Yesterday NPR featured the “singing nuns of Ann Arbor, Michigan.” The Dominican Sisters of St. Mary have produced a debut album, Mater Eucharistiae, following on the heels of two separate albums by Catholic nuns that rocketed to the top of classical charts just this year.
The sacred beauty of the music stopped me in my tracks driving home from a long day of work and chauffeuring children around; it was a plaintive invitation to enter into the restful spaciousness of God’s presence. (You can sample the recording here.)
But then there is also the wonderful irony behind the phenomenon: two, now possibly three, bestselling albums by Catholic nuns in a year that has witnessed more efforts by the church hierarchy to silence its women of the cloth. The lesson? Maybe, that if you’re being pressured into silence by the powers that be, you should use your voice to belt out beautiful praise music to God; maybe, that if you’re not heard the first time, or second or third time, you should add your voice to a chorus and try singing in unison; maybe, that if you’re denied a pulpit, you should make a really good album.
Funny how the Spirit blows where She wills.