Mother Dearest, Mother Fairest

Recently, the archivist for the School Sisters of St. Francis sent me a copy of the organ arrangment from the Alverno Hymnal Abridged Edition published by McLaughlin and Reilly Co., in 1963. This collection is the compilation of the three Alverno Hymnals published between 1948-1953. You can read about this wonderful Marian hymn the authors and composers by clicking on the following link: Mother Dearest, Mother Fairest

Alverno Hymnal Abridged Edition, 1963
Alverno Hymnal Abridged Edition, 1963
Alverno Hymnal Abridged Edition, 1963

Old St. Mary’s Church sings Sleep, Holy Babe

On December 24, 2022 at the Midnight Mass, the Choir and Orchestra of the Cincinnati Oratory, Old St. Mary’s Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, along with the twenty-one member Laudate Pueri Children’s Schola Cantorum sang Sleep, Holy Babe. The melody was composed by Jacob Schloeder (1865-1919) and arranged by Aaron Hirsch. This is one of the wonderful melodies featured in my HYMN OF THE MONTH for December. The words of this hymn were written by Father Edward Caswall (1814-1878) a most holy priest of the Birmingham Oratory in London.

Sean Connolly who is the Director / Organist of the Oratory Choir has provided a recording of this lovely hymn and photo of the choir. The Director of Laudate Pueri is Sophia Decker, and assistant director Fatima Spoor. Fatima was conducting that night. The Laudate Pueri are an integral part of the Oratory music program which Sean simultaneously assists and oversees in their integration.

St. Mary's Oratory - Christmas Eve 2022

Sean brought this arrangement of Schloeder’s tune from his old parish, St Mary, Help of Christians in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota where it was sung every year for nearly a century. To learn more about this beautiful hymn and Father Edward Caswall please take a few moments to read the short story HYMN OF THE MONTH – SLEEP, HOLY BABE.

Catholic Church Hymnal, 1905
Sleep Holy Babe Arr. by Aaron Hirsch
Sleep Holy Babe Arr. by Aaron Hirsch

St. Mary Parish May Crowning

On May 2, 2022, I emailed Father Chris Zerucha, Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Akron, Ohio to share with him my short story on the origins of the most widely used May Crowning hymn in the Catholic Church, Bring Flowers of the Rarest. I grew up in St. Mary’s Parish and sang in the choir for over thirty years (1977-2010). I was happy when Father Zerucha invited me to attend the 9AM Mass at St. Mary’s on May 8, Mother’s Day. They celebrated a First Communion and had a May Crowning after Mass. It was beautiful sunny day for an outdoor gathering to crown Our Lady. 

Everyone received a small blue leaflet entitled May Crowning with the words of the hymns printed on the pages and on the back page of the leaflet were the words of Bring Flowers of the Rarest. There was a small ensemble of singers that led the congregation. It brought back a lot of memories. The Mass included some exceptionally good hymn selections including, Jesus Christ is Risen Today; Jesus My Lord, My God My All, and O Lord I Am Not Worthy for the First Communion hymn. When I arrived, they were praying the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament.

To my surprise Father Zerucha featured my hymn reflections in St. Mary’s weekly bulletin. God Bless you and thank you Father Chris Zerucha.

I took a few photos which I thought you might enjoy. As you enter from the side entrance, they have this beautiful scale model of St. Mary’s Church. The parish is currently engaged in a $1 million dollar restoration project.

May Crowning
May Crowning
May Crowning
May Crowning
St. Mary's Church
St. Mary's Church
Parish Bulletin Cover
Pastor's Note
Over the high altar

National Catholic Register features Hymns to St. Joseph

I recently bought ad space in the National Catholic Register to promote my collection of hymns to St. Joseph. These traditional Catholic hymns to St. Joseph are available in melody and choir arrangements. I’m very proud of this accomplishment and I believe very strongly about putting approved Catholic devotional music back in the hands of Catholic musicians.

Just in time for the Feast of St. Joseph. These are fourteen of the most widely used hymns to St. Joseph with melody and choir arrangements that are easy to sing with approved text by the Catholic Church. Be sure to look for this ad and buy a copy for yourself and one for your music director. 

Hymn of the Month

I am pleased to announce the latest development for the Mother of Mercy Catholic Hymns website! HYMN OF THE MONTH. Each month I will feature a story on a new old hymn with a short biography on the author and composer with links to hymn sources and when possible, newly commissioned recordings granted by Peter Meggison, Producer of The Devotional Hymns Project.

Many of the hymns that I will feature are hymns that I sang in St. Mary’s Choir (1977-2010) and new hymns that I have added to my repertoire. These hymns have kept me grounded in my Catholic Faith and I turn to them in good times and bad. They are a source of comfort and spiritual nourishment to me, and I hope for you as well. They are prayerful and meaningful with approved texts by the Catholic Church. Don’t under estimate the providence that can come from hearing these beautiful hymns.

The first hymn of the month is Dear Guardian of Mary in honor of the Feast Day of Saint Joseph, March 19th. So, Like or Bookmark this page to follow along or check back often. I hope you will find my selections and my reflections intuitive and helpful.

Mother of Mercy Catholic Hymns Facebook Page

I am excited to announce the launch of the Mother of Mercy Catholic Hymns Facebook page. Be sure to Like this page to follow along to keep updated on current news and project developments.

A Thank You Card from Bishop Malesic

I recently sent the Most Reverend Bishop Malesic, the Bishop of Cleveland, a copy of my book, A Collection of Catholic Devotional Hymns to St. Joseph as a gift. I received this nice thank you card from him congratulating me on a job well done. Thank you and God Bless Bishop Malesic.

Angelus Magazine Showcases Hymns to St. Joseph

I am very exited to announce that my Collection of Catholic Devotional Hymns to St. Joseph appears in a special issue of the Angelus Magazine published by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, honoring the the 250th anniversary of the Mission San Gabriel founding. This is going to be a very well read issue that people will keep for years to come. The hymns to St. Joseph will also appear on the Angelus News website and in their Always Forward newsletter. 

Please visit the Angelus News website to learn more about this amazing and informative magazine or click the image below to read about the Mission San Gabriel Jubilee.

Angelus Magazine