May 14, 2016
After Mass this morning I was moved to go to our parish Perpetual Adoration Chapel with my daughter--something I haven't made time for in too long. As I prayed with the day's scripture readings, I heard deep in the recesses of my heart, "It's time."
For a couple of years now I've been telling people that my next CD will be all about Mary, as a token of love and appreciation for all that she has done for me as a spiritual mother over the course of my life (and usually without thanks or recognition). I just haven't felt like the timing was right for me to begin the hard work of creating a new CD, at least not until today.
It makes sense that my instruction would come today on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, as next year at this time we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of her first apparition in Fatima, Portugal, in which she gave urgent messages for our times. Many have speculated on the significance of this centennial. All I know is that I have been given a mandate, and I feel called to give the CD to Lighthouse Catholic Media to manufacture and sell at a bare bones price ($2-3/CD) should they choose do so.
Will you help me honor Our Lady of Fatima on her 100th anniversary?
For just $500, you can dedicate one of the songs listed below to someone special in your life, and you can include others in your sponsorship to split the cost. Your dedication (up to 20 words) will appear in the liner notes of every CD we make, and I will send you five CD's as soon as we're done. My goal is to have this CD fully funded in the next few weeks and to have it ready to go well before Christmas. You may note that $500 is much less than we have asked for in the past, but this CD will be much simpler to make. In fact, four of the songs are already recorded!
If you are interested in dedicating a particular song (listed below), please send an email to me ASAP (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your top three choices. I will give out the dedications in the order in which I receive them. If you don't see a Marian hymn on the list that you want, please let me know.* Finally, please pray that I can make a beautiful gift for Our Lady! I can't wait to share this with you when we're done.
Thanks and blessings,
MARY CD SONG LIST
Ave Maria (Schubert)
Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod)
Ave Maria (Caccini)
Ave Maria (Arcadelt)
Ave Maria (Gregorian chant)
Ave Maris Stella
Hail, Holy Queen
Hail, Queen of Heaven
O Mary, We Crown Thee (Bring Flowers of the Fairest)
Sing of Mary
Stabat Mater (At the cross her station keeping)
* The ones I've listed are all in the public domain. To add songs that need to be licensed (e.g. Holy Is His Name; As I Kneel; Hail Mary, Gentle Woman), it would cost a good bit more and Lighthouse wouldn't be able to do it, but we could make it happen for $1,000/song on my own Mary CD (I can still give the public domain songs to Lighthouse). Please let me know if you're interested.
April 28, 2016
As I prepare to celebrate a big milestone birthday in September, and as I note the growing aches, pains and waistline that accompany it, a death of sorts is happening in me. I saw a time-lapse video this morning of the life cycle of a dandelion (it essentially blooms twice!), and it reminded me of the joyful hope we have in the promises of Christ. May our many deaths in this life bear the seeds of new life and abundant fruit, both in our lives now and in the Kingdom to come.
April 26, 2016
Several years ago, I sought spiritual direction from a priest in New Orleans who happens to have many mystical gifts. When I walked into the room, he said, "I see Our Lady of Good Counsel with you." This is a centuries-old title for the Blessed Virgin Mary with a miraculous image associated with it.
I was unfamiliar with the image, but when I returned home I realized that the icon hanging in my bedroom, which had been brought to me by my sister Caroline as a souvenir from Italy, was indeed Our Lady of Good Counsel.
Shortly thereafter, I gave a concert in Pensacola, FL. A delightful woman named Sara Edwards gifted me with a beautiful blue pearl and crystal necklace that she had made for me. She told me that they usually add a medal of St. Thérèse, but something told her that I needed Our Lady of Good Counsel! That necklace was stolen out of my carry-on bag on the flight to New Zealand recently, but nothing can take the tender love of Our Lady of Good Counsel from me, not ever!
Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Do you need some wise, loving advice from your heavenly mother? Turn to her!
Click here for the full story on the miraculous image: http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/meditations/olgc.html
March 4, 2016
THE JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY (from https://www.relevantradio.com/jubilee-of-mercy)
THE DIVINE MERCY NOVENA:
A novena is typically nine days of prayer in preparation of a celebration of a feast day. The Chaplet can be said anytime, but the Lord specifically asked that it be recited as a novena. He promised, "By this Novena (of Chaplets), I will grant every possible grace to souls."
For each of the nine days, our Lord gave Saint Faustina a different intention:
- All mankind, especially sinners;
- the souls of priests and religious;
- all devout and faithful souls;
- those who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know Jesus;
- the souls who have separated themselves from the Church;
- the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children;
- the souls who especially venerate and glorify His mercy;
- the souls detained in purgatory; and
- souls who have become lukewarm."I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fountain of My mercy, that they may draw therefrom strength and refreshment and whatever grace they have need of in the hardships of life, and especially at the hour of death" (Diary, 1209).
THE FEAST OF MERCY ON DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY (The Sunday following Easter Sunday): http://www.thedivinemercy.org/celebrate/
For more information on Divine Mercy, please see my other blog post, "What Is Divine Mercy?"
August 18, 2015
If you've ever had a hard fall, you know the power of gravity. How miraculous, then, that the tiny wildflower with the tender stem is able to stretch toward the heavens in a blaze of glory.
Likewise, we were made to glorify God. When we turn our faces toward heaven and struggle against all that wishes to drag us down, the sap of His grace makes us rise and rise, till our nature can no longer contain us. It is then that God breathes in our fragrance one last time, lifting us to Himself.
Archbishop Luis M. Martinez: "It is our glory to fulfill our own destiny."
December 11, 2014
Tune in as I join Johnnette Benkovic and Adrianne Price on EWTN's Women of Grace for 10 consecutive days, Dec. 22nd through the 31st. 11:00 am EST 11:30 pm EST (rerun)
This is the first time Johnnette has had music on her show and we had a blast--notwithstanding the embarrassing admission I made on one of the shows! Hope you can join us for some music and chat.
August 26, 2014
Loved speaking to the generous PSR (CCD) teachers at St. Peter this evening about maintaining peace of heart amidst life's struggles. Thanks for the invitation, Celie Clark, and thanks, Fr. Jacques Philipe, for your brilliant treatise on the subject that inspired the talk!
April 28, 2014
April 27 2014: Happy Feast of Divine Mercy! And happy Canonization Day, Blessed John Paul II! This song, "In the Breaking of the Bread" (written by Michael Ward), is my very favorite song to sing EVER. I sing it every year on the Feast of Divine Mercy after Communion in thanksgiving for the gift of Divine Mercy in my life and in my family's. In fact, today is the 14th anniversary of the day my father was miraculously released from unjust imprisonment!
My friend Msgr. Christopher Nalty posted this video (created by another friend of his) on youtube that puts images to the song. You can find the song on my CD, The Miracle of Divine Mercy--hope you enjoy it, and Happy Easter!
April 13, 2014
Love's other name is Mercy!
April 2, 2014
Want to hear the story of how and why I did a jazz CD? My pal Pat Gohn did a beautiful job of creating a podcast from an interview I did with her on the subject. She's such a pro! Check out podcast #177: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/among-women/id312212031
November 15, 2013
I just wanted to provide you with some important updates, photos from the studio, and--finally--the final song list! We have spent many, many hours in pre-production and in the studio to give you a CD that I hope will stand the test of time and become one of your favorites.
Not pictured are my hubby Mel Rogers (clarinet), Steve Mazakowski (guitar), Don Vappie (guitar and banjo), Hannah Yim (violin) and Rex Gregory (flute). They are each world-class musicians, and I can't believe that I got to sing with them!
While it was my sincere hope to have the final CD in your hands last month, we decided during our final mixing session that a full live string section on about half of the songs would put it OVER THE TOP. Unfortunately, my producer is so booked that it won't be ready in time for Christmas. Ouch.
For those of you who were planning on this being your go-to Christmas gift, I know, I know--and I'm really, really sorry! I had to make the call between either having this ready in time for Christmas sales or making an album that is the best I can possibly make it.
So, I hope you aren't too disappointed and that you'll find it worth the wait. How would you feel about it being an awesome Valentine's gift instead?
Our plan is to record the strings on January 2nd and--since it has so many love songs on it--to have it ready in plenty of time for St. Valentine's Day! Speaking of love songs, drum roll please...
OUR FINAL SONG LIST
1) My Funny Valentine (This is what I want to call the CD, but my producer wants Blue Skies. What do you think?)
2) Blue Skies
3) My One and Only Love
4) La Mer
5) A Kiss to Build a Dream On
8) I've Got a Crush on You
9) Basin Street Blues
10) One Day (You Will Be Mine)
11) Someone to Watch Over Me
I'm so grateful to each and every one of you for the support and love you've sent my way. Let me know which of the songs you like best for a CD title, and I'll keep you posted on all developments on my end. My photographer (Johnny Chauvin) took off for Italy before he had a chance to process my photos for the CD cover, but we'll get to work on that and the t-shirts as soon as we get the graphic design wrapped up.
June 26, 2013
August 1, 2013
We did it! As of this writing, over 300 of you beautiful people have locked arms with me and donated over $25,000 to make my new jazz standards CD a reality--a project that I hope will raise several thousands of dollars for Habitat for Humanity.
Thank you! You are my heroes.
And who knows...people who pick up the jazz CD might just be interested in what else I have to offer.
Stay tuned for exciting updates, incliuding the song list, video previews, and little hints at the New Orleans jazz greats we'll have playing on the CD. We are going to make some beautiful music together!
[P.S. A few more photos from the jazz CD brunch on Sunday, June 23rd, are on the next page]
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