The offline launch of Calm the Soul took place on the 3rd of October at the monastery. Mother Colette welcomed everyone and thanked the many people who were involved in making the vision for ‘Calm the Soul’ a reality and she spoke about the genesis of the song from its inception as a poem written by us in the book ‘Calm the Soul’ to a professionally produced, mixed and mastered recording. Sr. Consilio, founder of the Cuan Mhuire Addiction Recovery centres said a few words before she launched the song.
She spoke about how the themes in the song fit so well into the Cuan Mhuire programme and she said that those on the programme who heard the song found it to be very healing and inspirational.
“It speaks to people who are going through troubled times. The person singing the song is saying that the only Person who can help them is God and that is for sure when you are in addiction. Without the spiritual dimension and without the God-power, there is no recovery.”
She shared some of the reactions of the men with whom she works, who listened to the song. It spoke deeply to them especially the line “when guilt has me caught in a hole I turn to the Lord for forgiveness”
She quoted one man who said “I know now that addiction brought me to dark places. ‘I stumbled about in the darkness’ as the song says but God intervened and I feel grateful.”
Another said that the line ‘Sometimes I live life on the surface’ spoke to him. “God helped me to come here and now I know who I am.” he said.
She concluded by saying that “I know that this song is going to be heard in our houses very often for years to come and I have no doubt that it will touch the lives of an awful lot of people and help them in their darkest days. It will help thousands of people, not only the people who come through our program but also the people that they will help in the future. I wasn’t sure at first why I was being invited to launch a song – I haven’t a note in my head...but now I know the reason!”
Ian Callanan, the arranger and producer of Calm the Soul said:
This has been a gift and a blessing for me. The sisters gave me the song back in 2014 to have a look at and it sat in a pile for years until I was up here again last year and we got talking about it again and when I went home I typeset it and I couldn’t get the tune out of my head and I was going over to the States and was working in a parish there and they asked me if I could you do something on healing with them because they were going through a tough time. That is when I did the three-part arrangement. I did it with the choir over there and they just adored it and I knew from that moment that there was something very special about it.
So when I came back I was going to do a recording of it with the band and was going to gift it to the sisters as a surprise but in the meantime Colette emailed me and said ‘Maybe we could think about recording it’ and I said to myself ‘There goes my plan’! So I emailed Colette back and said ‘God clearly doesn’t like surprises’! And I sent a very rough first track and it went from there.
It has just been an absolute pleasure and honour to be part of this. I would ask you all to get on to everyone you know and encourage them to share it on social media and buy it on ITunes so that we can try and chart it- it is registered for the charts. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get the sisters to number one?!! Any profits from the sale of the song are going to go towards helping persecuted Christians throughout the world.
I would like to say a huge thank you to the sisters because they put up with me...and I put up with them! (laughter). When they put their minds to something they really get on with it and see it through and we have got a wonderful friendship and relationship and it’s just been a pleasure to be part of it.
Aoife Ní Fhearraigh (pictured above with Ian)
When the sisters contacted me to see if I would be interested in taking part I was surprised. But once I read the email and listened to the track there was no hesitation whatsoever to accept their invitation. It was an added bonus to meet the sisters when I came here in July to record the verse of the song I was to sing and it has been such a humbling experience to be part of this project. No words can explain it, because it has meant so much to me and when I saw the finished product the other day I was just so excited. I hope you all enjoy it. It draws you in when you listen to the arrangement and the music and the words. Thank you again for asking me to be part of this.
Appropriate journey, choose the path... what does this mean? Do not stand still — a young person cannot stand still! — and journey. This means go toward something; because a person can move and not be one who journeys, but a “wanderer”, who roams, roams, roams through life... But life is not made for “roaming through”, it is made to “journey through”, and this is your challenge!
Pope Francis to young people