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Our CD JOURNEY

My journey for this project began long ago as a child who was inspired from her parents with the love and faith of God as practiced in the Ukrainian Catholic Church.  You see growing up as Ukrainian Catholic; it was not our practice to pray the western devotion of the Holy Rosary.  But what we did have were strong reverence and veneration for Mary, the Mother of God.  It was through a small medal of Our Lady given to me by my own mother, which enriched my own personal journey towards God.  It is only now as someone who is much older, do I see the hand of God and His Mother bringing me to share this story with you.I believe it was the Holy Spirit who inspired this project some 20 years ago when I was invited to participate in a Rosary Prayer Group that, as a lifelong Eastern Rite Catholic, was rather new to me.  Knowing how much the Blessed Mother meant and still is very important to me, I now know that it was she who brought me to this group so I may learn this beautiful devotion.


The Holy Rosary became a very important part of my spiritual prayer life and I found myself drawn to praying the rosary every day, usually in my car via CD, as I traveled to work.  As I listened and prayed along with the different CDs that I had purchased along the way, I often felt how beautiful this devotion would be with our rich Byzantine liturgical sacred music and prayers…. and it became a personal passion of mine to somehow get this accomplished. As with most things, time marched on and as I encountered different prayers, liturgical services, listened to music, spiritual lectures, the dream of doing a Rosary CD with “our prayers and music” always stayed with me. What challenged me at that time was the format of how to accomplish this since I wanted to be true to the format of the Holy Rosary, yet, I wanted to respectfully share the beauty of the Ukrainian Catholic sacred prayers and music.  During this time, I volunteered as a tour guide at The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. (the largest Catholic Church in the Western Hemisphere) where I met and led the nicest people through this incredibly beautiful and sacred Catholic Shrine.  What I discovered over time is that when I led pilgrims into the Byzantine Chapel in the Basilica, how little they knew about the different churches within the universal Catholic Church, and how I felt inspired to share with them my traditions.


It wasn’t until about three years ago when once again, listening to a new Rosary CD, which the inspiration came to me as to how to do my project.  I began the project the first day of the Great Fast (Lent) in 2007 by first offering this whole endeavor to Our Lord and to Our Lady, asking them through the power of the Holy Spirit to do what God wanted me to do and to use this for His purpose.  I worked on this the entire Lenten season and finished my first draft during Holy Week.  I immediately contacted my former Pastor and asked him to take a look at it for accuracy and authenticity of our church. Once I finalized the script then the next step was to find a Priest with the right voice who could recite and inspire to pray.  Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I was led to priest who happens to be bi-ritual with both the Latin and Byzantine rites and who could appreciate both audiences of different traditions.  After approaching him with the idea and him agreeing to do the project, it took another year to actually schedule the time with him to do the recording.  I realized as I went along this project that truly it was all done in God’s time and I was humbled.

 

In the meantime, my good friend Vlad was tasked with music coordination for this project and for getting our traditional Ukrainian liturgical music.  The tricky part was that my request was to make sure all the prayers and music that would be in the heart of the rosary be done in the English language so that all could participate and understand the beautiful words of our liturgical traditions.  This, too, would be no easy feat.Vlad went home to Ukraine to get this accomplished.  Once again the Holy Spirit ensured the help and Vlad contacted an old friend who led him to a small professional male quartet who could sing in English! One of the members is also a choir director who gave us permission to add the beauty of his Ukrainian Catholic Choir singing at the end of each CD.  What a beautiful gift that was for me to be able to share these most precious sacred hymns!!  It took almost 4 months to get the music completed, but with God’s grace, it was accomplished.

 

Now it was time to do the recording, and I had earlier approached my brother Walt, who is an extremely accomplished and talented musician himself, to do the master recording, in which he agreed.The recording began in August 2008 when we had completed Father’s recording of the recitation of the Rosary prayers.  Now the challenging part was about to begin…. My brother had to incorporate the other tracks of the quartet singing, the background music, the special effects, and the full choir!! That was a major, labor intensive and complicated undertaking for which I am ever grateful to the sacrifices made by my brother to help get this project completed.  It was not easy. 

 

The devil was working hard because I can’t even count the numerous difficulties my brother encountered with equipment snags when it should not have happened.  My brother and I worked through so many variations until one night in November, when I listened probably what was by then the 10th or 15th version, that I felt confident the CD that I was now listening to was now the vision that was placed on my heart so many years ago.

 

Finally, a CD demo of the JOYFUL MYSTERIES was ready for December 2008 for me to share with both my Latin Rite and Ukrainian Catholic friends to get their reaction. The feedback received was surprisingly positive!  We made the decision to proceed and finish the remaining 3 mystery sets.  Once again Vlad had to return to Ukraine for some touch ups to the music in order that it played well.  On this trip he acquired some additional beautiful music that I knew was sent by Our Lady!  But that didn’t keep the Devil away!  As we were getting closer and closer to the end, I could feel and see his work.  Tempers were getting short, things were getting lost, equipment continued to break unexpectedly, and it was taking so long to get it done.  I just kept praying and saying “All in God’s Time”.

 

It was in June 2009 that I had received my first shipment of the completed 4CD package.

When I started the project way back when… there were two goals I set out to accomplish:

1.)    That people pray the Holy Rosary as Our Lady has requested and;

2.)    That more people are aware of how beautiful our Ukrainian Catholic Church is and as brothers and sisters of the Catholic Church we are truly one! 

 

For all of you who may also be of the Byzantine Rite, please recognize that this is NOT a Byzantine Rosary, but rather the traditional Rosary done with the accompaniment of Byzantine prayers and music and to be used for private meditation and reflection.

 

I could share so many interesting stories where I saw the hand of God in this project and I am so very grateful.

 

Thank you for letting me share this with you.  I want to thank Fr. Damian, my brother Walt who recently passed away, and Vlad, for without them; this project would not exist today.

 

May Our Lord and His Mother Mary bless you abundantly and as you listen to this CD set, may you find Their love and peace!

 

Great Christmas gift for you,your family or friends