Sunday, December 24, 2017

Last-minute musical gifts

For those searching for the perfect gift during the Twelve Days of Christmas--perhaps for a Director of Music, organist, or priest who is working what amounts to a triple shift this weekend--I have a few suggestions that will not only fill your world with uplifting song, but will each in its own way support Church vocations.


William Wilson is an in-demand classical guitarist in my hometown of San Diego, who besides being an all-around great guy is also married to beloved CMAA Colloquium presenter Mary Ann Carr Wilson. When he isn't homeschooling their four sons in Latin and logic, he is making music.

Mr. Wilson's latest album is a collection of lullabies called "Berceuse pour bébé: Guitare classique" available on iTunes.


The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, are a monastic community of nuns who support themselves in part by making beautiful albums on various topics related to their vocation, such as the seasons of the liturgical year, and different types of prayer as well.

The available albums may be found on the monastery's website, as well as on Amazon.


In a departure from their usual annual liturgical album, the brothers of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph released what has become an astonishingly successful bluegrass album. 

From a spiritual point of view, the album preaches very directly about the perspective which life takes on from the reality of death. "What if today God should call you away? What would you give in exchange for your soul?" There are other subjects, including a brilliant original apologia for the life of an itinerant friar preacher written by one of the brothers, but as a whole the album functions as a paradoxically joyful memento mori--a calling to mind of death, and the serious questions that arise from death about the priorities one should have in life.

The Dominicans announced today that thirteen of their brothers will be making final vows in February 2018--obedience unto death. With successive class sizes of this size or nearly so, the expenses of their training and education must be enormous.

But so is the benefit to the Church, when people dedicate themselves to the life of the Gospel. We support them, and their lives benefit us. The Dominicans, for example, have begun a project of providing solid Catholic teaching at Ivy League and other universities in order to reach students at that important time of life.

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