Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

Advent at Ephesus is a hit. The Advent album from the sisters serving in the contemplative community of  the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in rural Missouri is No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s Traditional Classical Music Chart for the third straight week, rising above a group of Classical albums that includes Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Fifty Shades of Grey Classical, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Once Upon a Christmas, and the London Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Classics.

“A No. 1 ranking for the third straight week in a row is a resounding response from consumers who are desirous of the sacred and divine. Amid this second week of Advent, there is still much more of this beautiful sacred season ahead. We hope the music and peaceful reflections found in ADVENT AT EPHESUS will continue to be loved by and shared with as many as possible!” says Monica Fitzgibbons, the co-founder of De Montfort Music who I spoke with prior to the CD’s official release.

Advent at Ephesus has also  captured an impressive top 200 ranking in Billboard’s mainstream chart. It also ranks No. 9 on the Contemporary Christian chart, No. 10 on the Gospel chart, and No. 20 on the Internet Album chart.The album is available as a  CD and via digital download through such online retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the iTunes Store.

Meanwhile, EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) will re-air its 30-minute special about the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, and the making of Advent at Ephesus this Saturday morning (Dec. 15) at 9:00 AM (ET). The show takes viewers inside the home of the sisters for a look at their simple life and the music that fills their every day at the Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus which is tucked away in the rolling farmland of northwest Missouri.

“Our way of life here is truly one of great peace and tranquility,” Mother Cecilia, the Prioress of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles says. “Since not everybody can come here – and since we’re not going out into the world – Advent at Ephesus is a way that we can just give a little taste of our life and let people experience it and be part of it.”

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About the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

Founded in 1995, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, are a young, monastic order of religious sisters. United with Our Lady at the foot of the Cross; the sisters seek, above all else, a life of union with God in prayer as guided by the Rule of St. Benedict. They pray and sacrifice especially for the sanctification of priests. The Sisters sing together eight times a day as they chant the Divine Office in Latin. Along with the making of priestly vestments and sacred linens, the Benedictines of Mary also take care of gardens, an orchard and a small farm.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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