Beautiful CD of religious songs about faith and hope, including several "story songs" about Jesus, Mary, Martha and also real people in Immokalee, Florida. They were all written by Carlene Thissen except for one - a very special magic duet between Mary Magdalene and the Risen Jesus that I named Go Out and Tell. Here's how that gift happened:
Father Fred Conocenti at our church in Immokalee, Florida, one day handed me a handwritten lead sheet with no title or composer. It had single notes, chords and lyrics and he asked, "Can you learn this?" Choir member Rubin "Benny" Reyna and I recorded the song in the ladies room of Our Lady of Guadalupe's catechism building, the best acoustics on the church grounds, and I brought it back to Naples to the studio to do the finished work on it.
Other favorites of mine on this album are the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mary's Heart and Martha's Hands; a duet between an insecure Mary and Joseph called Because You're Jesus; Mary's Heart and Martha's Hands; and of course, Take These Hands.
Immokalee's Fields of Hope is a story of Mexican, Haitian and Guatemalan immigrants told by a businesswoman who regained her soul through volunteering with children. With compassion and understanding, Carlene Thissen shares the personal stories the immigrants told her, framed with the political and social histories of their countries.
Beginning with family memories of her own German and Irish grandparents, she captures the struggles, hopes and dreams of people who just want to work and make a better life. Carlene offers the opportunity to stretch out and truly visualize the plights of the people being described and their motivation for coming to the United States. They left horrible poverty, violence and persecution and risked everything they had to come to Immokalee in Southwest Florida as word spread across our borders that, "There is work in Immokalee."
More than just the vivid story of the immigrants, Carlene explains the frustrations and fears of the rural community that struggled to absorb them and the dedicated people who came to help. The immigrants' dreams of a better life and Carlene's own journey back to the garden all began in Immokalee's Fields of Hope.
Called from Silence is a compelling look at modern history and the forces that changed a nation, a Church and a man. Torn from seclusion by the unrelenting cry of the poor, Father Sanders inspired his people to change their world. It is a story of faith, and how, in many ways, we can all be like Jesus.
Father Sanders never set out to become a priest to migrant farm workers. He never thought he would die young and be remembered as "The Soul of Immokalee." All he really wanted was to spend his life in silent contemplation. What drew him into a Trappist monastery in 1957 when he was just nineteen years old? What kept him there during the most turbulent decide in modern history? What finally called him and and kept him from returning to the only way of living that might have saved his life? These answers and much more come out in the pages of Called from Silence.