How God Brought a Nashville Musician Back to the Catholic Church

“I like to write about truth — and who is more truth than God?”

Rae Hering
Rae Hering (photo:

Nashville musician Rae Hering had a wonderful Catholic upbringing in Minneapolis. Immersed in the faith, there was never any reason to question. Her family was Catholic, she went to Catholic schools, and most of her friends were Catholic. 

With her love of music, Rae chose music school in Nashville after high school. “I really hadn't been outside the Catholic bubble, and I fell into a crowd that was into partying.” Her newfound independence introduced her to a different world where morality wasn’t much of an issue. Smoking pot and drinking were taken for granted, and no one in Rae’s new circle was Catholic.

Gradually Rae too stopped going to church. At first she hid it from her parents. At home with them she found herself wanting to avoid discussing Catholic issues, or issues of the day from a Catholic perspective. “It kind of repelled me, these family discussions that I’d always been around. I felt like they were pointing a finger at me, questioning me all the time. The truth was, the devil had gotten under my skin and I really wanted to avoid the tough questions because I didn’t know how to answer them.”

A life-altering loss in Rae’s life stayed with her. A beloved uncle had taken his own life two years before, and she’d been wrestling with questions about eternity. Those questions were now getting pushed aside. 

As Rae points out, today’s culture screams loud and clear, “You can be who you want to be!” “Live for the here and now!” “You can choose to live how you want to live!” Catholicism is countercultural. “I figured everyone had to figure out how to live on their own. I didn’t have it figured out, so it was easier for me to avoid these conversations.” All the while, focusing on establishing a music career was front and center in Rae's life.

Her parents gradually realized their daughter had fallen away from the faith, and immediately turned to prayer. Her mother, in particular, “fervently prayed and did acts of mercy for my reversion.” She prayed through the intercession of Padre Pio and St. Thérèse. At the same time, they stepped away from the questioning and nudging, trying to bring Rae back. Instead her Mom would talk about everything else — music, food, recipes, Rae’s siblings. “Even that was an act of mercy,” says Rae. “She gave the reins to Jesus. And I think that’s what I needed at that point — time to think. Gradually I began to be curious about the faith.”

Around this time, Rae had a dream about her deceased uncle. “I’d always had a special bond with this uncle, and I woke up feeling his presence. It got me thinking about how my family loved him through his depression, and wondered where he was. I was thinking more about life and death.”

During the summer of 2016 she read a few secular books that promoted general morality concepts, such as David Brooke’s Road to Character. “Books like this were actually helping lead me back to God because, as a non-Christian, they seemed approachable while calling me to a higher desire for goodness.”

“I was starting to believe in God again but I held a very impersonal view of God. I remember thinking I wasn't ready to believe in Jesus — he felt too personal and I didn’t know if I wanted to get that close. While I was starting to feel compelled to faith I felt scared of all the things I would ‘have to believe’ if I became Catholic.”

A pivotal moment came for Rae on a family trip that summer. With all these new thoughts swirling in her head, one lie that kept badgering her was that she was inadequate. Out for a walk, her mother asked what was going on inside her, and Rae shared her fears and feelings of not being good enough.

“It was a Holy Spirit moment. My mom told me that when it comes down to it, Christianity is about relationship, and that God simply wants to have a relationship with us. She urged me to simply have a conversation with Jesus and to see what happens. This didn’t feel threatening to me because I could ‘see what happens’ and I think this is what I needed at the time.”

Rae’s mother also pointed out that she didn’t have to have it “all figured out.” 

“If, at that time, I didn’t believe in everything that the Catholic faith believes in, well, just don’t worry about it. Trust that God will lead me exactly where I should be.”

Soon Rae was going to Mass again. She even sat in on a few RCIA classes to refresh her knowledge. She started praying the Rosary and going to Adoration. She had plenty of questions, including some of the big ones like, “Why did Jesus have to die for our sins?’ I was learning about perfect love and mercy.”

In 2017, after 13 years away, Rae went to Confession and received Holy Communion. She experienced an overwhelming feeling of being home. “I was back in God’s family. You never really leave but I was like the prodigal son... I wanted to be back with my family!”

At Rae’s first Mass back as a practicing Catholic, she discovered it was the feast of St. Blaise and had her throat blessed, asking for protection for her voice especially. Gradually God was placing more Catholic people in her life. She found herself turning down invitations that no longer fit with “my new acceptance of living morally.” In a Catholic bookstore, she picked up books on Padre Pio and St. Thérèse, before finding out those were the very two saints her mom had asked intercession of to bring Rae back to the Church!  

After years of singing secular singer/songwriter music, Rae was suddenly drawn to try Christian music. “Something switched. I got lit on fire with the Holy Spirit!” She has just released “Closer to Me” and has other worship songs in the works.

“I like to write about truth — and who is more truth than God?”

Listen to her beautiful new song, “Closer to Me,” below, or visit for more tracks and information.