Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This seems to be one of people's favorite songs that I have written. One reason may be that there are so very few songs to Our Lady. College was the first time that I really became more interested and curious about Mary- who was she? How did she fit into my relationship with Jesus? How could she help me? In exploring these questions, I spent alot of time praying and thinking which eventually turned into songwriting.

I remember perfectly the moment that the idea for this song came to me. I was at the annual March for Life in January of 1992 with other students from Franciscan University and we were visiting the National Shrine in Washington DC. I was walking around the catherdal praying and looking at all the beutiful architecture that drew one's mind to spiritual realities. I noticed around the top of one of the arches there were written the titles of Mary. "Star of the Sea", "Tower of Ivory", "Vessel of Divinity".... and I just started thinking and singing to myself right there in the church. That is when the idea for the refrain came to me. Later, I thought of using common prayers to Mary as the verses.

One thing that has struck me about this song is the number of priests who have told me that they use this song as a meditation, as a prayer and that it comforts and encourages them. When I was on the road singing as a full time music minister, I remember one priest saying to me that priests need a relationship with Mary in order to fully embrace their single state in life. That she would help them in a way that no other devotion could. It humbles me to think that God could use this simple song to help these men to do what God is calling them to do.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Listen to Song Clips

Listen to song clips from Beloved (click song title)


Friday, April 3, 2009

Intro to the CD

Every woman has a story. For some, the story is simple and lovely; for others, it is full of hardship and pain. Nevertheless, in every story there is the voice of the Lord calling, saying, “What will it take for you to love Me?” I think a woman responds to God so easily because by her very nature, a woman is made to give herself away. By doing so, she can find herself and the One who loves her and has laid down His life for her.

God has surrounded me with strong women my whole life. My mother… a true Catholic feminist, who showed me how to embrace real womanhood. My aunts, grandmothers, and cousins…those who give me my grounding in where I have come from and give me reasons for who I am now. My four sisters… women who are all so different but bound by an unbreakable bond. My four adopted sisters, my sister-in-laws…they have come into my life with new perspectives to offer that I never would have imagined. My friends… other mothers who are there for me with a listening ear, advice, a helping hand, and above all, empathy and love. And in the future my five daughters will be women around me and just as I am now reaching out my hand to help them, I know someday it will be their hands that I will be seeking. My desire is that this CD honors the women who have blessed me to give thanks to my Heavenly Father who gave them to me.

My history of writing and performing music

My parents gave me the incredible gift of surrounding me with music. Neither of them considers themselves a musician, but our home was full of piano music (provided by our player piano) and recordings of the latest Christian music. My father always began our prayer before meals with a song, and as we got older often it turned into 4 on the melody and the rest of us trying to beat each other out with the best harmony!

When I was 12 my father and I led music every Sunday for the CCD mass at our parish which was a children’s mass and had very simple music. I was a novice guitarist, but my father’s voice as well as mine was strong enough to overcome any deficiencies in the accompaniment! After that experience I found myself leading music on a regular basis- mainly for masses and prayer meetings. When I went to college at Franciscan University in 1990 I dove right into the music ministry there and began leading a group and singing in another, larger group. After 2 years of college, I took a year off to travel with Allison Waldrop (now Allison Miller) with her ministry called Home in His Heart. We did concerts and retreats at church’s all over the United States and into Canada. It was during that time that I wrote Cry of the Beloved and Maria. This was also the first time that I went into the recording studio to put some of my songs on a CD with Allison. The year of ministry and performance was very formative for me because it gave me the opportunity to get out of my “bubble” and see more of the Church and minister with my music in a way that I never did before.

Since that time, I have continued to sing and lead people in worship, but never professionally on a regular basis. My husband Michael swept me off my feet and convinced me to marry him before graduation and soon we began our own family. Teaching music to children is my first love, and over the last 12 years I have taught music to children in schools and in private lessons. I became a Kindermusik educator in 2000 and have enjoyed teaching Kindermusik ever since. Occasionally I sing at conferences or other paid events, but mainly I continue to volunteer to sing at my parish in Steubenville.

There have been many people over the years who have asked me if I had a CD, or asked when I was going to do one. It just never seemed to be the right time till now! I really am so grateful to all those people who encouraged me to keep going.