I hope your Lent is going well! What a great season to “re”: Re-pent, re-new, re-turn, re-commit, and rejuvenate our spiritual lives. I’ve grown to LOVE Lent. I need it. I get off course and need the mercy and grace that Lent REMINDS us we are offered every day.
January went by quickly! I traveled to Washington, D.C. to help plan this year’s NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) – held in Indianapolis in November. I was also working with Ben Walther finishing up his new recording. February saw Ben’s CD come to completion for OCP/Spirit and Song – it will be released later this year. Look for it: “Make Your Home in Me” is the title; GREAT music from a GREAT artist. The band and I were asked to perform the PASCHAL MYSTERY TOUR at the LA RE Congress in Anaheim. What a hoot! We also played the next night in Hermosa Beach at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. What a warm and inviting community!
March has been equally wonderful as the first two months of the year. I was honored to present a Lenten mission for the conventual church of the Francisacn Renewal Center (the “CASA”). I loved my time there (4 days) and enjoy being in a community of faith that prays that deeply! This week I head off to Marrietta, Georgia to do the same at the “Catholic Church of St Ann”; Ed Bolduc’s home parish and one of the coolest parishes I know. On March 16 and 17 I will be at ALL of the masses there. On the 18tha and 19th I will be presenting the Lenten mission in the evenings. On Wednesday March 20th myself, and the whole band, (The Paschal Rascals) will be in concert at St Ann’s.
April brings me to Houston, Texas and Hawaii for ministry trips – and a visit to Portland, Oregon to visit and work with my OCP family. We have some new projects in the works – including some of my own. I am finishing a book, a new CD and some other things to be announced later!
Peace and Good to you and yours + Your brother in faith,
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
Click on http://www.spiritandsong.com/musicondemand/songoftheweek
This is a new reflection/meditation on the song Empty on the CAPTURED CD. I thought you might enjoy reading about the song lyrics and to whom it is dedicated – and why?
Blessings on your week!