Catholic Mom Music Spotlight

Rose Marie Rudolph
Tiny Hands, Precious Feet

CatholicMom.com is so happy to share the following Spotlight interview with Rose Marie Rudolph, winner of the 2003 Unity Award for Children's Music Album of the Year, presented by the United Catholic Music and Video Association.  Tiny Hands, Precious Feet is billed as "a Catholic Baby's First Lullabies", but I know that this in one album you will want to share with your entire family.  The CD features Rose Marie and her family singing such wonderful classics as "Sing of Mary", "Adoro Te Devote", and "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring".  A bonus feature of the CD is that each of the 12 tracks are repeated at the end of the CD in instrumental form, so that you may "sing along" or enjoy them as quiet contemplative accompaniment.

Rose Marie Rudolph is truly an inspirational role model for today's Catholic Mom, looking to share faith with her own family and with the world around her.  I want to thank Rose Marie for sharing her music, and for her heartfelt answers to the interview questions below.  I highly recommend Tiny Hands, Precious Feet  as the perfect gift for any family, or as a wonderful compliment to your own Catholic music collection!

Lisa,
Webmaster, CatholicMom.com

Rose Marie Rudolph's Discography

 

  Catholic Music Network

 

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CM:  Please describe your faith journey and how you came to decide to record Catholic music?

God has worked great miracles in my life!  He blessed me with a fabulous husband and six amazing sons that fill our lives with noise and frenzy matched with unspeakable joy.  I have always loved and cherished the Catholic faith and the more time passes I realize how many of the great gifts in my life can be attributed to this great gift of faith.

Singing and performing have always been part of my life.  At family gatherings my father would often ask my mother or me to sing for the family.  As I grew up, the whole family would sing songs from musicals and pop radio as well as liturgical music.  My father died of cancer when I was fourteen and one of his last wishes was for me to record a country album.  Twenty two years later I was preparing to record a country album when my son Kevin had an almost miraculous recovery from a ruptured appendix.  Near the end of Kevin’s nine days in the hospital, I went to the chapel to pray.  I so closely felt the Hand of God in this that I asked Him what I could do in thanksgiving.  God revealed that He wanted me to promote belief of the True Presence in the Eucharist.  Within a few months, I had produced our first CD – Bread of Life, Bread of Heaven – The Story of the Eucharist for Children.

CM: Can you tell us more about the Cousins In Christ?

I’m truly amazed at the hand of God in our ministry. 

The Cousins in Christ are actually double cousins – which mean they share the same two sets of grandparents.  This is because my brother and I married siblings.  My brother Bob married my husband’s sister Carol. 

When we recorded our first album Bread of Life Bread of Heaven, we took 10 children to Chicago and the oldest child was 11.  The kids were truly incredible, never complaining about the long recording sessions, meals on the go, and having to keep quiet in the studio.  We discovered that while the children individually were talented, the blend of their voices was even more beautiful.

Soon after Bread of Life Bread of Heaven was released, many parents and teachers called or wrote asking for a CD on the life of Mary.  We then produced My Spirit Rejoices – The Story of Mary, Model of Love.  We later collaborated with EWTN to produce music videos of these songs, packing up and driving 20 people to Alabama to film that project.

As a group we’ve done many live performances – ranging from Christmas programs for children tutored by the Missionaries of Charity to the recent Midwest Family Conference with 4000 attendees.  Individually, the children have won many awards and contests, and our oldest son is in college now with a scholarship for vocal performance.  Our sons have appeared in over 25 episodes of Angel Force for EWTN over the past few years, promoting the faith worldwide.  Many of the Cousins are involved in local theatre, with a strong preference for the classic Broadway musicals.

They also cantor at the local parish and are requested to sing throughout the Peoria diocese for weddings, graduations and special events.  We also make our home available for “Faith and Fun” evenings with their teen friends – gatherings of 30 to 50 young adults who spend about 2 hours learning their faith – followed by even more hours of party! 

CM:  Your latest CD, Tiny Hands precious Feet is so wonderful for Catholic families.  How did you select the songs for the CD?  The participation of the children is so special!  Please tell our readers more about the recording of this CD and why you recommend it to Catholic moms.

For many years I had a great desire to put to music the beautiful teachings of Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio and remained uninspired.  In January 2002 I underwent a hysterectomy.  Due to the complications, the scheduled 90-minute surgery turned into a four hour surgery.  After waking up from the surgery I was in an enormous amount of pain. I asked Our Lord, “Why should I suffer like this?  Shortly afterward, a young woman in her early twenties was wheeled into my room.  She was recovering from an appendectomy.  About midnight, she phoned her husband to and confessed that she had had an abortion a month earlier.  There was nothing she could say to console him.  All I could hear was her sobbing “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” over and over.  When the phone call ended I asked her if she wanted to talk.  We spent the entire night in tears, prayer, and conversation.   We talked about our families, forgiveness, and God’s unfailing love.  She said “I watched your husband and you boys come in and affectionately kiss you on the cheek.  That’s all I ever wanted, the house, the white picket fence, and the children.  Now I know I’ll never get my baby back and I’m not even sure I’ll ever get my husband back.” At this point I knew my pain was nothing compared to hers and that God had showered me with bountiful blessings. 

The next day, I had an excruciating migraine headache.  “What do you want from me?” I asked Our Lord.

It was then that He gave me the words to “We give our lives to you, One More Soul” He put into my heart a great peacefulness and appreciation for the fact that we as human beings have the power to co-create with God.  He certainly could have done this without us, but chose the love between two people to bring about a new life.  The pain was so great that I was unable to write down the words. I just kept repeating them in my head so I wouldn’t forget.

I soon realized that maybe God wanted me to produce a CD to encourage mothers in their noble task of raising tomorrow’s generation.    I tried to think about what has helped me in my last eighteen years of parenting.  So Tiny Hands, Precious Feet is really a collection of some traditional lullabies loved by our family as well as some “spiritual boosts” for Catholic moms.  Motherhood is truly a noble task that isn’t often rewarded in society.  How could something so vital seem so unimportant—raising the future?  The title track encourages mothers to be the mothers God intended for them to be and to follow the example of the Blessed Mother. 

Out two oldest sons John Paul and Matthew are particularly gifted in creating harmonies to whatever I sing, so it was very natural to have them to provide background vocals on the CD as well as performing their own solos.  I would leave the recording studio and they would record harmonies on the spot that I thought were amazing.  Our other sons have been blessed with a great gift to communicate as well so they provide the heart and soul of the CD with their narration between the songs.  What an amazing gift!

CM:  Who are some of your favorite recording artists? What types of music do you enjoy?

If you have never seen Tony Melendez (an incredible Catholic artist) perform, you should. He is truly amazing and inspiring.  He plays the guitar with his feet and sings beautifully. Our entire home is crazy about Josh Groban.  We enjoy many kinds of music, country, swing, pop, classical, musicals.  You name it.  If it’s not offensive to Our Lord and has a good beat, someone in our home really enjoys it.  Our boys take swing dance lessons and enjoy showing off their skills.

CM:  What are your future projects?

So many ideas—so little time.  I pray everyday for Our Lord to show me which ideas He would like me to follow up on.  For about 3 years, I’ve been writing a kickin’ sarcastic rock song about my husband called My Virtuous Man.  The sarcastic part is about some of the bad dates I went on that ended within minutes because “There’s a part of me that you’ll never understand.”  The song reveals what it was like for me to finally meet such a wonderful virtuous man.  I’d like to encourage all young men to be like that wonderful treasure God prepared for me.  Many of the basic Catholic teachings have found their way into my brain as a song or video or other kind of project.  We’ve spoken to EWTN about making more children’s music videos as well. For now I try to balance my time so I don’t miss out on those wonderful years with our children.  I’m confident that God will reward me with opportunities later if I am faithful to my vocation as wife and mother now.

CM:  What can Catholic moms do to select appropriate music for their families?

I could write a book about how parents can influence their children in their formative years (another project) but for now I’ll try to be brief and concrete.

Parents should never, underestimate the power of the media.  The owners and promoters of the secular media are well aware of this power and manipulate America’s children on a regular basis.  Children can be taught at a fairly young age to discriminate between things that offend Our Lord and those which don’t. 

I tell our children that things come from two places-heaven and hell and to make quick determinations as to which is the source.  When you work in the music and video industry you quickly realize how much effort goes into these projects.  When artists record songs with offensive words they sing those lyrics over and over again.  Make no mistake about this.   These bands know what they’re singing.  And they corrupt themselves and everyone who listens to them.

Steer your children to love what is good and wholesome and develop their consciences to be uncomfortable to that which offends God.  The best example is for parents themselves to quickly disregard anything that isn’t wholesome even though you might really enjoy it. Network with other parents about what their family has enjoyed.  This is how we heard about Josh Groban.

When your children are young, they’re like clean slates and will enjoy your favorite music because that’s what they’re exposed to.  Our youngest son, Isaac is three and he is one singing little dude!  He sings lots of the songs from our CDs, and he also sings songs from Les Mis, Fiddler on the Roof, 50’s music, Josh Groban, and dozens of songs from traditional children’s CDs.  And when he sings country songs we know we have to blame it on his environment!

YES, support for Catholic artists is crucial.  The only way to keep the momentum going is to purchase their CDs and ask for their music on the radio. Many of my customers have taken our music to their local Catholic stores and radio stations who were overjoyed to have them.  Tell your friends about your favorite artists.  They may not have any other opportunities to have this exposure.  Catholicmusicnetwork.com, Ignatius.com, www.Heartbeatrecords.com and many other distributors carry a variety of Catholic artists.  I try to purchase Catholic products for birthdays, Christmas, teacher gifts, etc, because we know the money goes back into promoting the Catholic faith. 

CM: What additional comments or thoughts would you like to share with our Catholicmom.com readers?

To be a mother, what a great profession!  However, some days can be so demanding that you may feel that God is asking for more than what you are capable of.  But He always provides the grace we need for each day.  Never doubt that what you’re doing is worthwhile.  We’ll soon have 4 teenagers and I can truly say that making those difficult decisions has paid off.  We are very close to our children and after the younger children have gone to bed we often have a late night rendezvous which leaves us all laughing so hard we can hardly get to sleep.    The strength of a happy family enriches entire generations and has a profound impact on the community and the nation.

May God richly bless you and all mothers.

 

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News At Eleven

To Order Rose Marie Rudolph's Music
through Ignatius Press, click on the title here:

Tiny Hands, Precious Feet


or

visit www.RoseofSharonMedia.com

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