Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11: The Lajoie Boys Meet Alive!

my uncle, O'Neil Lajoie who died recently; a picture of the whole family inc. my father, Raymond

The Lajoie Boys Meet Alive!

I am writing this on Veterans Day, November 11, 2011.  At school, they asked if there were any veterans in our family that we would like remembered, listed and prayed for in honor of Veterans Day.  There are very many veterans in my extended family, but I knew who I wanted them to mention.  I thought of two men and one amazing incident in particular.

My uncle O'Neil was a remarkable man, filled with JOY, fun, humor, industriousness and faith.  His large family and the wonderful company he started speak of his powerful influence to bring good into the world.  He and my father, Raymond, were young men when Pearl Harbor happened.  They, like so many French-Canadians in Augusta were soon off to the Pacific theatre of the war.

O'Neil was in the elite forces of the Marines, those who went ashore first.  My father was an Army Sergeant who was admired and depended upon by his men.  They both ended up in the hell that was the Battle of Guadalcanal.  (My father did NOT like to talk about those days on the islands.  He let slip some things, like the trench foot, the close-up fighting, the hunger, the smell of the enemy, the prayer.)  At any rate, the months of that battle were finally over and each brother had heard devastating news:  each had heard the other had been killed.    But then both of their units did roll call near each other.  As the roll was being called they heard each other's names and...RESPONSES!  They rushed to hug each other, someone took a picture and it ended up in the the hometown paper, the Kennebec Journal, or, so I am told.  We, their children, stand in benefit of their miraculous survival, will and faith.  All who have been touched or blessed in any way by us, or by Living Waters music, for instance, are entirely beholden to these brave veterans.

May we always remember and treasure the gift of the veterans in our lives till we meet alive again in Heaven.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11/11: Thoughts & Reflections

9/11/11
Thoughts & Reflections
I just got back from the Freshman Welcoming Mass at Bishop Guertin High School.  At 9 AM!  Nice and early like in the old days, eh?  The purpose of blessing the new year for our new students was somewhat super-ceded by our school’s deep connection to the tragedy.  Brother Mark opened with remarks recalling how he was going in to a meeting in New York City that day, but they stopped the subways and had them go back and get out at Brooklyn.  He met and walked with several total strangers, stangers sharing a deep solidarity.

The celebrant, Brother Paul, spoke at length about the Ogonowski girls.  Their father was the pilot of the first plane and two of the girls were attending our school at the time; one more daughter came through the school later.  Brother Paul had some marvelous very recent quotes from the girls that show how well they have coped with this.  Their father was most remarkable for being a devout man who put his faith in action.  His contributions made the building of his parish in Dracut possible.  He gave land to victims of the Cambodian genocide.  He sacrificed to send his girls to a place like Bishop Guertin High School.  Their recent quotes spoke glowingly of what their father meant to them, how close he feels to them on their farm, and how Bishop Guertin gave them a good foundation to support them in the bad times.
        Caroline with a picture of her dad       John Ogonowski on the family farm

The morning of September 11, 2001, I was teaching New Testament to some Sophomores, when one of the teachers yelled over to turn the TV on.  We watched in horror as the second plane came in.  Eventually, the administration asked us to turn all TV’s off.  It turned out they had a very good reason.  I went out in the hallway during the next period and happened to be there as they told the girls about their father.  It was awful pain.  I hope I never hear or see anything like that again.  Nobody should.  We later found out several more direct and indirect connections between Bishop Guertin and the tragedy.  We were hit hard.  Monday we are going to stop several times to pray and think about this.
Our Living Waters alumnus, Chuck Trella, also has quite a connection to this.  He really shouldn’t be alive.  He was working for the company in the World Trade Center that was hit hardest by the destruction.  Chuck’s car strangely didn’t work that day, so he car pooled. Consequently, he was late enough to avoid the crash, but he lost friends, of course.  He has lived to see his wonderful family grow and thrive.
I just watched the “Flight 93” movie again last night.  God’s fingerprints of grace and redemption in a terrible situation were all over so many actions of that day.  The fact that so many on that flight were able to act so selflessly, not out of bitterness or revenge, but out of true love for others, is comforting.  Here is an excerpt from the Newsweek article about Todd Beamer:
Beamer…told [GTE} supervisor Lisa Jefferson about the hijacking and that the passengers were planning to jump the terrorists. And then he asked her to pray with him…He began to recite the [Lord’s Prayer], and Jefferson joined him: ‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.’ ” As they finished, Beamer added, “JESUS, HELP ME!”… And then, Beamer and his fellow passengers prayed a prayer that has comforted millions down through the centuries… in a time of great anguish: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want . . Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.’ And then the famous last words, uttered naturally off of his confidence in his preceding (and unreported by the media) plea: “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!”
We prayed the Our Father together at Mass today with the same determination to do an excellent job this day and this year.  If life is worth dying for, it’s worth living for, too.  Beamer’s advice is just as poignant and urgent this September 11th as it was on that one.  Let’s roll!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Catholic Music Spotlight – Living Waters

Catholic music seems to come in all shapes and sizes these days. A group like Living Waters shows the staying power of the art form — this amazing group has been playing together, creating beautiful music for God, for over thirty years. I’m pleased to share my recent conversation with Mark Lajoie of Living Waters and hope you’ll check out their great music today.
Q: Please introduce yourself and your family to our readers.
We are Living Waters, a Catholic music group that has also been a faith family for 35 years.  LW started as a house music ministry group at a retreat center in MA in 1976. In imitation of Lighthouse in Ann Arbor it expanded to a full production with dance, drama, lighting and sound production. Travelling in our bus we played hundreds of concerts in at least 8 states, including Yankee Stadium, the World Marriage Encounter Convention, Hartford Civic Center and more. Many people came and went, but the basic band has been what we list on our ReverbNation site. We did many styles of music and venues, including liturgies, conferences and Teen Retreats, but as time went on, a lot of our music were original compositions. Many of us got married within the group and we settled, had kids and continue to meet and pray together. Actual performance has been rare lately, but we are working on preserving our original music and possibly recording & performing more soon. (We have now achieved our long-term goal of a digital album release, “Refresh”, on Amazon mp3 and more.)
Q: How did you get your start in music and specifically in Catholic music?
Personally, I have quite a conversion story.  I tell much of it in blog entries on my personal blog and on the band blog. Basically, as a teenager, I had reached a nadir of despair from the neglect of an alcoholic father and the resulting poverty. In 1971, I grabbed onto the guitar as a way to express myself.  In 1973, I had my conversion experience at a retreat house in Maine through the Charismatic Renewal.  Several amazing signs or miracles occurred to confirm my faith, probably because I was so broken and needed the special help so much.  There I met many of the friends who would eventually become my band mates.  Many of us moved to a retreat house in Massachusetts and met the rest of the band there. Through their love, friendship and prayer I revived and began to use my guitar and natural talents to write inspired songs.

Q: What inspires your music and how would you describe it to readers?
I am the main songwriter, although our keyboard player, Mike McBride has also written some of our most notable songs. Most of my songs simply ‘come’ in a rush of inspiration.  I truly believe they are something like what Paul calls “inspired songs”.  I can feel the Hearts of Jesus and Mary aching to reach others and touch them deep within.  My wife and I were praying for the great John Paul II, and “Peter the Rock” flowed out.  We sent it to the Pope through Ambassador Ray Flynn; he accepted it and sent me an Apostolic Blessing.
Q: How does your secondary career as a teacher fuel your vocation as a musician?
I teach Religion to Freshmen in a Catholic school, specifically, Basic Catholicism and Old Testament.  There are many opportunities where I am able to use our music.  For instance, when I explain the Papacy and primacy, “Peter the Rock” serves as a perfect Bible study to explain the formation of our Tradition.  Recently, this Lent, I played “I See His Face” when we did the Veronica Station of the Cross.  They really love it and respond and I can see some of them coming alive inside in heart and mind.
Q: What are some of your musical influences, both Catholic and secular? Who are your favorite musicians?
Early on?  The BEATLES, by far.  Also, Peter, Paul & Mary, The Byrds and later, U2 had a massive influence on all of us.  Our guitar player loved Rush, The Who and I liked Yes.  I also loved Handel’s Messiah and other classical music (and you can hear that in my “Apostles Creed”).  However, in the 80’s, it was CHRISTIAN ROCK that I fell in love with, especially, The Second Chapter of Acts, Petra, Servant and groups like that.
Q: How can Catholic families support and encourage Catholic recording artists?
I think we have a rare, priceless opportunity for a Catholic band.  We are climbing on the ReverbNation Christian charts and are now one of SEVEN “Featured” Christian artists.  There are several things people can do to raise the profile of Living Waters (and other Catholic bands) and spread our music:
-          Buy music on itunes, amazon mp3 or other sites; review the music
-          Request songs on Catholic Jukebox
-          Become a fan on ReverbNation
-          Press the “Like” button on our FaceBook Band Page
-          Add us on your MySpace Profile
I would also recommend other Catholic rock bands like Katholicus or bands on Catholic Rocker.
Q: Are there any additional thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?
I would like to stress the urgency of reviving the Catholic faith in today’s language and culture.  John Paul was dead right:  we must form a new civilization of love to transform our current culture of sensuality and death.  If you can create something that reflects your faith and engages the very real power of the Holy Spirit, using today’s new tools and sensibilities, do it!  AND, be a faithful consumer and supporter of those others who are trying to do this.  Vote with with your feet and your wallet only for “what is true, good and lovely” in the modern idiom.
Visit Living Waters at http://www.livingwatersband.com/

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Press Article about Living Waters on Catholicmom.com!

Catholic Music Spotlight – Living Waters


Catholic music seems to come in all shapes and sizes these days. A group like Living Waters shows the staying power of the art form — this amazing group has been playing together, creating beautiful music for God, for over thirty years. I’m pleased to share my recent conversation with Mark Lajoie of Living Waters and hope you’ll check out their great music today.

Q: Please introduce yourself and your family to our readers.
We are Living Waters, a Catholic music group that has also been a faith family for 35 years.  LW started as a house music ministry group at a retreat center in MA in 1976. In imitation of Lighthouse in Ann Arbor it expanded to a full production with dance, drama, lighting and sound production. Travelling in our bus we played hundreds of concerts in at least 8 states, including Yankee Stadium, the World Marriage Encounter Convention, Hartford Civic Center and more. Many people came and went, but the basic band has been what we list on our ReverbNation site. We did many styles of music and venues, including liturgies, conferences and Teen Retreats, but as time went on, a lot of our music were original compositions. Many of us got married within the group and we settled, had kids and continue to meet and pray together. Actual performance has been rare lately, but we are working on preserving our original music and possibly recording & performing more soon. (We have now achieved our long-term goal of a digital album release, “Refresh”, on Amazon mp3 and more.)

Q: How did you get your start in music and specifically in Catholic music?
Personally, I have quite a conversion story.  I tell much of it in blog entries on my personal blog and on the band blog. Basically, as a teenager, I had reached a nadir of despair from the neglect of an alcoholic father and the resulting poverty. In 1971, I grabbed onto the guitar as a way to express myself.  In 1973, I had my conversion experience at a retreat house in Maine through the Charismatic Renewal.  Several amazing signs or miracles occurred to confirm my faith, probably because I was so broken and needed the special help so much.  There I met many of the friends who would eventually become my band mates.  Many of us moved to a retreat house in Massachusetts and met the rest of the band there. Through their love, friendship and prayer I revived and began to use my guitar and natural talents to write inspired songs.


Q: What inspires your music and how would you describe it to readers?
I am the main songwriter, although our keyboard player, Mike McBride has also written some of our most notable songs. Most of my songs simply ‘come’ in a rush of inspiration.  I truly believe they are something like what Paul calls “inspired songs”.  I can feel the Hearts of Jesus and Mary aching to reach others and touch them deep within.  My wife and I were praying for the great John Paul II, and “Peter the Rock” flowed out.  We sent it to the Pope through Ambassador Ray Flynn; he accepted it and sent me an Apostolic Blessing.

Q: How does your secondary career as a teacher fuel your vocation as a musician?
I teach Religion to Freshmen in a Catholic school, specifically, Basic Catholicism and Old Testament.  There are many opportunities where I am able to use our music.  For instance, when I explain the Papacy and primacy, “Peter the Rock” serves as a perfect Bible study to explain the formation of our Tradition.  Recently, this Lent, I played “I See His Face” when we did the Veronica Station of the Cross.  They really love it and respond and I can see some of them coming alive inside in heart and mind.

Q: What are some of your musical influences, both Catholic and secular? Who are your favorite musicians?
Early on?  The BEATLES, by far.  Also, Peter, Paul & Mary, The Byrds and later, U2 had a massive influence on all of us.  Our guitar player loved Rush, The Who and I liked Yes.  I also loved Handel’s Messiah and other classical music (and you can hear that in my “Apostles Creed”).  However, in the 80’s, it was CHRISTIAN ROCK that I fell in love with, especially, The Second Chapter of Acts, Petra, Servant and groups like that.


Q: How can Catholic families support and encourage Catholic recording artists?
I think we have a rare, priceless opportunity for a Catholic band.  We are climbing on the ReverbNation Christian charts and are now one of SEVEN “Featured” Christian artists.  There are several things people can do to raise the profile of Living Waters (and other Catholic bands) and spread our music:
-          Buy music on itunes, amazon mp3 or other sites; review the music
-          Request songs on Catholic Jukebox
-          Become a fan on ReverbNation
-          Press the “Like” button on our FaceBook Band Page
-          Add us on your MySpace Profile
I would also recommend other Catholic rock bands like Katholicus or bands on Catholic Rocker.

Q: Are there any additional thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?
I would like to stress the urgency of reviving the Catholic faith in today’s language and culture.  John Paul was dead right:  we must form a new civilization of love to transform our current culture of sensuality and death.  If you can create something that reflects your faith and engages the very real power of the Holy Spirit, using today’s new tools and sensibilities, do it!  AND, be a faithful consumer and supporter of those others who are trying to do this.  Vote with with your feet and your wallet only for “what is true, good and lovely” in the modern idiom.

Visit Living Waters at http://www.livingwatersband.com/

Thank You Letter for the Retreat and Concert!

Norm Houde sent us a wonderful letter yesterday.  Here is that letter with some pictures!



Norm Houde this weekend                 Sky high view from Sky-hy Retreat Center!

My Dearly Beloved Brothers and Sisters, REJOICE.


Our Lord, Jesus, has truly blessed us. 
In some kind of special way we were united and reunited
In His glorious heart we are refreshed.  It truly was a reunion of hearts.
The graces will continue to flow as we pray for each other
and continue in His will. 

Thank you for your ministry to us, the efforts you undertook, to be here,
the gift of yourselves....Most of all thank you for the splendor of your glorious presence,

The body of Christ that you presented, your family, lives and relationships
Is a greater witness than the music itself.  Although I thoroughly enjoyed the
Music and dance.

My only regret was that I wasn’t able to spend more time with each of you.
Each of you is precious.  I’m also glad that you spent time with each other.
Your faces, Sunday morning at breakfast, were radiant with love.
And your children reflect your greatness.

Thank you for being Living Waters.
Yours in Christ our Lord
by the working of the Holy Spirit,
Norm Houdewww.sky-hy.net

Our kids played a major role, singing dancing, playing, witnessing, directing, helping.  Pictures show Chuck MCing, the Parable of the Talents skit, the young girls doing the Peter the Rock dance, the awesome Mike McBride on keys and the kids witnessing to their faith.





Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Poster for LW Concert/Retreat, Weekend of August 13

Thirsty?
Come to the Well…

Living Waters Ministries
Presents
REFRESH 2011
August 13 & 14
Sky-Hy Conference Center in Topsham, Maine

Come to the Waters
It’s Free

Food and Lodging are available.
Reservations:  call 207-725-7577
32 Sky-Hy Drive, Topsham, Maine 04011
type “REFRESH 2011” on the subject line.


Refresh 2011
Program

Saturday Afternoon
1:00p-3:30p:   Introduction, Praise, Worship & Inspiring Messages.  Come to the waters.  I know you are thirsty.  You won’t be denied.  
Martha Corkery, All Saints Parish Pastoral Life Coordinator, and
Norm Houde
4:00p:   Mass
5:30p:7:00   Dinner Buffet
Saturday Evening
7:30p-9:30p: Praise Concert:  Community prayer and meditative/reflective praise, interpretive dance, drama skits in a prayer-meeting/coffee-house type program.  Structured enough to provide a moving program, but loose enough to flex and adapt to where the spirit leads.
Sunday Morning
10:00a-12p:   A program of witnessing on what the Lord is doing in the lives of Living Waters children.  It will involve music, witness and testimony by several of them.  It will serve as a testimonial to how the Christian experience of the adult founders of Living Waters members has translated into the next generation.
12:00p-1:30p   Barbeque Buffet on the deck or inside.

Monday, July 25, 2011

CRAzy Praise!

Crazy Praise!

Just had a great conversation with a man who started a new website based on a contest sort of like American Idol.  He was filled with great enthusiasm and guided me through some of the features on the site and some of the early achievements – seemed very proud and full of verve.  They’re based in Orlando, FL & you might want to join up or check them out.  For a fee you can enter contests for prizes & shows.
How I did I get to talk to this guy?  His young daughter sent me his number and told me to call!  I’m kind of glad she did.  Apparently she put a couple of our songs on a CD and put it in his truck and said, “Dad, you’re going to like this music.”  The songs were “City of Joy” and “Love’s in a Name”, I think.  This man is so open to so many different kinds of music.  If you’re a musician, it seems there is a lot to recommend this enterprise.
Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark Lajoie!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Talk to Chuck!"

“Talk to Chuck!”


www.reverbnation.com/play_now/4768267  for "We're Gonna Stay"

The title is a recent ad campaign slogan I saw that made me think of my very good friend in the group, Chuck.  I can’t count all the times Chuck has stepped in to help not just me but so many other friends I know.  He’s done it again in recent days.  I was trying to get us organized for our upcoming Reunion Concert since I have some time. Pretty soon, I felt like I needed some help.  (I am pretty good at some things and I can persevere my way through my lack of ability, but anyone who knows me at all knows I couldn’t organize my way out of a paper bag.)  So who was I going to talk to?  Obviously, “talk to Chuck”!  He helped immensely like he always does.

Last night, I actually lost sleep worrying (darn, should never do that!).  What about?  I’ve been nervous about how the sound system is going to work for our upcoming concert.  I had sent an email out about it.  WELL, today Dave wrote back to say not to worry.  It turns out his brand new job is right near, a few hundred yards away, where Greg, our guitarist, works! (Dave didn’t know this before he got this job.)  Guess what?  Chuck had thought to arrange a meeting with Dave & Greg there today!  Part of the agenda was finding out what questions to ask about the sound system when he goes up to the venue in Maine tomorrow.  Can anybody say ‘Providence’?!

Way back when we were teens, so many of us used to go to Chuck’s family’s house up at the old dairy farm in Waterville; we just loved that family.  Chuck helped bring me to faith and is one of my oldest and dearest friends.  And we started playing music together at St. Paul’s Center and in the Maine Catholic Charismatic Choir back in the 70’s.  That’s when we encountered the fruity, mellifluous tones of his horn.  It’s actually a ‘marching valve trombone’.  (You can hear it in some of our songs like “We’re Gonna Stay”, the video of “Roll the Rock Over” or “Let’s Stay”.)

Chuck was sort of a godfather in the birth of Living Waters as we know it, leading practices, helping Omer or Jim in all sorts of leadership tasks.  And who can forget those oh-so-serious auditions we had early with the elaborate American Idol grading system!  Even when he and Joyce ‘left’ the group for a while, they were still driving our St. Valentine’s Day gatherings & other ‘family’ business, prayer and social life.

More than that, I know we all treasure Chuck’s jovial demeanor and joie de vivre.  He lights up the room with his silly, suave goofiness.  Recently, he served as the Master of Ceremonies at the reception for Jon and Caroline’s wedding, ably aided by his fine son, Chris.  Plus, he is a man of prayer, filling his trips with Paters and Aves.  Wonderful husband to Joyce, adored by daughter Jacqui, whose hands are filled with good deeds, just as his have always been.

I’ve written tributes to many of us in our faith family and it’s clear how much we value and treasure each other.  But I am especially glad to honor this man who strives so much not to let the left hand know what the right is doing.  He loves being the center of attention for our joy and entertainment, but he acts like a "hidden center", like John the beloved disciple behind the scenes when he is doing his work of charity.  He likes to “step down” for the sake of others.  He is now striving to attain the Permanent Diaconate.  Makes sense for someone who has such a heart for the Body of Christ.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

IT'S OFFICIAL! LW Reunion Concert August 13th!




PLACE:     Sky-hy Conference Center
                   32 Sky-Hy Drive
                   Topsham, ME 04086-5772
                   (207) 725-7577
                   http://www.sky-hy.net/
                   Contact: Norm Houde; for LW, Chuck Rossignol

TIME:         7 PM  August 13, 2011

PRICE:     Free will offering


The group is actually doing a weekend retreat together that Saturday & Sunday.  I believe you can call the conference center about attending for the weekend if you wish.

Here's a preliminary flyer:


LIVING WATERS!
7 PM, Saturday, August 13, 2011
Sky-hy Conference Center
 Reunion Concert
One of the top 50 Christian bands in the world on  REVERBNATION



“Living Waters Music should be known by all Catholics….
"Never heard any better Christian rock...."
“Love the beauty you are giving to the people of the World.... "
“Most of the instrumental nuances (in all the songs) are genius!”
Refresh [is] a stirring collection of…songs” – published review
Come and Get ReFRESHed!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Boston’s Original Name? - “Living Waters”!

Boston’s Original Name? - “Living Waters”!
William Blackstone, founder of 'Shawmut' or Boston
[http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/4791663  for “Love’s in a Name”]
My wife and I got “The Complete Guide to Boston’s Freedom Trail” out of the library in anticipation of one of our planned family summer outings.  I dropped my wife off at the Dollar Tree store for some ‘good stuff cheap’.  While waiting in the car, listening to Living Waters on the CD, I started reading the pamphlet, when what to my wondering eyes did appear but the following passage about the Boston Common:
“This was once the pasture of Boston’s first white settler, William Blackstone…When [his first] settlement…failed, Blackstone moved north to what the Indians called Shawmut, or ‘living waters’.”
Soon after the Puritans arrived and renamed the place “Boston” after a town in England from which many of them had come (St. Botolph’s town).
WELL!  Guess where our band Living Waters started and flourished? in the Boston area, of course.  Who knew Brad Delp & Tom Scholtz weren’t the only band to name their band after “The Hub of the Universe”?!
What’s in a name, you ask?  In the history of faith, names have always been important.  They often say a lot about who you are and what your mission is.  This coincidence makes the name of our band roll more easily off my tongue now.  As our song “Love’s in a Name” says, “…it’s flowing so easily”, just like “Dirty Water” & “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway!

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Wedding Day!"

"Wedding Day!"

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/4768267  for "We’re Gonna Stay” [on LW’s “Refresh”]


June 18, 2011:  Living Waters played for the Wedding ceremony of Jon & Caroline.  It was very special for Julia and me because Caroline's parents, John & Joyce, had chosen us to be the Godparents, even though we are not technically family; but we were part of the Living Waters ‘family’.  We were bursting with joy and pride and happiness that she graduated, is getting a house, is so talented and accomplished, but mostly this wonderful man, Jon, that the Good God has provided for her in her life, despite all those crazy troubles she’s had that none of us can escape.  Just so proud and pleased!
I dare say, the music was “anointed”, as God always seems to do; I don’t know why I’m so surprised every time.  This despite massive confusion, lost music, contradicting directions, tough logistics – none of it mattered, it sounded beautiful.  The blending of voices, the beautiful melding of instrumental poetry simply makes me glad I’m alive.  Originals Mark, Dave, Denise, Greg & Tonester on drums (YES, drums in church; it was holy & wonderful) were joined by children Dan, Matt & Josh.  These three young men pulled off an extraordinary acoustic version of Pachelbel’s artillery Canon.  Greg & his son transformed an Eddie Vedder instrumental into a perfect Bride’s entrance.  Caroline’s mother processed to the very same song that HER mother had processed to (played by Living Waters at her wedding 25 years ago)!  John, the father of the Bride came up to sing the Psalm “Set Me Like a Seal” (from the Song of Songs); that was awesome; perfect.  But the clincher was when the Bride & Groom came over after Communion to join us for “We Are One Body” by Dana.  [Caroline’s always been a great singer and Jon knows his music and played guitar.]  Not only does this express that they are being joined but also that we are all joined to them and supporting them in the Body of Christ!  Absolutely profound and touching for everyone, I think.

Then there was the reception.   One extraordinary moment was when Joline walked in, what should come on over the loudspeaker but “We’re Gonna Stay”, the song celebrating marriage from our CD “Refresh” in which she sings the part of the wife (sounded great, btw!).  Joline was able to turn to her son and say, “That’s me singing”!  Jon & Caroline had thought everything through so well in terms of hospitality and charity:  dedications for each of the party, 45s on each of the tables with pertinent love songs.  And the couple exudes beauty that is more than just surface; look at the picture:

Jon told us a story that was pretty amazing.  He had gone to see Eddie Vedder (the same night the Bruins were going for it – that’s dedication.)  Vedder played the song Jon & Caroline were using for the First Dance.  Apparently, Vedder hadn’t played the song since the FIRST time Jon had seen him!  (Jon, correct me if I have the details wrong!)  At any rate, cue the Twilight Zone music….isn’t it odd that he should play that song again this week after never doing it for so long??  I don’t know, seems like Providence to me.
And everybody had such fun at the reception.  We were so proud of our kids having a GREAT, funny time without anything inappropriate.  At the end, Jon officially became a member of the LW ‘family’.  The Living Waters ‘puddles’ are turning into new Oceans of God’s powerful Mercy and Grace.  Can’t wait for the next wedding!

If anybody else has impressions or anecdotes of this wonderful day, feel free to leave them!

P.S.  For the record...or should I say for the compact disc?... the First Dance was  "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan.  Perfect First Dance for them. Jon just sent me the Youtube for Eddie Vedder's first version of this in Boston in '06.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

John Paul the GREAT!

"John Paul the GREAT!"

www.reverbnation.com/play_now/5797863 for "Rock and Boat (Boat of Peter)"
www.reverbnation.com/play_now/4634250 for "Peter the Rock"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GovEYN2NtRc for a 'muvee' photo version of "Peter the Rock"
www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwLKACz1YZA for live concert dance video of "Peter the Rock"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayGb3rlsFQQ for raw concert video of "Rock and Boat..."





My wife and I have spent time the past two days watching the lead-up to the beatification ceremony for John Paul.  Seeing all the cuts of this master communicator with his depths of prayer humbled us deeply at how God's Mercy reached out to us all through him.  Several of us in the group have been touched pretty directly in several ways.  Jim and Danny's brother, the aptly named Peter, got to meet him several times up close.  Below we will mention the song, "Peter the Rock".  His effect on our music and ministry is probably incalculable.  His mission to "Open wide the doors to Christ!" was exactly what we - and the world - needs.

"The Great" is an 'unofficial' title but it comes unanimously and unbidden, an instance of that 'vox populi' which speaks as the voice of God.  (The other "Great" Popes were Leo who stared down Atilla, Gregory who gave us the Calendar and the Chant among many other things and Nicholas, whose missionary zeal changed the world.)  The Holy Spirit filled the future Benedict XVI when he called him "great" in that first speech and the crowd swelled and called for the immediate recognition of what God had wrought.  He was a providential comet streaking across the sky of the world, especially in his holiness even more than his ample natural gifts and his affect upon history.

This week, in honor of all this,I put out "Peter the Rock" as a free download on a special platform on FaceBook.  (There is an earlier post talking about that song and how John Paul accepted and blessed it.)  I would also point out "Rock and Boat (Boat of Peter)" which was also written partially as a reaction to the election of the Great Polish Pope.  St. John Bosco had a dream foreseeing a Council in the mid-20th century and a great storm buffeting the Boat of Peter, but that the Pope would firmly retie the Boat down in the midst of the storm.  There's no doubt in my mind that John Paul the Great was that Pope of the 20th century. (You can see on the blog an entry where I translated this song INto Latin using Google translate! 

"Navigatio est! Navigatio est! Navigatio est!
Est aeternum navigasse mari

Nauigamus! Nauigamus! Nauigamus!
Nauigamus in aeternum mari

Nauigamus! Nauigamus! Nauigamus! Nauigamus!")

I feel like we ARE sailing on the Eternal Sea on a Boat Christ built!! Let us celebrate this very special Divine Mercy Sunday!

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark Lajoie!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Living Waters Connection at Steubenville

A Living Waters Connection at Steubenville

April 23, 2011 at 7:41 am


 Chuck sent us the following YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eec741O6GkY .
It is dedicated to Fr. Michael Scanlan, who is retiring after 50 years of priesthood. He is largely responsible, not only for the resurgence and dominance of The Franciscan University of Steubenville, but also for much of the resurgence in the Church through the Charismatic Renewal and more.

One of the main speakers in the video is Fr. Michael Higgins, the current leader in Rome of the TOR (Third Order Regular) Franciscans. He, of course, was one of the earliest members of Living Waters (on the crew), and a fellow classmate at Framingham State for many of us. My wife and I remember attending his ordination - it wasn't THAT long ago, was it?!? We are SO proud of him!!

Peace, Love & JOY,
Mark Lajoie![less]


Rocked Out Monks!

Rocked Out Monks!

March 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm
Two reactions from my kids today about my music. I was driving home with Stephen listening to the flow of songs on our album and I said, "You know, that really seems to flow pretty well" and Stephen reacted, "Well, Dad, ANY album is going to flow all right if all the songs are GREAT!" Excellent ingratiation wouldn't you say. That boy is GOing somewhere. Then, I asked the youngest Matthew what he thought, he said seriously, "Well, it's not bad or anything, but it's just not MY kind of music". Well, who do you think would like it?" "Probably some rocked out monks"!! Well, that's a pretty narrow market, but here's a blanket invitation to any & all "Rocked Out Monks" out there to listen to our music....

Click this ROCKER TunePak:
 http://www.reverbnation.com/tunepak/3614681 

"Classic Live" version of "Tonight (He's Got the Power)"

"Classic Live" version of "Tonight (He's Got the Power)"

March 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm

[Twitter shortcut for "Tonight":   http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_13650501 .]

We used to do "Tonight" in the very early 80's and it was part of a breakthrough of sorts along with songs like "Searching" and "Roll the Rock Over".  For a while, it was our opening song and the dancers had come up with a full-scale group dance for it.  This version is pretty rough around the edges (e.g. Greg double-clutching at the beginning of the bridge!) but you can feel the energy and enthusiasm.  The intro tells me this was when we first started doing the song.  I remember going to a workshop on alcoholism when I was working at detox and I brought my guitar; I was playing this and "Do You Understand" for everybody there, and they loved it.  They kept saying I ought to DO something with that; I guess we are now.

The structure of the song shows the effect of having gone to a Christian songwriter conference in Estes Park, Colorado.  I really put some thought into the lyrical contrasts:  sad - doing nothing; sad - doing too much; confrontation & personal contact; joyful recovery by ever so slightly altering a few words and from minor to major.  I later went to another conference at Estes with Mike and put this song in to be evaluated.  Their response was "Did you intend this to have a sexual connotation?".  I was pretty shocked and offended:  "Of course not!"  It was mostly the use of the word "ecstasy", I guess.  Looking back, I can see what they were saying, as thoroughly unintended as it was.  I prefer to think of it all with the innocence and enthusiasm of a young band of friends.

Quite recently, we all got together for one of our monthly pot lucks at Tony's.  I was intererrupted as I was leaving by a reporter who wanted to talk about our new album.  When we did get there the band went in the old cellar to jam; let me tell the world Tony still has hot smoking chops on the drums!  One of the first songs we played was "Tonight".  Wow, that felt just fine.  And then we took the band picture to give to the reporter.  Quite a span there, "flowing from our past" right into the vibrant present.  Whether we're too busy or feeling lonely, He STILL has the POWER to bring us together and bring us peace and joy on a night in February.

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark Lajoie! for the band

Mark Lajoie (We also added Mike's "With You I Am")
March 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm
Charles Trella Oooh! Love both!!!
March 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm