Ooberfuse, a European electro-pop band released a single in support of the English and Welsh Church’s new vocations drive, according to the U.K. Catholic Herald.
Worth Abbey Benedictine Fr. Christopher Jamison OSB, director of the National Office for Vocation, commissioned the band to write the soundtrack to help promote vocations. Their song, “Call my name,” can be heard here and comes from their forthcoming album Seventh Wave, to be released in August.
Fr Jamison described the single as a “wonderful gift given to the Church. The words are poetic and inspired, worthy of the psalms.”
Their previous single, Heart’s Cry, was the youth anthem for the Pope’s visit to Britain in September 2010.
Band member Hal St. John described the task as a challenge: “When God speaks to us he does so in a strange and other worldly language that it is sometimes hard if not altogether impossible to render into intelligible words. His gentle yet persistent call cuts through the clamour and roar of contemporary life treading as softly as dove’s footsteps. For some, pop music is part of the noise that drowns out the sound of divinity, desensitising us to the transcendent. On the face of it, it seems incongruous that pop music, especially dub-step, should be used to heighten our awareness of God’s call to each one of us.”
|Franciscan tenor Alessandro Brustenghi on Abbey Road in London.|
Alessandro Brustenghi, a tenor from Assisi, Italy, who also happens to be a Franciscan Friar, just signed a major recording contract with Decca Records--the first ever Franciscan to do so. The album deal will showcase his voice to millions of opera fans.
The 34-year-old friar flew to London earlier this week for the recording at Abbey Road studios (made famous by the Beatles) and to give his first performance outside Italy at the 2012 International Decca Conference today.
Brustenghi intends to donate all proceeds from record sales to the Order of Friars Minor for charitable work..
His first album, made up of a mixture of traditional and modern sacred songs, will be released in October.
"I’m a bit nervous," said Brustenghi in an interview in the Telegraph, "but I understand this is necessary as it is a good opportunity to unleash this beautiful music to everybody. I feel excited, very excited because it’s realized my vocation."
"Music for me is a direct line with God. It’s the way to communicate with him, and it’s the way God uses to communicate with us. It’s the way to spread the gospel, to everybody, to the world.
"The story of St. Francis of Assisi is very similar to mine. Francis was a humble man, and he decided to spread the gospel with music, dance and joy.”
Learn more about the Franciscan Friars (O.F.M.):
The Knights of Columbus report in their April newsletter that support for vocations is up among their membership. "Specifically, Knights raised and disbursed more than $3 million to 2,628 seminarians and postulants in 2011 through their Refund Support Vocations Program (RSVP)." That is up from $2.9 million to help 2,697 students in 2010.
The RSVP program, sponsored by the Supreme Council, encourages local Knights of Columbus offices to provide financial and moral support to people studying to become priests, brothers, or religious sisters by offering these local units $100 rebate on every $500 they donate to a student for his or her personal use.
In 2011, refunds totaled nearly $600,000. In addition to the Supreme Council refund, qualifying units receive a plaque honoring them for the moral support they provided, which includes e-mailing and writing letters to students and inviting them to K of C functions.
According to the Knights, since the start of the RSVP, nearly $53 million has been donated to seminarians and postulants and the Supreme Council has refunded local K of C units $9.7 million.
Today marks the 21st anniversary of the death ofJosephite Sr. Irene McCormack, RSJ, at the hands of Shining Path terrorists in Peru. Born in Western Australia in 1938, Irene grew up on a sheep farm and was educated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart.
In 1957, Irene entered into the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart and began teaching. At an early age Irene knew she wanted to serve God and educate young people. After 30 years of teaching, she was asked to do missionary work in Peru.
She arrived in Peru in 1987 for missionary work. McCormack's first assignment was in El Pacifico, a low income suburb in San Juan de Miraflores.
On June 26 1989, McCormack left to serve in Huasahuasi. McCormack, with her companion, Sister Dorothy Stevenson, were asked to supervise the distribution of emergency goods by Caritas, a charitable food organization in Peru.
McCormack continued her ministry of providing library facilities to poor children, who had no chance of obtaining books to aide in their school homework. She wanted the village children to know how to read and write. She also focused on training the village people how to be extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, so they could serve other parishioners in outlying districts.
On December 17, 1989, the priests of Huasahuasi were warned that they were in danger from Sendero Luminoso, so they and the two sisters left the village for Lima. McCormack and Stevenson, however, felt that the church could not abandon the villagers at this time and returned on January 14, 1990. For 12 months Huasahuasi was without a resident priest. During this time McCormack and Stevenson served the people, led the communion services, and provided leadership.
On the evening of May 21, 1991, McCormack was captured by the terrorist group named Shining Path. Following a mock trial, she was found guilty of being an imperialist and working for the Peruvian government by distributing food for the poor. She was then killed by the terrorist group.
McCormack was buried in Peru on May 23. McCormack believed the Holy Spirit motivated her to work in Peru once stating: "This overwhelming experience of the unconditional gratuitous love of God became a reality in my life—not just a conviction.
Below is the morning offering of Sister Irene. As you reflect on this prayer, pray for Sr. Irene McCormack and all those who are involved in missionary work.
God, my Father, you love and forgive me so TODAY I accept all as gift - and ask to find you Lord the Giver in the gift. I choose to face life without fear and to live wholeheartedly in each present moment. May my heart sing today a song of grateful thanks and praise. I am God's work of art! I am precious in His sight.
Read more about the life of Sr. Irene McCormack and other modern-day martyrs and saints here.
Peter Maurin and St. Therese of Lisieux were very strong influences on the work of Dorothy Day. Born on this day in 1877, Peter was a peasant farmer from southern France who immigrated to New York in 1909. For 10 years of Peter’s life he was not Catholic citing his reason for not living as a Catholic should. While tutoring in the mid 1920’s, Peter had a conversion and was inspired by St. Francis of Assisi. He began tutoring for free and like St. Francis, viewed labor as a gift to the greater community.
Peter had a keen mind and he devised a Catholic social philosophy that brought together a multitude of different interest, like sociology, politics, and economics and placed them at the service of the Gospel message. He proposed a social and religious program that was designed to improve social order and to create a society that made it easier for people to be good.
Peter first met Dorothy Day in 1932, when she has just returned home from DC after covering the Hunger March for America and Commonweal. While in DC, Day had prayed to God for inspiration and when she arrived at her apartment in New York, Peter was waiting for her at the kitchen table. For four months Peter worked with Day and together they began a newspaper to inform people about Catholic social teaching. The Catholic Worker began on May 1st, 1933 by Day and Maurin. Along with the newspaper, they also established a hospitality house to welcome and feed the poor and initiated weekly meetings for people who were dedicated to social justice.
Their efforts developed into the Catholic Worker Movement as we know it today. After Maurin left Day he lived out the remainder of his life in Pennsylvania where he worked on the first Catholic Worker owned farming commune known as Mary Farm. Maurin died on May 15th, 1949 on the feast day of St. Dympha, patroness of mental illness.
As evidenced by Day in The Long Loneliness, Day said she would never have begun the Catholic Worker without him. "Peter was a revelation to me, I do know this--that when people came into contact with Peter...they changed, they awoke, they began to see, things became as new, they looked at life in the light of the Gospels. They admitted to the truth he possessed and lived by, and though they themselves may have failed to go the whole way, their faces were turned at least towards the light."
O Blessed Trinity, We thank You for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him. Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen