Angels and Saints at Ephesus


Angels & Saints











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


Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles website

De Montfort Music

Amazon link to Angels and Saints at Ephesus

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Catholic New Media Conference–Kansas City

Savior Pastoral Center, Kansas City, Kansas

Savior Pastoral Center, Kansas City, Kansas

I was very pleased to attend the 4th Annual Catholic New Media Conference held at the Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas.  There were religious and lay people who attended from all around America and Europe, who came together in prayer, and to learn about new media (podcasts, blogs, websites, social networks, and Apps) in today’s church.  It was amazing to finally meet many of the people with the Star Quest Production Network (SQPN) who are podcasters and bloggers who have inspired me to also start this blog.

I went to this conference for three reasons:

  1. To help me learn more about this communication medium and get some guidance from experts in this field.
  2.  Since I am an Ambassador for Word on Fire Ministry, I came to promote The Catholicism Project and Word on Fire.
  3.  To finally meet the great SQPN community and network with others in the new media field.

This conference exceeded my expectations.  First, it was faith-filled, and the focus was always on living a prayerful and faithful life to the message of Jesus.  The many people I met were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and had great ideas and strategies to help promote the Catholic Faith in this time of need using the power of the internet.

I will give a synopsis of the this two-day conference:


Mass with Father Jay Finelli & Father Roderick Vonhogen

Mass with Father Jay Finelli & Father Roderick Vonhogen

This was the first time that the CNMC was held for two-days.  The first day started with a celebration of Mass with Father Jay Finelli (iPadre podcast) from Rhode Island, and concelebrant Father Roderick Vonhogen (founder SQPN and The Break podcast) from The Netherlands.  It was also the Feast of Saint Jerome, a priest and Doctor of the Church, who is the Patron Saint of Librarians.  It seems appropriate that we have this feast day to start the CNMC that features the largest library on earth–The Internet!  The first day of the conference featured workshops from four people working the new media field around this year’s theme of the “Social Network.”

Father Roderick Vonhogen & Greg Willits

Father Roderick Vonhogen & Greg Willits

It was a real honor to finally meet the founder of SQPN, Father Roderick, who was my introduction to podcasting when I got my first iPod, which opened up a new world of Catholicism to me and strengthened my faith.  I was also very excited to meet the other podcasters that I am big fans of from the SQPN family:  Father Jay Finilli (iPadre Podcast), Dr. Paul Camarata (The SaintCast), Captain Jeff (Catholic Weekend & Secrets of Pan-Am). It was also an honor to meet Greg Willits who was an original member of SQPN, and later went on to Sirius/XM Radio to start the Catholics Next Door show that is heard in America and Canada.

Matt Warner

Matt Warner – Flocknote

Jeff Geerling - Flocknote & CNL App

Jeff Geerling – Flocknote & CNL App









The first two workshops were hosted by Matt Warner and Jeff Geerling, who both work for Flocknote.  They offered very good information about new technologies and use of the social networks effectively for community building, and evangelization.  The both emphasized its not so much about the technology, as it is about relationships and building a community through listening and responding.  Flocknote is an interesting system that a parish can subscribe to that offers a closed social network and messaging for a parish and their ministries–worth checking out.  Jeff also programmed an aggregate news reader App of many Catholic news sites called CNL App, which this blog uses also.

Lisa Hendey -

Lisa Hendey –

Pat Gohn

Pat Gohn









The second two workshops were from two of the founding women on the internet.  Lisa Hendey from who spoke about building social media in the parish community.  Lisa also has two great books, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and just published A Book of Catholic Saints for Catholic Moms.  I ask you please keep Lisa in your prayers as she is continuing drug treatments for post-breast cancer.  Pat Gohn, of Behold Communications and Among Women Podcast, gave a powerful presentation about using new media, and related the image of the gospel when Jesus asked Peter to be “fishers of men” and related that we are doing the same on today’s internet with faithful use of the power of this new medium.

We also had two other times of prayer on Friday with Father Jay Finelli who did a marvelous job leading us in Vespers and ending the evening with Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction.  I thought that it was interesting that we said the Mysteries of Light on Friday rather than the traditional Sorrowful Mysteries, maybe because this is with new media and the internet features use of light?


Bishop Christopher Coyne

Bishop Christopher Coyne

On Saturday, it was the feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux (The Little Flower), and we began Mass celebrated with Bishop Christopher Coyne (Archdiocese of Indianapolis).  Bishop Coyne gave a wonderful homily about Saint Therese saying that “The Little Way” to holiness, is a good guide for us as we take little steps on the internet that help guide others toward Christ.  Bishop Coyne is an active bishop on the internet and has his own blog and also has a Twitter feed.  It was honor for everyone to have two bishops at the CNMC.




Sister Anne Flanagan

Sister Anne Flanagan, FSP

The first speaker we had was the Nunblogger, Sister Anne Flanagan.  Sister gave a great talk about the Pauline Order and their founder, Blessed Father James Alberione (1884-1971), who was one of the first to promote the use of new media with radio, film, books, and TV, to spread the faith with new media.  There is also a fundraising campaign right now to make a film about his life–take a look at the moving film clip at the movie website.  The Pauline Sisters were there in great numbers thanks to new women just joining the apostolate and attending the CNMC with a great selection of Pauline books and media.


During our lunch break, we were treated to the premier of the first Catholic Sit-Com called Mass Confusion.  This Sit-Com will be shown on Thanksgiving Day on Catholic TV and is sure to keep you laughing.  Greg and Jennifer Willits (Catholics Next Door on Sirius XM) and Mac and Katherine (Catholics in a Small Town on SQPN) have joined with their families to make the new series that is sure to offer needed programming that has been lacking in Catholic TV.  The crowd at the CNMC was engaged and laughing at this new show and I give it a thumbs up.

Mass Confusion on Catholic TV

Mass Confusion on Catholic TV


The next speaker was Sean Patrick Lovett who has worked for Vatican Radio for 35 years. He gave a wonderful talk about the storied history of the Vatican Radio program and all the different Popes he has served under.   Mr. Lovette also led the discussion panel with all the speakers present to talk about Catholic New Media and where it is going.  I was pleased to hear author Brandon Vogt speak highly about The Catholicism Project and that it represented the three things that New Media need to include in their productions:  Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  Mr. Lovett is a great story teller and motivator, and I can see why Father Roderick was drawn into his calling with new media by having him as a professor at The Vatican.

Sean Patrick Lovett leading panel discussion

Sean Patrick Lovett leading panel discussion


The evening continued with a prayer service with Bishop Joseph Naumann (Kansas City) who was host to this event in his diocese.  Bishop Naumann gave a brief statement that he supports the work that we are doing with the Pope’s call for New Evangelization with Catholic New Media.  I was very excited that he stopped by my table and also gave his support for the work of Father Robert Barron at Word on Fire Ministry and The Catholicism Project.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann

Archbishop Joseph Naumann

The last thing I was able to attend at the CNMC was the World Premier of a great new film called The Mighty Macs.  This a G-Rated film that is the true story of the first women’s basketball championship in 1972 where the under dogs from Immaculata College won the game.  It is truly a great film and a must watch for the whole family.  This film is coming to a theater near you on October 21st.

The Mighty Macs

Immaculata College – The Mighty Macs

Thanks to everyone at the CNMC and SQPN for making at a great and faith-filled experience.  The 2012 CNMC was announced as being in Dallas Texas in August.  Hope that the seeds planted from this conference bear fruit, and it was so nice to see so many good people working on so many fine projects for the church.

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