Diocesan priest to be featured on Catholic music compilation CD
By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
Nov. 9, 2006
A priest of the Diocese of Sioux City is among 32 Catholic artists to be
featured on a compilation CD slated for release by Spirit Wing Records on Nov.
Father David Hemann, pastor at Sacred Heart in Ida Grove and Our Lady of Good
Counsel in Holstein, was pleased to be asked to be part of this group effort
because it is a way to bring a nice mix of Catholic music to the people.
Catholic Music 2007 - Illuminating the Darkness - was created by Gary Gersin
of Cleveland, Ohio, and Mike Beloud of Los Angeles. The CD will resemble the
popular Christian music CDs, WOW, that are released each year.
"The official release date is the Feast day of St. Cecelia - the patron
saint of music and musicians," noted Gersin.
The CD is presently available in about six Catholic bookstores throughout the
country and is available at Catholic Music Network on the Web.
"When Gary asked me to do this, I was very honored and very humbled
because there are a lot of good Catholic artists out there," said Father
Hemann. "I was happy to do my part to contribute to the group."
Each of the 32 solo artists or groups will have one song featured on the CD.
Father Hemann selected his original song Angel of God for the CD. That song is
presently #3 on Sacred Heart Radio's Top 20. Sacred Heart Radio, a Catholic
Internet radio, is in the process of changing names to Catholic Music 24/7 -
Sacred Heart Radio Network and can be found on the Web at CM247.com.
"Because that song is so popular on the Internet radio, I figured that
would be a good song to be included on the CD," he said. "And
everybody loves to have the comforting presence of their angels."
Angel of God is a lively tune featuring the Irish tin whistle and upbeat
drumming that is based on the prayer, Angel of God. The song is featured on
Father Hemann's CD titled In God's Company, which is a collection of Catholic
prayers put to music. That CD, his third project, was released in 1997.
He mentioned that Illuminating the Darkness is a fitting title because
"these songs go out and illuminate the darkness. We live in a world of
darkness and there are a lot beautiful lyrics in these songs. The music is a way
to get the lyrics into the heads and hearts of people."
Through the music they hope that people will be touched and made aware of the
light of Christ in any situations they might be struggling with.
"There are many talented Catholic artists out there who are filled with
the Spirit, serving God and the church through their music ministries,"
said Beloud, who is a member of the Catholic group RISE that is also featured on
the CD. "Catholic Music 2007 gives them the opportunity to showcase their
Gersin mentioned that Catholic Music 2007 features two CDs.
"One CD is Worship and the other is Praise," he explained. It was
through "lots and lots of prayer" that they opted to go with the two
distinct CDs. The Worship CD features prayerful and meditative songs. The Praise
CD contains songs with a more modern, upbeat tone.
Gersin estimated that 75 percent of the songs are originals and the other 25
percent are Christian remakes that are given a Catholic flavor.
The toughest part of the whole project, he noted, was selecting the songs to
include on the CD because they had so many submissions.
"This project has been in God's hands. I never even knew how to turn on
a computer and the next thing I know within six months I am building a music Web
site. All of the artists are sending me their music and I am putting their music
up. I am meeting a lot of great people through all of this," said Gersin.
He said one of the motivators for both the Web site and CD is that there are
so many quality music ministries out there but they have no way to reach the
They have intentions of continuing this project each year. Next year they
will release Catholic Music 2008.
Gersin said Catholic Music 2007 provides such variety in selection that it
should be of interest to people of all ages. He particularly would love to see
young adults and teens listen to these Catholic songs because they provide great
music with positive lyrics.
Ultimately, Beloud said he would love for parishes to bring Catholic music
ministries in for concerts and retreats. He pointed out that he his the other
band members of RISE converted to Catholicism in 2004 and last year they
performed at World Youth Day last August in Germany.
Father Hemann is presently working on his fifth CD that will be titled
Gathered Wisdom - Songs to Live By. It is expected to be released in February of
2007. For more information about his CDs, check out his Web site -
For more information about the new Catholic Music 2007 compilation CD or to
pre-order a copy go to www.spiritwingrecords.com. CDs may also be ordered
through traditional mail at Spirit Wing Records, 8012 Edgewood Rd., Mentor, OH
44060. The CDs are being sold for $15.99. Catholic Music 2007 will also be
available in the diocese at Fitzgibbons in Sioux City.