Kathy Schiffer is a Catholic blogger. In addition to her blog Seasons of Grace, her articles have appeared in the National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Zenit, the Michigan Catholic, Legatus Magazine, and other Catholic publications. She’s worked for Catholic and other Christian ministries since 1988, as radio producer, director of special events and media relations coordinator. Kathy and her husband, Deacon Jerry Schiffer, have three adult children.
The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist will bring Christmas joy to the nation's capital on Nov. 28. The Sisters have accepted an invitation to sing at the 96th annual White House National Christmas Tree Lighting, sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation. The Sisters will sing selections from their holiday hit classic entitled Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring: Christmas with The Dominican Sisters of Mary. The album, which is released with De Monfort Music through Sony Music Entertainment, features a capella arrangements as well as small chamber orchestra accompaniment tracks, with the Sisters themselves playing the various instruments.
You'll have to wait until Dec. 2 to hear the Ann Arbor-based Sisters' presentation, though. The event will be recorded before a large audience on the Ellipse in President's Park (White House lawn) on Nov. 28, but the National Christmas Tree Lighting will be telecast by Ovation and REELZ on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 10 p.m. EDT.
Positive Messages at the National Tree Lighting
The Dominican Sisters of Mary will certainly be a highlight of the ceremony, with their dulcet vocals. Other singers chosen for this year's concert, unlike some Hollywood performers, will also provide wholesome entertainment with a positive message. Among this year's performers are:
- Abby Anderson, Texas-based singer-songwriter who caught the attention of fans nationwide with her debut single, “Make Him Wait.” (Yes, that's about waiting until marriage!)
- Anthony Kearns, the youngest of the Irish Tenors. Kearns has performed for four U.S. Presidents and also for Pope Francis at the Pre-Mass Concert in Philadelphia.
- Matthew West, American contemporary Christian musician, singer-songwriter, and actor. He has released five studio albums and is known for his songs, "More", "You Are Everything", and "The Motions". He was nominated for five Dove Awards in 2005, two of which were for his major label debut album, Happy. West has authored five books, and with his father, founded popwe, a non-profit ministry helping others to craft, share, and live a more meaningful life.
- Paul Cardall, known for his expansive musical performances that encompass multiple genres, including classical crossover, contemporary Christian and new age. His new Christmas album includes ten of his instrumental interpretations of timeless classics such as Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, and Away in a Manger. Grammy-winner CeCe Winans makes an appearance with her extraordinary version of “O Holy Night”; Audrey Assad sings “In the Bleak of Winter” and Australian Broadway star Patrice Tipoki soars on Cardall's original “Son of God.”
- Spensha Baker, country singer whose genre-defying sound is infused with gospel roots. Spensha began singing at the age of six, and she got her start in gospel music, making appearances on Christian Artist Talent Search and Star Search. Raised in a military family, she has a strong love of God and Country.
About the Dominican Sisters of Mary
The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist were canonically established in 1997 and have joyfully taken their messages of faith to the modern world through education, vocations and culture, to name a few of their outreaches. Beginning with four foundresses, they have now grown to more than 140 Sisters with an average age of 32. They teach in preschool through college all over the United States, and they also serve as librarians at the North American Seminary in Rome. They've carried their message of faith to the wider culture through multiple appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as on NBC's Today Show, The Associated Press, NBC News Nightly, NPR, Good Morning America, Telegraph UK, Fox & Friends, and CBS This Morning.
In addition to the ‘Jesu Joy’ recording, the Sisters have also released a beautiful book of Advent meditations, Advent Journal: Mother of Life, which is designed to guide hearts through the season of Advent, leading up to Christmas.
Their multimedia series Disciple of Christ, Education in Virtue can be found online, in schools, businesses and households the world over, and has been turned into a cinematic mini-series on EWTN. The program is being implemented in dioceses across the United States by way of a new Professional Development Ten-Part Video Series, designed to share in-depth knowledge on how to use and present information provided in the 'Education in Virtue' Program.
The Sisters will ring in 2019 by opening a large new convent in Georgetown, Texas. A response to their miraculous explosion of vocations, the new convent will ultimately hold up to 115 new Sisters, in addition to their existing Motherhouse in Ann Arbor and their other smaller convents.