which offers health care and assistance to the priests and brothers 24 hours a day. There is an on-site chapel for daily Mass and prayers that even has closed-circuit television to their individual rooms if they are unable to attend. They have a very well equipped physical therapy department with a hydro-therapy pool and staff that attend to all their health care needs.
It was a true honor to meet so many great priests and brothers this week, and have much admiration for the work they have done in service to the Church. I wish that all religious could get these same supports, and urge you to pray, visit, and support your retired religious in your community.
Mass at Holy Cross House
Fr. Ted Hesburgh enjoying view of St. Joseph Lake from Holy Cross House at age 96.
The second annual Fortnight for Freedom concluded this July 4th to an enthusiastic and patriotic group of faithful gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. I was privileged to attend this special Mass with my parents, and my cousin, Monsignor Charles Pope, con-celebrating with 130 priests and bishops from around the nation.
Cardinal Wuerl of the Archdiocese was the celebrant, and offered a wonderful homily that addressed religious freedom from a historical, theological, and present day perspective of threats to religious liberty. Catholics from all around the nation have been active in prayer and activities for religious freedom across the nation for the past two weeks. Archbishop Lori of Baltimore also gave some excellent concluding remarks and encouraging all to be active year-round to be prayerful and active in public life for religious liberty. The Mass concluded with everyone singing enthusiastically America the Beautiful.
July 4th Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Video: A candlelight vigil at the US Capitol began the Fortnight for Freedom:
Many Catholics from across America signing and playing guitars and drums after the July 4th Mass
Video: Archbishop Michael O. Jackels on restoring America’s Forgotten Values (Catholic News Service)
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
One Million Bones art exhibit on National Mall June 8-10, 2013
ONE MILLION BONES
I was witness to an amazing piece of artwork and political statement addressing genocide on Washington, D.C.’s National Mall this past weekend. Seeing the huge pile of shoes at the U.S. Holocaust Museum a few blocks away, was one of the most moving things I have seen about genocide until this weekend. Seeing one million bones laid out helps put into perspective the horrors and loss of genocide. Naomi Natale is the artist who started this project, and she can be seen in this TED-Global video about her inspiration and creativity in making this project come to reality:
One Million Bones, a project of the Art of Revolution, was developed over three years and started with 50,000 bones being made and laid out in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The project grew and went to other cities like New Orleans and growing to a national campaign to culminate the work of many people. These hand-made bones were made by people from all 50 states and from over 30 countries by people affected by genocide. It also raises awareness of the ongoing genocide and mass atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Burma, and Somalia. Congratulations to Naomi and the Art of Revolution for reaching their goal and shining light on this important issue.
Cellist playing beautiful and haunting music at the One Million Bones exhibit
THE LABRYINTH : The Testimony of Marian Kolodziej
Seeing these bones on the National Mall also brought to mind a DVD that I watched recently and highly recommend called The Labyrinth (2011). It is a powerful documentary about a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp. His artwork drawings are a haunting and detailed remembrance of the horrors of the camp. Marian also honors Maximilian Maria Kolbe, a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar he knew briefly in the camp and is represented in his artwork.
History of Saint Maximillian Kolbe (martyr): On July 31, 1941, in reprisal for one prisoner’s escape, ten men were chosen to die. Father Kolbe offered himself in place of a young husband and father. And he was the last to die, enduring two weeks of starvation, thirst, and neglect. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1982. (Catholic Online)
Marian Kolodziej was on one of the first transports to enter Auschwitz. He was given number 432. He survived and never spoke of his experience for 50 years. After a serious stroke in 1993, he began rehabilitation by doing pen and ink drawings depicting the experiences he and others endured in the concentration camp. These drawings, in their skeletal detail, are a gripping depiction of the pain, death, and horrors of the camp. While most of the drawings represent the memories of a young man’s hellish experiences in Auschwitz, some tell stories of small acts of kindness and dignity.
Marian’s story of survival, of persistence, of life before, during, and after Auschwitz are a testament to the human spirit. Marian’s drawings and art installations, which he called The Labyrinth, fill the large basement of a church near Auschwitz and draw visitors into the horrific reality of the holocaust.
“This is not an exhibition, nor art. These are not pictures. These are words locked in drawings…I propose a journey by way of this labyrinth marked by the experience of the fabric of death…It is a rendering of honor to all those who have vanished in ashes.”
The Nuns on the Bus stopped by Charlottesville in helping to promote the need for fair and just immigration reform in America. Charlottesville Mayor Sandrana Huja, himself an immigrant from India, greeted the nuns and spoke of his support for their cause of needed immigration reform. The nuns were greeted with a diverse and enthusiastic group of people from Central Virginia.
Mayor Satyendra Huja welcoming Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, and the Nuns on the Bus to the City of Charlottesville
Crowd supporting and welcoming the Nuns on the Bus to Charlottesville
Sister Simone Campbell was joined by other nuns from around the country and various religious orders to join Network: A National Catholic Justice Lobby, to lobby for fair and needed immigration reform. She was excited to report that she had just met with President Obama who supports immigration reform and he said that it is a bi-partisan issue and this is the year to get a bill passed. The reforms that Network lobby are supporting are immigration reform that include the following items:
ensures family unity
protects the rights of immigrant workers
speeds up process of already-approved immigrants
acknowledges our borders are already secure, with only minor changes needed
enhances the present diversity visa program
provides a clear, direct path to citizenship.
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of Network
President Obama meeting with Sister Simone Campbell in the Oval Office on May 30, 2013.
A fellow parishioner, Fanny, from Church of the Incarnation, came and gave powerful testimony at a meeting with representatives of Congressman Robert Hurt’s office in Albemarle County. She said that she is heartbroken due to her son being deported this past February. Fanny said her son is a law-abiding and hard-working person who contributed to the New Jersey community for over 20 years, but was deported to Ecuador and not given option for appeal. She lobbied for fair immigration reform that does not separate families and offers a path to citizenship.
Fanny & Nuns on the Bus speaking to representative of Congressman Robert Hurt’s office
Toan Nguyen (Cville Coffee owner) speaks in support for immigration reform and talks about his experience immigrating from Vietnam
Nuns on the Bus – The Movie
Melissa Regan is an award-winning documentary film maker, and she is following and recording the nuns on their journey. She is currently working on fundraising through her website and about to release a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to help complete the support needed to make this movie. You can follow the Nuns on the Bus on their website and though their social networks–check links below.
Filming for Nuns on the Bus — The Movie
NETWORK’s Nuns on the Bus are back on the road driving for faith, family, and citizenship — traveling across the United States — 6,500 miles over 15 states — 53 events in 40 cities — standing with immigrants, faith-filled activists, and Catholic Sisters who serve immigrant communities.
Video from Catholic New Service:
The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, marks 25 years of service to supporting immigrants, and are anticipating a lot of work ahead with reforms:
The Sycamore Tree is a new Christian book and gift shop located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Sycamore Tree is a wonderful family-run business founded by Richard and Maria Nootbaar, who are friends from my parish at Church of the Incarnation. They have started a store that stocks ecumenical Christian books and gifts, Crane & Co. Stationery, and are providing a homeschooling consignment shop.
Richard and Maria saw the need to open a store in Central Virginia that offered a wide variety of Christian books and gifts. The store offers both new and used books, and they can order any book on the market through their network suppliers. Richard & Maria come from teaching backgrounds, and Maria is also a homeschooling mother, and they both saw the need for homeschooling supplies and resources. If you are involved or thinking about homeschooling, they are a super resource for books, supplies, and know the supportive network of families and collaborative activities available in the area.
Fr. Gregory Kandt offering blessing to The Sycamore Tree
The Sycamore Tree is the exclusive distributor in the area for Crane & Co. stationery. Crane offers the finest stationery, wedding and business invitations on the market, and they are known for providing the paper for our American currency.
Please support the Sycamore Tree, and all Christian bookstores–they deserve our business and prayers. You can keep up with news from the store at their Facebook page with link below.
The Sycamore Tree
2246 Ivy Road, Suite 8, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Today is the second anniversary of this blog. Thanks to all the readers and contributors that have helped this blog grow in popularity. Last year we marked 14,441 unique readers of our blog, and that has now grown to 44,415 unique readers of Call To Holiness–Wahoo!
It has been a blessing to write about the many events, people, and places involving the Catholic Faith. I really appreciate the feedback from the readers, and am always open to your thoughts and ideas to make this blog better.
Since today is the Feast of St. Damien of Molokai, I want to repost the link from my visit to Hawaii 2 years ago and seeing his relics in Honolulu: Call To Holiness with Hawaii’s Saints
There is a now a new documentary about Fr. Damien that has been winning at film festivals:
The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles are about to release their second album entitled Angels and Saints at Ephesus. The sisters have put their beautiful harmonies to record songs inspired by their favorite saints and angels. Their first album, Advent at Ephesus, was a great success topping the classical charts. The sisters use their talents in music and making vestments and altar linens to support their ministry. I encourage you to watch the great promo video about the sisters and their work on this project and the work and prayers of their priory.
I had the pleasure to interview Monica Fitzgibbons of De Montfort Music who worked in production with the sisters on their musical projects:
1) Have the sisters seen an increase in numbers joining their order since the release of Advent at Ephesus?
Good question! I have never asked them this question. But I would imagine in God’s time it may be too soon to tell. I do know that their community has steadily been growing in the past year (they just had 2 novices make their First Profession!!) So there is this sense of steady growth.
2) Have they raised the money needed for priory? Is there a fundraising goal? Other needs of the sisters?
Through their music, they have been able to begin to raise the money for their debt. Because they have the wonderful problem of being a growing community there is still debt, plus there is then the need to complete their monastery building project, which has been the long range goal for this music- on the practical order, in addition of course to uplifting souls with their music! In short, progress has been made and always the Sisters are so grateful for the generosity of people who have supported them through purchasing the music.
3) Do the sisters plan to make more music? Plans going forward for sisters–are they planning more business for vestment production, or for music production or both?
The Sisters are always singing! So when we go in to record them it is not like a typical classical choral recording. With the Sisters, we can describe the releasing of their music as a documenting of what is already transpiring. For example, with this new CD Angels and Saints at Ephesus, these are more or less Hymns, Chants, Polyphony etc. that the Sisters themselves will sing to during Vespers or at some point during the day to honor the feast day of that saint, or to honor the angels. So when the time seems right and the Sisters have the inclination towards a certain theme, then Mother Cecilia will let us know and our job is to handle all of the logistics to enlist the highest level of recording technology and producers in order to match the quality of their singing. In short: I would not be surprised if the Sisters are already thinking of their next at Ephesus release!
4) What were the reasons for saints chosen for this CD?
In sort of continuing on with the answer to #3, these were some of their favorite hymns that they were singing. Te Joseph Celebrant is a brilliant song and they will sing that at Vespers on the feast of St. Joseph or of St. Joseph the Worker. With regards to “A Rose Unpetalled” which is in honor of St. Therese. For this track, the Sisters took the lyrics from prose written by St. Therese herself, and then the Sisters set it to music that they composed. This track has been a long-time favorite of their community, and St. Therese has been the one whom they petitioned to help them alleviate their debt. She has been a wonderful intercessor as have all of the saints. I am certain we could do and “Angels and Saints at Ephesus 2″ with all of the love and honor flowing from The Benedictines of Mary for the Saints!
5) Are the Benedictine Sisters under a bishop in America, or do they follow Benedictine order from leadership in Rome?
They are a diocesan community under Bishop Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Thanks to Monica for answering my questions, and I encourage you to purchase this great music and support the sisters in helping to build their beautiful community. Check link below for Amazon for purchase–available May 7th.
The full track list for the album:
1. Dear Angel Ever At My Side
2. Ave Regina Cælorum
3. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
4. Christe Sanctorum
5. Duo Seraphim
6. Virgin Wholly Marvellous
7. Est Secretum
8. Lorica of St. Patrick
9. O Deus Ego Amo Te
10. Emicat Meridies
11. O God of Loveliness
12. Læta Quies
13. A Rose Unpetalled
14. Jesu Dulcis Memoria
15.Te Joseph Celebrent
16. Jesu Corona Virginum
17. Veritas Mea