Category Archives: Feature Stories

The Prodigal Musician

I am sure everyone has experienced the power of music. Surely everyone has heard a song which makes them draw in a breath and contemplate God’s majesty more deeply when they hear the sweet chords begin to play. This feeling is amplified when we realize the beautiful words which many times describe the majesty and purity of our Lord and Savior.

I am sure everyone has experienced the power of music. Surely everyone has heard a song which makes them draw in a breath and contemplate God’s majesty more deeply when they hear the sweet chords begin to play. This feeling is amplified when we realize the beautiful words which many times describe the majesty and purity of our Lord and Savior.

Mozart composed his Ave Verum in 1791 for the Feast of Corpus Christi. It was frequently sung in the Middle Ages during Benediction and at the elevation of the host. In Latin the word are: Ave verum corpus, natum de Maria Virgine, vere passum, immolatum in cruce pro homine cuius latus perforatum fluxit aqua et sanguine: esto nobis praegustatum in mortis examine.

This translates into: Hail, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary, having truly suffered, sacrificed on the cross for mankind, from whose pierced side water and blood flowed: Be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet] in the trial of death!

Mozart wrote this only six months before he died. In his brilliance he tugs on our emotions by combining major and minor keys in his Ave which leaves us feeling both happy and sad because we are not sure what our emotions are saying by the end of the piece.

There are many different settings for the Ave Verum Corpus including one by Byrd and Franz Lisvt. A particularly beautiful version of Mozart’s is played by Kings College Choir:

The next time you hear this eighteenth-century hymn, pay special attention not only to the words but also the beautiful harmony in proportion to the words. When you realize the beauty of this special piece, surely it will become one of your favorites and you may even find yourself humming throughout the day, calling Jesus to be with you in everything you do.

Faith of Our Fathers, Hymn of the English Martyrs

Hymns praising God and his saints are one of the most beautiful ways Catholics can honor God and his Christian faith. Numerous hymns have been created by priest and laymen alike. Faith of Our Fathers is one of such hymns.

Faith of Our Fathers was created by Fredrick Faber an Anglican convert to catholicism. Faber was a priest for the Church of England but later converted to the Roman Catholic Church and became a catholic priest. Father Faber moved to London where he established the Oratorians with blessed John Newman also a priest and hymn writer.

Father Faber had been writing hymns as an Anglican, and became reinterested in hymn writing after his conversion. “It was natural then that an English son of St. Philip should feel the want of a collection of English Catholic hymns fitted for singing. The few in the Garden of the Soul were all that were at hand, and of course they were not numerous enough to furnish the requisite variety. As translations, they do not express Saxon thought and feelings, and consequently the poor do not seem to take to them. The domestic wants of the Oratory, too, keep alive the feeling that something of the sort was needed: though at the same time the author’s ignorance of music appeared in some measure to disqualify him for the work of supplying the defect.” Father Faber described in his book Jesus and Mary: Catholic Hymns for Singing and Reading (1849).

One hundred and fifty hymns were written by Father Faber, however he always regarded Faith Of our Fathers as his most spectacular work. The hymn draws parallels to the English Catholic martyrs. Which is appropriate regarding Father Faber’s conversion from Anglicanism. The main refrain of the hymn is as follows:

Faith of our fathers, living still,

In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;

O how our hearts beat high with joy

Whenever we hear that glorious word

Faith of our fathers, holy faith.

We will be true to thee ’til death.”

Father Faber understood the price his English ancestors payed to keep their Catholicism, one can clearly see he had a sort of ethnic pride as he wrote the words to the hymn honoring the English martyrs.

Years later, this hymn has become very famous. Many renditions have been made and choir voices can be heard resounding the hymn in praise.                                                                                                                                                         The lyrics to the hymn can be found here 

Holy God we praise thy name

The trinity, a beautiful mystery. Gods holy name, a sacred word. Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, a glorious reality. All these truths of the Catholic faith are contained within the masterpiece of the hymn “Holy God we praise thy name.”

This beautiful hymn written in the eighteenth century by a German catholic priest in Poland, was later translated from German to English by Clarence Walworth. Its origins are from the Te Deum.
The author’s name was Ignace Franz. He was born on October 12,1719, and died on August 19,1790, in Breslau Silesia, now Wroclaw, Poland. Franz worked as a chaplain at Gross-Glogau in 1753, an arch-priest at Schlawa, and an assessor to the apostolic vicar’s office in Breslau in 1766. Although he did all these things, he was first and foremost a hymnologist and compiler. Among his works is “Katholisches Gesangbuch” dated c. 1744.
The translator for “Holy God we praise thy name” is Clarence A. Walworth. Walworth was also a roman catholic priest, although he originally studied to become a minister of the protestant episcopal church.
The source for “Holy God we praise thy name” is the Te Deum, as it is a paraphrase of it. The original German song was written in 1771 The Te Deum is a hymn written in the 4th century in Latin.
The original German title of holy god we praise thy name is “Grosser Gott wir loben dich.” As it has a memorable melody, the song still to this day is popular in German speaking communities. It is now used frequently as an ending hymn for Christian ceremonies. You can find the lyrics at , and the sheet music at .
Holy god we praise thy name is mainly a sung hymn, as seen in the videos below.

Holy God we praise thy name has lasted throughout the centuries as a tribute of the faithful’s confidence in god and will continue to preserver along with the church.

Feature College: Salem State University

Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts was founded in 1854. Salem State University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., which is a non-governmental, nationally recognized organization. They have a school of art and science, a school of business, a school of education, a school of graduate studies, and a school of continuing and professional studies. Continue reading Feature College: Salem State University

Featured College: Keene State College

On the side of a pleasant road lined with little trees, there lies the sprawling campus of Keene State College, a liberal arts college located in, surprisingly enough, Keene, New Hampshire. It was originally founded in 1909 as a teacher’s college. It is a member of the University System of New Hampshire and of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. This institution’s motto is “Enter to learn; go forth to serve.” Continue reading Featured College: Keene State College

Feature College: Franklin Pierce University

Franklin Pierce University is located in rural Rindge, New Hampshire. Pierce is dedicated to teaching “an education that matters: one that achieves academic success through the integration of liberal arts and professional programs.”Franklin Pierce students are being prepared to become “confident, knowledgeable individuals and leaders of conscience.” Continue reading Feature College: Franklin Pierce University

A Catholic College In The Midst Of A Secular World

The roots of education are bitter, but its fruits are sweet,” said Aristotle. Individuals who are ambitious, put effort into their work, and are truly interested in learning understand the meaning of this quote. The hard work, time, money, and every day sacrifices put into everything concerning their education is truly worth it when they come to a deeper and clearer understanding of the challenging concepts of ancient philosophers and theologians, by brilliant men of today, and most importantly of the true faith of the Catholic Church. But where is there a school that encourages its students and drives them to discover truth? Continue reading A Catholic College In The Midst Of A Secular World