June 3, 2010
I am a blessed man. I am so glad that in some small way I have been
able to hear the voice of Christ and respond. To try and participate
and cooperate with the grace of my baptism. Not perfectly for sure,
but the truth is, God has been real in my life and I too want to
respond in a real and authentic way. It is, of course, all grace.
Secondly, the Lord has most fully revealed himself to me through
Tammy. She is a beautiful and graceful woman for whom i am so
grateful. I learn much from here humility and patience. She is a true
sign of God’s presence in my life. Our three children amaze me and
cause me to pray! They are wondrous and I embrace the role of father.
But I do not do so perfectly! They have heard, “I love you” a lot –
and “I am sorry” just as much! Family is amazing, frustrating,
wonderful, a discovery of our giftedness and selfishness. Again, God
is so present and merciful. I know that prayer is the key for a
peaceful home. We do our best. Holy Mass, the Divine Mercy Chaplet,
the Rosary and “help me, Lord” are some of our favorite prayers. I
have tried to be a leader in faith in the home, without being a pushy,
bossy sort of guy. My own silent prayers in the night hopefully fill
in the missing gaps of my familial leadership. God’s grace, again, has
held us together through beautiful and very difficult times. So I blog
not about music, concerts, travels, CDs and public ministry. But about
the life that God has called me to first and foremost. The music of
the heart and the home. “Pray, pray, pray” – that’s probably the key.
So that we can love one another.
I am “stuck” in Denver, Colorado after my flight was diverted here because of inclement weather in Arizona. My nephew, Martin Graham, who plays college basketball in Colorado, has a nearby game this evening. Funnily enough, my mother traveled here yesterday from Arizona to surprise him by attending the game. Since I can’t get home to Arizona until tomorrow, I get to cheer him on as well and support him in a unique way. I had a great trip to Portland this week, working side by side with Robert Feduccia at OCP/SpiritandSong.com. Next week I will be spending time with fellow composers in St. Louis and at the NFCYM gathering in Los Angeles. Though ministry is great and a blessing to be a part of, it all pales compared to my primary vocation: marriage and family life. This is a busy season of travel, but quality time before and after the trips keep our family focused on what is most important: our faith, family and friendships.
I am glad you have visited the website. I am busily preparing for NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) which will be in Kansas City in November. My role as music director in the arena keeps me “in the pit” which is a great thing! From my vantage point, I get a front row seat for all of the action, watching various young people and others serving God in speech and song. Please pray for our efforts. Kate Cuddy will be leading the choir of teens and many, many people will be serving to make NCYC a place of hope and faith for 20,000 plus young people! Please visit SpiritandSong.com as well when you get a chance. Ike Ndolo, Steve Angrisano and Matt Maher all have new recordings out. They are wonderful, artistic and faith-filled people who are serving the Lord in their own unique way. Also, Choose Christ 2010 (available from SpiritandSong.com) is now available. It is a great option for parishes looking for a wonderful contemporary addition to their hymnal already in the pew. So much “new” is happening. Isn’t that the way of God? – who say’s to us: “See, I make all things new!” Yes, friends even you and I! Amen + Peace and Good – Tom
Blessings on your family. Today would be a good day to pray for world peace -tolerance and love for people who think, act and pray differently than us. Hug your kids, play music and bake a pie. Do something simple and beautiful – and be aware of God’s presence in the smallest detail. Let us all continue to pray for the Hillebrand family – especially young Julia. Peace and good +
Greetings everyone! I haven’t blogged in a while, because I have logged in many a mile traveling. July was especially busy with NPM (National Pastoral Musician) Conference in Chicago, the Hymn Society gathering in Minnesota at beautiful St. Olaf’s College, and a great youth conference in Hidalgo, Texas with many of my Spirit and Song friends. August has been equally busy with some travel, school beginning here in Tucson and “filming” the Commons for the SpiritandSong.com website. I just returned from Minnesota (“don’t you know”) again. I was there for the wedding of Stefan Skorich (and his beautiful bride Veronika) who is brother to my dear friend Sr. Rose Therese (formally Danielle Rose Skorich). I am also happy to tell you all that Cooper Ray’s CD has been released. I was honored to produce the record and really love how it turned out. OCP/SpiritandSong.com loved it too – his music will be published by us and we look forward to a great ministerial relationship with “The Coop”. Blessings friends! Here comes the Fall…
In Jesus, your brother +
PS – Please pray for Julia Hillebrand, a beautiful young girl who needs your immediate prayers. Thank You!!!!!
My friends in San Diego live in a beautiful area of the country: San Diego, California. In the month of June, however, the haze from the Pacific ocean makes for some less than sunny days. They all call it “June Gloom”. You and I may experience a different type of June gloom. Maybe it is our finances, health issues, work load, lack of work or something else that is contributing to a difficult summer month. Whatever our challenges, let us remember to turn to God in all things – however big or small, we need to remember that God cares! The “gloom in me is just the shade of your hand”. Amen!
Peace in Christ + Tom Booth
I pray you are well and living in the light and joy that is this Easter season. I have been a busy brother in Christ this past month, but I thank God for the blessing of protection and blessing on me and my family as I have traveled off and on these past four weeks. I just returned from 2 days of prayer, meditation, conversation, yummy coffee, great vegetarian food and awesome recording studio work with my dear friend Cyprian Consiglio. He is a happy and healthy Camaldolese monk who happens to be one of my very best friends and a fantastic musician as well. His pursuit of the contemplative life is bearing much fruit and my wife Tammy and I care for him deeply. We have known each other for close to 30 years and continue to support each other in our pursuit of the spiritual life. I am finishing Cooper Ray’s CD this week as well – Jeff Thomas is mixing the heck out of it! I travel to Portland, Oregon soon to visit my dear friends and co-workers there and I am also preparing to work on a new Trevor Thomson recording. Blessings on you and your work, life and prayer. Let us seek and EXPERIENCE God in body, soul and spirit.
Your brother in Christ,
Friends, I want to share an email with you that I received a couple of weeks ago. Glory to God…
I wish I could tell you this story about God’s Mercy and your incredible gift of music in person… I will do my best to write this in an e-mail and do it justice. My name is Zoe Cannon; I am a Mom of 4 incredible adult kids. The house is less busy with their activities absent in our lives; so my husband and I spend a lot of time volunteering as ministers in our Parish, Sacred Heart in Vincennes, Indiana…..In spending our time as God’s hands and feet, there are many great God incidents to tell, but your song “You Stand Knocking” has had an amazing response in my desire to do God’s work. The ordinary details of caring for people can be overwhelmingly beautiful when done in partnership with Him. Having said that here is the short version of my experience with God’s Mercy and your song…”You Stand Knocking”
I take Holy Communion to the residents in a local nursing home..My dearest visit for the past 8 months has been with Anna who was 102 years old and a member of the Baptist Church. I became so captivated by her pleasantness at that stage in her life that I took it upon myself to see her every day even if it was just for a minute. I always greeted her by taking her hand, calling her name and reminding her that it was her friend Zoe. Some days she knew me like a best friend –other days she would tell me about the visits she got from a Catholic girl who prayed these beautiful prayers with her. The mind is so beautifully made, especially after 102 years of life. We would just talk and pray the Our Father together, and she loved hearing the prayers of the rosary.
She often told me she was so scared and uncertain about her death and wondered why God was keeping her around so long. Last Friday morning I stopped to see Anna and she was in bed which was very unusual. For the first time she looked 102 years old. Her breathing was much labored and she was very anxious and restless. In frustration she cried out a few times and began to talk as if she was seeing her Mother and Father. I know they were there to greet her and prepare her entrance to heaven. She also kept asking me about the babies and their safety. I held her and we prayed the Our Father. I had said the Divine Mercy Chaplet for Anna after mass that morning because I knew she was so near her final days. I lulled her to sleep with some hymns and then I went about my day. About 8PM that evening I told my husband I thought I should go say goodnight to Anna. Little did I know that following that prompting provided me with the greatest gift of presence. When I arrived I knew it was Anna’s last night on this earth. Her daughter in law was sitting next to her bed in a chair reading a book. I asked if she minded my praying with Anna and she assured me that it would be ok. As I took her hand, called her name, and told her it was her friend Zoe, I began to pray the Our Father and Anna took her last breath. I knew very little about this beautiful person. I knew she was from Philadelphia and had two sons that brought her to Indiana. Most important I knew she needed a God connection in her remaining days. And how she truly blessed me with her friendship. I later learned the babies she was so concerned about finding she had lost much earlier in life.
I went to bed that night feeling so blessed to have had that moment with my friend. And then I was awakened at 2:30 Am with another prompting….too long to detail but here is the short of it—-I was led to Spiritsong.com and the Song of the week. “You Stand Knocking “ When I read that the Divine Mercy Image inspired the song…I wept with the greatest joy and love of God. He had brought me through an incredible day with Anna and her blessing to eternal life and I felt as though finding your song was her gift to me. The first three lines of the song were almost identical to the only familiar words Anna and I spoke every day, and that night God spoke them to her and to me as well, with your beautiful song. This is confirmation that your ministry is so very pleasing to Him. I should have mentioned that the evening before Anna died my husband and I had helped facilitate an adult formation evening in our parish about the Divine Mercy and the life of Sister Faustina Kowalska. God is so good…It would be so great to see you in concert. I hope to get a chance to talk to you someday.
God’s Mercy and Peace….Zoe Cannon
I am finishing up a parish mission in Mesa, Arizona this week and then on to New Mexico for a concert and a retreat with Confirmation candidates. I ask for your prayers as I go out in the name of Jesus Christ – the One who saves. I will remember to pray for you and your family. Prayer is the key, prayer is believing and prayer is love incarnate in our hearts.
Thank you for the encouragement from so many of you.
God is faithful – God is enough.
Hey Everybody! I hope your Lenten season got off to a good start. If not, remember, it is a long season and we all have time to pray, fast and do works of mercy – drawing near to Our Lord! Please keep me in your prayers as I promise to pray for you and yours. God alone is enough! So let us have courage and cast away anything that clings to us that does not deepen our love for Christ and each other. I am doing lots of ministerial trips this month. I need your prayers to be a clear reflection of Christ. There has been a wonderful response to the CAPTURED recording. I thank the Lord for that. I also want to thank you for the postings on the Guestbook – I read every one. Peace and good, in Christ+ Tom