Okay, when ‘the chart’ is Billboard’s Classical Music Chart it may not be correct to “rock” it. It has been a delight to watch the sisters of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles top the Billboard Classical Album Chart for three weeks before slipping (if that’s what you call it) one place to #2. Their album Lent at Ephesus, followed their earlier chart topping release: Angels and Saints at Ephesus.
For those who love the sacred music of the Catholic tradition it is no wonder that, once heard, this music is experienced as both powerful and popular. The surprise and delight from the likes of NPR and the Wall Street Journal are reminiscent of how current media finds itself startled by Pope Francis. He is living the Gospel in plain sight. After years of indulging in a steady diet of negative stories on the Church, the press seems surprised that God is not dead and that the Holy Spirit is alive in the world today.
These recordings began as an effort to pay down the debt related to the construction of the Benedictine Sister’s priory in Missouri. The Wall Street Journal article points to their true motivation. While it would be financially advantageous for them to accept invitations to appear on the Tonight show or other programs, Mother Cecilia points to their life of prayer as the heart of what they are doing; “What we are doing on these recordings is giving others a share of what is ours day-to-day.”