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School Sisters of Notre Dame: Choose Life

School Sisters of Notre Dame
Choose Life (Mark MC 4 329) 1976?

If you’re looking for an album that epitomises the guitar strumming, non-percussional style of music that dominated Catholic Masses during the 1970’s, it’s hard to beat this album. On top of that, the School Sisters (from Mankato, MN) perform in the cavernous, reverberant acoustics of so many older Catholic churches.

However uninspiring the description of the style and venue may be, this album comes off better than one might expect. It’s reminiscent of some of the albums the Word of God in Ann Arbor put out, but the multi-part harmony of the vocals is definitely a step above most of their counterparts elsewhere. In fact, those vocals do more to carry the album than just about anything else; they add “ear candy” and lift this album up very nicely.  Since I first posted this it has become one of my favourites.

SSND-CL-BackThe songs (for individual download):

  1. Alleluia! This Is The Day
  2. All You Who Thirst, Come!
  3. Choose Life
  4. Come Draw Water Joyfully
  5. Hymn From Colossians
  6. Hymn of Our Lady
  7. The Lord Has Come
  8. Prayer of Generosity
  9. Prayer of Tobit
  10. Psalm 131
  11. Psalm 139
  12. Sing Praise
  13. Song of A Servant
  14. We’ve Seen The Lord
  15. You Are Chosen

The School Sisters have achieved more recent fame as the subjects of an extended study on Alzheimer’s Disease. The research found that the sisters were mentally acute and active into their nineties, even though a post-mortem revealed physical signs of the disease. Their life of prayer and activity–a life evidenced by this album–contributed to their long-term mental health.


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