Father Kevin McGoldrick was inspired to make this Catholic prayer "musically interesting" on Good Friday
Father Kevin McGoldrick has been a priest for 15 years and a musician for over 30. His bluesy-pop style incorporates his broad musical influences from John Mayer to G Love and Special Sauce. Father Kevin grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and currently serves as the chaplain of St. Cecilia Academy in Nashville, Tennessee.
His music has been featured on Sirius XM, Aleteia’s Cecilia, Relevant Radio, and EWTN, to name a few.
Fr. Kevin’s newest release is a fresh take on the Divine Mercy Chaplet. This setting for the beloved chaplet is the fruit of the marriage of his musical and spiritual influences, including the jam-band movement and the impact of worship at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City on his own prayer life.
Aleteia: Father Kevin, can you tell us more about your new album? What inspired you to compose a work on the Divine Mercy?
I wanted to do something for the Year of Mercy and the chaplet has always been important to me. So on Good Friday I woke up early and started writing this new setting. I spent most of the day working out the basics and it felt like a good use of a Good Friday since I basically prayed the chaplet about 100 times that day.
The challenge in putting the chaplet to music is to make it musically interesting but not distracting. Making it “prayable” but still musically alive.
So I looked to two of my influences, one musical the other spiritual: the Grateful Dead and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri. The extended worship style of IHOPKC and the jam-band feel of the Dead gave me a place to start.
My vision for this is if the Grateful Dead got together with the International House of Prayer and prayed the chaplet, this is what it would sound like.
I really sought to combine my own worship style with my jam-band roots.
What are the promises the Lord linked to this prayer?
The Lord said that at the end of time He will come as our Judge but that he doesn’t want anyone to come to the door of justice. He longs for all to come to the door of Mercy. That is why spreading this message is so important.
Especially praying this for the dying so that in that critical moment they can be surrounded with God’s mercy.
What is the difference between forgiveness and mercy?
The word for mercy in Latin is “misericordia.” It is two words combined: misery and heart. When our misery meets God’s heart the outcome is mercy. We give him sin and he gives us mercy. “Mercy is the name for Love when Love meets sin” (St. John Paul II)
Why is Jesus’ message to Saint Faustina so important?
The message of Divine Mercy is so needed for our time. There are so many struggles on personal and global levels. We need God’s Divine Mercy more than ever.
How can we, as Catholics, communicate mercy within our families and circle of friends?
Mercy must start with me. When I receive His mercy and forgiveness then I must in turn become a channel for his mercy. So that it doesn’t stop with me, but flows through me to others. This is how mercy becomes a gift and a call.
When can we find your album?
It will be released today, February 16, 2018, and is available at iTunes.
Fr. Kevin, can you give us a suggestion for this Lent?
Lent is truly the season of mercy. It is much more about what God has done for us than what we do for him. What we do is always a response to what He is already doing for us.
The readings for Ash Wednesday speak about “releasing captives” and “freeing those in bondage.” Wouldn’t it be great to pray for people we need to forgive this Lent? I hope this Chaplet of Divine Mercy helps people do that.
“Blessed are the Merciful, for they will be shown Mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
Name: Fr. Kevin McGoldrick
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Current City: Nashville, Tennessee
Latest Album: The Chaplet of Divine Mercy (EP)
Curiosity: “Once again, Father Kevin shows us that unlikely combinations — like priest-songwriter or jam band-chaplet – are often the best combinations.”