“Singing, for me, is synonymous with faith.”
During the season she performed many hits, including “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi and “Hero” by Mariah Carey. In the final round she sang “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” for which she received 62 percent of the popular vote and won the competition.
Winning the show resulted in a record deal with Universal. “Blessed Be Your Name” is from her first and only album, Sister Cristina. You can watch the official video above.
Sister Cristina always had an urge to make music, but also recognized her religious vocation. On her website she explains the struggle between the two:
“Singing, for me, is synonymous with faith, but there was a time when I started my religious life when I had to think about it seriously. I chose to join God and set aside the music. I had to ask: can the music and faith coexist?”
She learned of Claudia Koll, an Italian actress who turned missionary after converting to Catholicism. Koll had experienced the same duality between a calling to art and religious vocation. Cristina attended the Singing and Dancing Academy in Rome, where she could study under Claudia.
Shortly after graduation, she entered the novitiate of the Ursulines and traveled to Brazil, where she worked with poor children for 2 years. The culture’s long tradition of Christian music re-affirmed her desire to meld music with her faith.
“I could no longer restrain [my muse]. I sang for the locals, and suddenly I realized that music and faith can coexist without conflict.”
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