Meet Musical Mother Danielle Rose
Singer Shares Love of Life in Song
DOMESTIC CHURCH. Danielle Rose, with her daughter, Agnes, and husband Mitchell. Courtesy of Danielle Rose
When Danielle Rose looks into the eyes of her firstborn daughter, Agnes, or hears her sweet laughter, she just might sing a song or two. When she thinks of the vulnerable, new life now miraculously growing within her womb, she may sing all the more.
Rose is a music missionary, spreading the Gospel through a joyful witness of story and song. Over time, she has recorded albums: Defining Beauty (2001), Mysteries (2003), I Thirst (2007), Pursue Me (2009) and Culture of Life (2013), which can be found at DanielleRose.com.
In 2004, Rose received the personal blessing of Pope St. John Paul II when she presented him with Mysteries, a collection of musical meditations upon the 20 mysteries of the Rosary. At this time, she promised the Holy Father, “I am your messenger to the young people to take up the Rosary once again.”
“Jesus helps me to write the songs that I need to hear from his heart in order to more fully conform me to his love. If Jesus chooses to use the music to touch another soul with his love, that is a beautiful miracle of the Holy Spirit,” she said.
Seeking to know God’s will for her life, Danielle spent two years in formation with the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, a Franciscan religious community. This time of prayerful discernment ultimately led her to discover the gift of her vocation to marriage. Rose met her husband, Mitchell, while living in Los Angeles, where she was recording her Culture of Life album, and he was serving as the CFO of Metanoia Films, maker of the pro-life movie Bella. After they were blessed with their first child, they returned to Minnesota to settle down near both of their extended families.
“When I became a mother, it was like I entered the ‘Mama Monastery,’ or what I like to call the ‘Mama-stery,’” she said. “My life has become simple, hidden and filled with ordinary, daily tasks of love. It is very similar to the life of a religious sister: the constant opportunity to consecrate small things with great love, in order to offer your life as a gift to God. As a new mother, I am grateful for the privilege of pouring out my life as a libation to care for my daughter, Agnes Rosemary. By embracing my vocation, I desire to help build an authentic culture of life that nourishes and cherishes the gift of each person created in the image and likeness of God.”
“The gift of motherhood is a beautiful, sanctifying, precious and mysterious gateway into Mary’s heart,” she added. “In becoming a wife and mother, I am so grateful that God has invited me to dwell with Mary in the hidden home of Nazareth, because it is a school of genuine love. Everything else in my life, and in the world, pales in comparison to the eternal treasure of my children’s souls.”
Although her life has changed quite a bit now that she is a wife and mother, her talents are still vibrantly alive and bringing many souls to the Lord.
“Now that I am married, I need to continue to say ‘Yes’ to the primary call that God has given me as a wife and mother. It is a different kind of fruitfulness than when I was traveling the world as a music missionary. The humble life of a mother may not seem to be making much of an impact in the world’s eyes, but the truth is it is very fruitful, according to God’s will. Music is still a great part of my life, and I hope to record another album someday, but all of my decisions about music and ministry are now in light of how they would affect my marriage and family.”
Those who know Rose personally, such as Father Jon Vander Ploeg, her spiritual director and pastor of the St. Lawrence Newman Center at the University of Minnesota, see how the Lord has worked marvels through her music, time and time again.
“I have seen the way the Lord works in her — the music really comes out of her life of prayer and her time in adoration,” he remarked. “It comes from her heart. She has such a passion to serve God and help people who are suffering. Her music shows us how to encounter God, no matter where we are at in life.”
In a way, he continued, her Culture of Life album has brought the grace of healing to those who may need it most.
“I have witnessed the power of this album working in people’s lives as they have listened to it. Many of the songs on it really speak to the fact that every child is a gift. The song Can You Hear Me jumps out to me as being full of the depths of mercy and healing. During the Year of Mercy, this song can move us all to a place of hope in a time of suffering.”
And the album takes the pro-life vision to a whole new level.
“The album is a collection of songs that talk about all the interrelated components that are necessary to build an authentic culture of life,” Rose explained. “The gospel of life is not just an isolated topic to be discussed. It implies the transformation of the whole culture and the respect for the dignity of each person. If we want to understand the value of the baby in the womb, we need to understand the value of each person at every stage of life.”
Marie Mullen, a mother of five boys, is one of Rose’s numerous fans.
“A few years ago, the Lord was so gracious to me and led me to Danielle’s music,” Mullen said. “I had been searching around for something to listen to besides contemporary Christian music, because I felt that it was missing something, such as the Church’s teachings, the saints and the Eucharist. Her music was exactly what my soul was searching for. I can’t even describe it: It gave me a new way to pray to the Lord and be able to sing about my Catholic faith. The songs are prayers you can sing; deep, divinely inspired songs. Danielle has a great talent and a great gift, and we very blessed to know her.”
“I like listening to her music with my kids,” Mullen added. “Our little boy, Isaac, belts out the songs as we are driving in the car. I tell my boys when they are singing along, they are praying. Her music gives me peace.”
Listeners like Mullen are impacted by Rose’s music because offering one’s talent to God is a blessing to others.
“Danielle is very close to Mother Teresa, who once said, ‘God can use you to do great things if you believe more in his love than in your own weakness,’” Father Vander Ploeg explained. “This quote talks about the surrender of your will, of allowing the Lord to work on his terms in his way. We need to have the willingness to surrender our talents to God and listen to how he wants to use these gifts. There is really a difference between doing things for the Lord and being in communion with him as you are doing it. What we need to do is ask God just how he wants us to use our talents, and go ahead and do so, fulfilling his plans.”
Amanda Evinger writes from Bismarck, North Dakota.