And Now, Nicholas Connors will Blow. Your. Mind.

JJWattsNicholasConnors

I know nothing at all about this child, except for two things. No, three.1) He has a lithe vocal instrument of remarkable clarity, sweetness, and power.2) His mother appears to know how to support without forgetting to be honest.3) J. J. Watt was is very cool. And I don't actually know who he is.Check out young Nicholas' performance of the National Anthem. That's a rare gift and a natural musicality, there. … [Read more...]

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Absorbing the Mind and Music of Sam Rocha

Late to love2

One of the great charms of Sam Rocha is that he hasn't much interest in thinking along easy or comfortable lines. Whether writing on education, or poverty or art, he is always just a little bit jarring. Sometimes you have to read a piece of his twice, or even go back to it a third time, to fully appreciate the depths and nuance of his arguments.This originality informs his musical ideas, as well. Not too many people, for instance, consider Saint Augustine's thoughts on love, humility, … [Read more...]

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Grief, a Joyful Nun, Misery-lovers & the Annunciation

My column at First Things looks at two stories from last week -- one grievous, and one glad -- and how, amid the mysteries contained within each, some people could only be miserable:The immediate responses seemed like reasonable ones: The plight of a family facing a wound of such depth would naturally evoke empathetic sadness in others, and our human need to feel empowered in dreadful circumstances fueled an impressively-answered fundraiser meant to defray the costs of emergency airlifts, … [Read more...]

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Augustine’s Confessions Set to Music? Let’s Bring This Baby Home! – UPDATE: GOAL REACHED!

sam rocha trio

:::UPDATE:::: GOAL REACHED! Applaud yourselves for the hand you've had in a creative endeavor! :::END UPDATE:::Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You … [Read more...]

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Advent Reading Recommendations 2013 – UPDATED

advent at ephesus

Julie Davis beat me to it, but as usual, I have some Advent Reading ideas -- and more than one of them would also make terrific Christmas gifts:Topping the List, because I just think it's so cool to have music specific to Advent to access at this time: The Benedictines of Mary's must-have recording, Advent at Ephesus. If you didn't get it last year, do yourself a favor and gift yourself with this glorious music, which is the antidote to all the noise that is about to come upon us. Listen … [Read more...]

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Advent: Love Words and Expectations in the Dark – UPDATED

choosing joy

I am so grateful that Advent is upon us; my favorite time of year! It is all hope, depth, mystery and promise of light, and it feels like we need it; it feels as though we have all been so occupied with politics, natural disasters, willful (and unpersuasive) belligerence and our own daily anxieties and stresses -- so many people I know are anticipating Christmas with dread rather than joy -- that we need our heads turned toward something great!In my column at The Catholic Answer I put it … [Read more...]

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Hawaiian Folk Music, Crusades and Columns

soundtrack

Last night, my husband got home from an outing and watched The Descendents, starring George Clooney. Not really a Clooney fan, but he was very good, and the movie was engrossing. Hubby and I both wished that some religious perspective might have been introduced, but then that would have made it a completely different movie, so -- it is what it is. The reason I'm mentioning it at all, though is because we both commented, almost at precisely the same moment, that we were really enjoying the … [Read more...]

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Accept Almighty Father – FOUND!

A couple days ago I awoke with my memory ringing back a hymn from my childhood that I had not heard in likely 42 years, and which I could not find on google.Happily, a twitter-follower, HeyJulieo found the hymn, with the melody I remember, in the 1966 Parish Mass Book - St. Joseph Edition.Can we please have this wonderful, singable, instructive and reverent hymn back? Please? … [Read more...]

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