Angelic Voices

This week I recorded Register Radio, from Birmingham, Ala. where Dan Burke and I were on EWTN Live with Father Mitch Pacwa, SJ June 5. We talked about the Register’s history, mission and continued growth. For me, this was a great way to mark the anniversary of my first year at the Register. Watch the show online.

From the EWTN radio studio, I spoke with Monica and Kevin Fitzgibbons, the founders of DeMontfort Music, a division of Aim Higher. The Fitzgibbons are entertainment-industry veterans who left successful careers, Kevin at Columbia Records/Sony Music and Monica at DreamWorks, to bring the best of sacred music and chant to the world all for the glory of God.

DeMontfort Music has released two chart-topping albums in the last six months. Angels and Saints at Ephesus is the latest. It debuted May 7 and has been no. 1 at Billbord’s Classical Traditional Music Chart for 4 consecutive weeks. The first album Advent at Ephesus had the same kind of success. Tim Drake had Monica Fitzgibbons on the Dec. 7, 2012 show to talk about that album.

And the angelic voices? They are the beautiful sounds of The Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Angels, a cloistered community of nuns at the Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus in Gower, MO. The sisters sing the divine office together several times a day and Mother Cecilia, the community’s prioress who left the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Ohio to enter religious life, recently gave a rare interview that will appear in the June 16 edition of the Register.

Listen to the interview to discover how these cloistered brides of Christ came to be awarded “Top Classical Traditional Artists of 2012.” The interview will give you a taste of their music, which features lyrics that honor St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Joseph, Our Lady, St. Patrick and more.

Also, the Fitzgibbons gave a providential segue to the show’s second topic — the Sacred Heart of Jesus —when they describe how their family life was strengthened after doing an Enthronement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Listen to the show online.


Jesus’ Sacred Heart Awaits

In the second segment of the show, which first broadcasted June 7 on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I talked with Father Joseph Mary, a priest of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word about devotions to Jesus’ heart.

The Sacred Heart image is familiar: A deep red heart, enflamed brightly and crowed with thorns.

That distinct heart tells of the reality of the Incarnation. Said Father Joseph, “God truly did become man and dwelt among us and he had a human body and he had a human heart” and God did this precisely to show us how much he loved us.

There a various kinds forms of devotions related to Jesus’ heart such as the Litany of the Sacred Heart, the First Friday prayers given to St. Margaret Mary, and the enthronement of the home to the Sacred Heart.

Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey approached Pope St. Pius X in 1907 to share his vision of enthronement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This apostle of the Sacred Heart desired to spread the enthronement to many homes, “because he saw that the family was the cell of the family and where the family went that is where society was going to go.” As Father Joseph explained Pius X not only gave Father Mateo permission to spread the devotion, he commanded that he do it.

“He went all over the world and promoted this,” said Father Joseph. “Bishops said they not only saw one person rise from the dead but whole cemeteries rise from the dead because it brought a new enthusiasm for the faith and revitalized the faith among the faithful.”

The 2010 book Enthronement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, edited by Cardinal Raymond Burke, made the devotion more popular. Enthronement of the home includes a three-day preparation. The first day reflects on Jesus as the King, with meditations on Bethlehem; the second day is on Nazareth in contemplation of Jesus as our brother; and the third day is on Bethany, to ponder Jesus as our Friend.

Said Father Joseph, “He’s the king who rules the home; he’s our brother because we are coheirs with Christ of the kingdom; and thirdly he’s our friend who never abandons us and in whom we can always find refuge.”

On the show, we talked about how the Sacred Heart is a remedy for the problems we see today, especially the attacks on the family. The interview was littered with several real life examples of the power of the devotion.

“Every home has tensions and difficulties,” said Father Joseph, “when you have an image of the Sacred creates an intimacy with the Lord, a conversation with the Lord…he always refreshes us.”

He drew an analogy: “The tabernacle is the heart of the Church and the image of the Sacred Heart [in our home] is like a connection to the tabernacle that is a refuge a place we can go to meet Jesus.”

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart has been since 2002 a Special Day of Prayer for Priests.  Referencing the words of Father Mateo, apostle of the Sacred Heart, Father Joseph said: “Politicians don’t change the world. It is saints on fire—they are the ones who change the world. What we need are priest who are fervent, priests on fire. They are the ones who are going to change the world.”

During this Year of Faith, enthronement to the Sacred Heart is a “must do” on my task list—my family needs it, our Church needs it, our world needs it. And the most important motivation is Jesus’ heart, burning with love for us, awaits.