Go into all the world, said Jesus.
Sister Cristina Scuccia, a 25-year-old Ursuline Sister of the Holy Family from Milan, Italy has taken that directive to heart. The talented religious won a standing ovation on the blind auditions for The Voice 2, Italy’s popular talent show.
All four of the judges pushed the button that turned their chairs around to face the stage; and their shocked expressions upon seeing a Catholic nun belting out the lyrics of Alicia Keys’ “No One” were priceless.
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From childhood, Sister Cristina had wanted to be a singer; and in fact, she placed first in the Good News festival, held in Rome during the Year of Faith.
Cristina had not always wanted to be a nun. In 2008, when the Ursuline Sisters organized a musical to celebrate the centenary of their religious order, her mother learned that they were seeking a lead singer for the new musical about their founding. Cristina tried out, and she was cast in the starring role as Sister Rosa, the order’s foundress.
At the time, Cristina–who had a degree in accounting and was working at a call center–was away from the Church and engaged to be married. She was, she said, “always buzzing inside”, looking for answers in her life. It was during the production of the musical that she resolved her crisis of faith and entered a period of discernment about religious life. You can see what happened: She broke off her engagement and entered the Ursuline Sisters.
Asked “What is faith to you?”, Sister Cristina explains to reporter Laura Badaracchi of Credere:
“It’s like a tunnel: we come in and it all seems dark, confused. But in the end you expect a beautiful light, a living presence that embraces, which is the hands, voice and breath, as I wrote in my song. Just available to listen, to accept this gift, without being distracted by so much “noise” in the background. To answer the call of Jesus is liberating: it does not disappoint. “
Here is her amazing performance, which aired this week on Italian television. It’s in Italian, so I’m disadvantaged: Can anyone tell me what Sister Cristina says at 7:35 to generate such excitement?
UPDATE: Sister Cristina renews her vows!
Sister Cristina has learned that with fame comes a certain frustration: She and her sisters have been followed by paparazzi since her big win on The Voice Italy, and her community has been harassed by the Italian tabloids.
What hasn’t changed now that she’s a star, though, is her dedication to Christ. On July 29, Sister Cristina renewed her temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience at a Rome convent. She will make her final vows in 2018.
She now has a record deal in the works with Universal, although no recording date is scheduled. Sister Cristina certainly accomplished her goal of leading souls to Christ! According to Catholic News Agency:
“It was always very clear, I went (on the show) to send a Christian message,” she told [Italian magazine] Di Piu. After being announced as the winner, Sister Cristina invited the entire studio audience to join her in praying the Our Father. She said she wanted to say the prayer “so that Jesus will be present here.”