The Priests

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The Priests
(Father Eugene O’Hagan, Father Martin O’Hagan and Father David Delargy)

Some 40 years ago, three boys from Northern Ireland met, became mates, and began to sing together. Two were brothers: Eugene and Martin O’Hagan, and the other, a friend: David Delargy. As fate would have it, all three decided to enter the priesthood and wound up at the same seminary, where they continued to blend their tenor and baritone voices together, singing familiar hymns of the Catholic Church.

A mutual friend recorded a demo of the trio which eventually landed in the hands of Nick Raphael of Epic Records, a division of Sony/BMG; he had been looking for soloists for a Latin Mass project. They were signed immediately and commissioned to produce their debut album, The Priests.

As The Priests is being released during the Christmas season, this project could easily be dismissed as a Christmas album, to be put away after the holidays are over. Doing that would be a supreme waste. This collection of beautiful traditional hymns and classical pieces from the likes of Hayden and Vivaldi is meant to be heard year round, to soothe the troubled spirit and feed the hungry soul.

If you’re looking for The Three Tenors, you won’t find them here. The voices, although not remarkable in a technical sense, are still remarkable because of the purity, warmth and authenticity they convey. Several of the performances are blissfully understated, missing the histrionics of dramatic high notes and other theatrics. These three priests are not here to show off how well they sing, but to instead convey their prayerful love of God and their combined ministries as priests and music ministers.

Classic hymns such as Shubert’s “Ave Maria,” “Panis Angelicus,” “Be Still My Soul” and “Abide with Me” combine with great classical arias by Hayden and Vivaldi, and traditional Irish tracks and blessings. Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Pie Jesu” was especially moving, as well as a newer piece, “Benedictus.” There are also two Spanish pieces included in the 14-song collection.

Father Eugene has included extensive notes for each track of the album in the CD pullout. If you’re tempted to simply go to iTunes to download mp3s, think again. These notes explain the lyrics, the history, and The Priests’ personal connections to each song. They greatly enhanced my listening pleasure, knowing what these songs meant to these 3 men of the cloth.

The Priests is an important work released at a critical time of uncertainty about the future. It works to convey a much-needed positive image of priests who are here to serve God and those who are searching for faith in their lives. If you need a break from the deluge of fear-filled and depressing news stories of the day, turn to this album for comfort.

The Priests is a CD you will listen to again and again. Fathers Eugene, Martin and David are priests you will want to know more about. Their stories are compelling.

You can find more about The Priests at www.thepriests.com.


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About Author

Susan Bailey is an writer, speaker and musician. She is the author of River of Grace Creative Passages Through Difficult Times, published by Ave Maria Press, and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message, part of the Literary Portals to Prayer series published by ACTA Publications. Along with her own blogs Be As One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion), Susan frequently contributes to CatholicMom.com and the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers. She has also contributed to Catholic.net and Catholic Online. Susan writes articles and a monthly column known as Be as One for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press. Bailey, who works as a marketing/advertising assistant for a local real estate firm, is an associate member of the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, where previously she served as chair and secretary, helping to organize the biennial “Gather Us In” women’s conference, one of the first major Catholic women’s conferences in the country. As part of her duties she wrote the monthly column for The Catholic Free Press known as “Concerning Women” and appeared on CatholicTV’s “This is the Day” to promote the conference. A professional musician and graphic artist, Bailey released four CDs, performed on EWTN, CatholicTV and World Youth Day 2002, and worked as a cantor in her parish of St. Luke the Evangelist for fifteen years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (with concentrations in US History and Music) from Bridgewater State University. She and her husband, Rich, have two grown children and live in North Grafton, Massachusetts. Susan invites you to join her email list where you will receive updates on exciting professional developments and speaking engagements. Email subscribers also receive special giveaways and previews of new projects. Susan loves a good conversation and looks forward to corresponding with you! Join here.

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