jesus

The Kickstarter Phenomenon!

As history has shown us, benefactors have always been essential to the creation of art in society. They saw its importance and realized that art made things "better" in life.  It was through their generosity that many of the masters that we know today and their masterpieces were created for the world. Benefactors enabled artists in all genres to create, for that is what artists do best, they "create". 

For me, I really never considered myself an "artist". People use that term with me on occasion and I am always flattered with that title. To me an artist brings out the very best in the world. The poet uses words that bring the pages to life, painters use color, texture and line to evoke emotion and musicians write songs that truly speak to our hearts.

For someone like me, we still need benefactors to help us "create" our work. I have been extremely blessed in my life with employment but it is still a burden to record an album. I am not with a label, nor do I have a major publishing company that is funding my project. With studios and musicians costing thousands of dollars, we need your help to continue to create our works.  I rely on the generosity of others to assist me in the creation of my art. We need you to be MODERN DAY benefactors.

Crowd funding has become extremely popular over the last few years. It allows people, whether they know you or not, to support a project. Art, invention, or a cause, KICKSTARTER has brought back the "benefactors" to the average person. A vehicle like KICKSTARTER allows people like me to continue to create music.  As artists, we need you. ALL of YOU to help us create our art. Every gift is a blessing. One does not outweigh another. A prayer, a note, a well wish or a monetary donation (no matter the amount),  enable us to continue to do what we do best and that is CREATE art. It allows someone like me to be able to record music when otherwise I would not be able to do so. I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the amazing outpouring of LOVE I have seen in just two days on my KICKSTARTER. I may not be painting the "Mona Lisa" but I still would like to share my gift with the world. 

So, on behalf of artists everywhere. Thank you! Thank you for having the vision to see a different world. That you for seeing the chance to support artists like me who hope to glorify our God in song and thank you for being a benefactor that will allow artists to "create"!

God's great blessings upon you!! 

If you would like to donate to my Kickstarter, please CLICK THIS LINK!

Thank you for your continued support. Please pray for me and my family as I pray for you!               Pasquale

 

 

 

Songwriting, Inspiration and being creative and stuff...

There is nothing quite like writing a song. I often am asked about songwriting and I really don't have any profound answers. When I was in a secular band, I would write songs about every day life. Things that were good and more often the things that were "not so" good. But the chance to write down these "feelings" have always been a blessing to me.  The moment that my life got redirected to God, so did my writing. Thank you Jesus!

People often think there is some "magic" in writing. Maybe for some there is something "magical" that happens. I know for me, it is the simple inspiration that I get from people and things all around my life. The fact that God has given me this gift BLOWS ME AWAY. The older I get (being 40 now) the more I realize that EVERY opportunity to write, perform and even teach is a HUGE blessing from above and it has NOTHING to do with ME. My friend Trevor always reminds me to remain humble and to get out of the way of the work God is doing and that is always my advice to musicians I meet. Let God be God and you be YOU.

We often are so concerned about writing the perfect song that we overlook the simple beauty in the perfect LOVE that allows us to write in the first place. My next project is just that. A "thank you" to God. It is filled with gratitude and love to my creator who has given me this amazing opportunity. One who is so undeserving has been so blessed. From "Arise" to "Fall In Love" this project is one that I am already so proud  even before I have walked into the studio. Why?  Because I finally figured out who I am as a musician....and it feels pretty darn good.

Please pray for me as I continue this process and I promise to pray for you.

St. Cecelia, pray for us!

In gratitude,

PT

"Frozen" hearts no more. . .

The-Two-Siamese-Cats-From-Lady-And-The-Tramp-cats-35535084-360-228.jpg

I would be lying if I said I was a Disney movie guy. When I was a kid, I do remember watching "Lady and the Tramp" and always loved the scene with the Siamese cats and the little goldfish. Since becoming a father, I have watched more Disney movies in the last five years than in my previous thirty five years on this Earth. From Aladdin to Planes and now Frozen. It is amazing what you will do for your girls.

Today was my daughter, Gianna's fifth birthday. Like most children in the U.S., she is obsessed with the movie Frozen. Unlike most parents in the world, I had not seen the movie. When Gianna went to see it in the theaters, mom was "lucky" enough to go with her. Tonight, she received Frozen on DVD from her grandma and Poppi and tonight, I got a chance to watch it with my two girls.

I am glad that I did.

November 1st, 2013 @ 20:49:50

 I really did like it.  From the music to the animation, it was pretty darn good. I always felt that these movies were made more for the adults than the kids. The themes and the characters, although appearing simple at first, are quite complex. There is always something much deeper to each of them: From Elsa's brokenness and closed heart, to Anna's desire to be wanted and loved, these are things that many of us can relate to in our own lives. The metaphor of the closed gate of the castle that kept the sisters in but also kept the world out are the same walls that many of us put up around us to bury whatever pain we may be hiding from everyone else.

"Conceal, don't feel. Don't let them know." --That line is very powerful to me. How many of us are hiding from something in our lives? How many of us each and every day put on a mask and PRAY that no one has any clue of the pain we are enduring?  It is no wonder why this movie was so popular. It is a story that rings true for many of us.  It is a struggle that many of us deal with in our own lives.

The movie also gave me time to personally reflect on a few things. The mere idea of "frozenness" made me think about the Lenten season.  It made me wonder where I was on my preparation for Easter. What was I running away from? What would I run to? I took a moment to think about my own sin. The sin (cold) that pushes so many away from me. The sin that separates me from the love of God and that love is the only love that will breathe life back to our hearts. A God that in the "greatest act of Love" turned the cold of death into everlasting life in his own resurrection. 

And in the end, it really comes down to one thing. Love.

Funny how that works. We seem to try and find the most complicated answers to questions. For the most part, we come back to love. We return to that in which life is given. We return to the love that sets us free. That same love that died on the cross so that sin would never have the last word. That LOVE is the promise that guarantees us that we would never be have to be Frozen but rather alive in the love of God.

Thank you Jesus for the love that has  pushed the cold away and set our hearts on fire for You.

 

 

 

Priest, Prophet, King.

Lately, I have been getting asked a lot about my new album. What will it sound like?  What are the inspirations behind it?  Will there be saxophone again? ( In  answer to the last question: there will not be saxophone again.:) ) 

As I prepared to write music for this new project though, Ite Missa Est, I wanted to work with other musicians who had a passion for the Liturgy. I wanted to work with people who understood the beauty of the Holy Mass and the need for music that would compliment it in every way possible. I am blessed to have worked on this project  with great artists like Casey McKinley, John Flaherty, Jenny Pixler and Trevor Thomson.  One thing holds true for all of these awesome musicians. They love our God and they all have a passion for the liturgy. 

As I sat down, I knew that I wanted the album to be a mass from top to bottom.  From gathering song to recessional with mass parts included.  I had no idea what was going to come from this prayer, I just knew that if was to be blessed, I had to turn it over to God.

As the songs came forth, I also recognized the blessings in each piece.  "Arise" was our call to wake up from our sleep and see the greatness of our God.  "Offering to You" is a statement of bringing everything to the altar, not just the bread and wine, but each and every one of us. "Wake Our Hearts" is my Eucharistic hymn from a Eucharistic people.  "Fall In Love" is inspired by the beautiful prayer by Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ..  It  is a song about falling in love with the One who made us, in an "absolute and final way".  As Hillsong United says in "Go... giving it all away, giving it all to go Your way".

The song that I had struggled with was the recessional.  I wanted something that reminded me of Steve Angrisano's "Go Make a Difference". That song still brings back great memories to me and really is an anthem to change the world.  As I struggled with a recessional, I recalled a reception I attended with Fr. Robert  Barron and then inspiration hit: It was the theme of Fr. Barron's latest series, staring me straight in the face.   "Priest, Prophet, King".  That was it! The call for us to go out to all the nations -- to bring the Good News just as the Book of Romans tell us all, be "not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ".

Needless to say, I am very excited about the upcoming album. I am grateful to God for giving me so many great people to be with me on this journey. I am grateful for you and I ask that you pray for me and my family as we continue to work to build the Kingdom of God.

Wiffle Ball, Saturday Morning Cartoons and the Book of Deuteronomy

However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.
— Deuteronomy 4:9

When I was a kid, there are three things I remember so clearly. God, wiffle ball and Saturday morning cartoons. 

St. Justin Martyr

God was part of my life every day. I went to Catholic school for twelve years. First to St. Justin Martyr (Go Olympians!) and then off to Servite High School (Go Friars!!). We went to mass every Sunday with the family. Back then, you could count on one or both of the Talarico boys (yes, even Frank Jr.) as an altar server and my grandma, in her wheelchair, praying her prayers. My parents slaved away at Fish Frys, helped to run the PTA  and start the youth group.It was what we did as a family.  It would be an example to me and would eventually lead me to where I am today in ministry. I will never forget those days. It was my first and most profound experience of God and Church. 

Voltron

Wiffle ball was one of the biggest parts of my childhood. I know everyone likes to reminisce, but probably my favorite thing to do after school and on the weekend was play wiffle ball. We would rush home from school and get everyone in the cul-de-sac and pick teams. Friends from my class would join in; as well as, the neighborhood kids. Typically, they were the same teams but they were so much fun. I always tried to be on the opposite team of my brother just because, well, that is what brothers do, right? We would stay out till we couldn't see the ball any longer and then mom would yell to us all to come and eat dinner. All were welcome and all ate well. It was my first form of community. It was awesome.

When it came to the weekend, Saturday mornings always started with cartoons. After wiping the gunk out of our eyes, we would rush down to see what was on the TV. Back then, Bugs Bunny was cool. I think he still is!  Voltron was the new, hot cartoon and everyone thought they were a superhero. Once we watched a little bit of cartoons, we moved on to our chores. The "list" as my brother and I called it remained the same throughout my childhood. I dusted and Frank vacuumed, He cleaned the mirrors and I emptied the trash baskets. At the time it seemed like such hard work. Not so hard to me now.  We couldn't wait till we were done so we could get outside and play. Going outside and play, seems like such a "foreign" idea now a days but it was priceless to us. 

So by now you are asking yourself, Pasquale what does that have to do with anything and why did I read your blog today? They are good and fair questions. Today's reading from Deuteronomy reminds me to cherish the memories and to share them with my children.  

This upcoming year, my Gianna will begin Catholic school at Holy Family Cathedral. There is no doubt that Maurissa and I will help out in any way, just as my parents did for me and my brother. We will cause it is our new community, just as St. Justin was for my childhood.  We will help  because it is what  we are called to be as Church. The body of Christ.

As for wiffle ball, Gianna does enjoy playing baseball in the backyard with daddy, but more importantly, she begins soccer in a couple of weeks. She is so excited. She can't wait to get all dressed up and run around on the soccer field. Before you know it, she will be having her friends over to play games and hang out. Just like I did when I was a kid.  Then the slumber parties. And before you know it, Claire will begin just as her sister. Lord, help us. 

The other day, I had the chance to come home early and sit on the couch with my girls. Just the three of us. I know they are only supposed to get so much TV a day, but like they always do, they convinced their daddy to put on cartoons, eat Otter Pops and sit on the couch together. It was priceless. There really is nothing better in life. It made me smile from the inside out and brought to mind memories of my childhood.

Looking back, I can still hear Billy Crabtree yelling to me from the fence. I can still smell the lemon pledge from polishing the furniture and see the "list" on the fridge.  I cherish the days I had with Jimmy, Gil, Mike, family and friends. I praise God to be able to share and teach my children the same things. God is so good. Thank you Jesus for the many gifts I have been given. You are so generous to an unworthy servant.

 

What do you remember most in  your childhood?

What will you teach your children?

What have your children taught you?

 

Dedicated to my dear friend, Michael Catanzaro - You are missed.



The blind leading the blind

Technically, I am legally blind. I have an eye prescription that is 20/400 or something off the charts! In the morning when I wake up, I am in a rush to put my glasses on so that the blur I  see when I awake  comes clear as soon as possible. I have never really thought about it too much. There have been times where I thought I would get LASIX to fix my eyes, but it just never seemed that important. In the morning when I wake up, I rush to put my glasses  or contacts on so I can see throughout my day. Without them, I would not be able to see a thing!

This got me thinking about my faith. How clear is my vision for God? As I move day by day towards Easter, am I making sure I am focused on Jesus? 

It gets really easy to find the comfort in the norm. Giving up sodas or sweets in our Lenten sacrifice, but are we really sacrificing to get closer to our God? Is it clearing my vision so I can see the risen Christ?

For me, the sacraments have become my contact lenses, my glasses. In the haze and blur, reconciliation and eucharist make everything clear. Like I have said before and I will say many times, I continue to stumble, but the promise that is so much greater than me clears my vision and brings me to great joy. It brings me to Christ. It is the reason I write the music that I write and go around the country and speak. I know what the truth is and I want to share it! My hope is that I can help people see clearer.

Thank you Jesus for allowing the blind to see! Thank you Jesus for giving me the chance to open my eyes and see you goodness.

Thank you Jesus!

 

 

Is it baseball season yet?

My entire life, I really only played one sport and that was baseball. I loved it when I was a child and I still do to this day. I played my entire life and through high school. I was pretty good, but nothing too fantastic. I just really loved the game. There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh cut grass in the afternoon. The feeling of stepping into the batter's box and looking right into the eyes of a pitcher throwing a nasty slider. It is awesome!

As I have gotten older, my days of playing baseball are resigned to suiting up once a year at my high school alumni game. Every year it feels as if the pitcher has gotten closer to me when I hit and the bases have gotten further away when it is time to run. I am also reminded of my age by the amount of ibuprofen I take the following day so I can relieve the soreness in every single joint and muscle.

There are times during the Lenten season when it reminds me of my baseball days. No matter how much I focus, I can't seem to hit the pitch and no matter how fast I run, I never seem to beat the throw to the bag. My prayer life feels "off" and I need to get refocused.  

Maybe I am oversimplifying this, but the more we focus, the more we see. Meaning, the more we  make an effort in our prayer lives, the clearer things become in our relationship with God. It is true, there are always times in life when we swing and miss, but even in baseball, an all star, heck a HALL OF FAMER fails about 70% of the time at the plate but a good hitter ALWAYS gets back to the plate!

People often ask me how I focus. For me it is through my song. It is through picking up my guitar and praying. That is my new baseball field. That is my batter's box where I get to take a swing at a pitch and hopefully make good contact with the ball.

We may strike out but we get another chance. We step back into the batter's box for another swing, another chance to succeed. Focused on God, you will not fail because God never fails. Ever. You will knock it out of the park.

How focused are you this Lent?

What are you doing to get "refocused"?

Are you slowing down to prepare for  the Easter celebration?

Lord God, make me smaller so I may never think I am bigger than You.

Lord God, make me slower so I may never think I can outrun your great love.

Lord God, make me weaker so in my weakness, You may dwell in me!

 

 

 

 

"I am a sinner...thank God for ..."

...forgiveness.  It seems every single day I stumble.  Something that I should not be doing I seem to do anyway. 

It seems that people think since I am in the role that I am, I should be perfect.  I strive to do the best I can to get closer to my God.  Every day, I strive to be holy  but I fall. I fall and it hurts.

There are days the scars seem deeper than others. I make mistakes, I get up, but these scars remain. There are days I know everyone can see my scars.  Thank you, God, for those scars.  They remain as a constant reminder that not only am I a sinner but I am redeemed by our Savior's  healing power. The same God who raised Lazarus has come for me. The same Lord, who made the blind man see, has opened my eyes. A loving God who would do anything for me, even sending his only begotten Son to save me.

I am a sinner. I am broken. I am frail  but I am also saved by the grace of God. Our salvation happened on the cross. So I live my days and look to the promise of resurrection. I am a sinner...but I will not accept that as my fate.  I know God has plans for me.  I know they are for happiness and joy.  We praise you Jesus for your sacrifice and the forgiveness that You have given to all us. I am a sinner and I am forgiven and for that, I am grateful.

"O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" 1 Corinthians 15:55

What does tomorrow hold for you?  how will you make it different?

St. Michael the Archangel, protect us in this battle against sin!

Friends and Novenas

One of the greatest gifts God gives to us is the gift of friendship. They come in all shapes and sizes and many times we would could never imagine our life without them.  My friend, Bobby,  is a great example of that friendship. He is a calming force in my life and for that I am grateful. He took me aside when things started getting a little hectic with music and we began praying this novena together to remind me to allow God to be at the front of my music ministry. Needless to say, he is a good friend.

St. Cecelia, pray for us!   

Novena to St. Cecilia 

O Eternal God, Who gave us, in the person of St. Cecilia, a powerful protectress, grant that after having faithfully passed our days, 
like herself, in innocence and holiness, we may one day attain the land of beatitude, where in concert with her, we may praise You 
and bless You forevermore in eternity. Amen. 
 
Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, have mercy on us. 
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us. 
Christ, graciously hear us. 
God the Father of heaven, 
Have mercy on us. 
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, 
Have mercy on us. 
God the Holy Spirit, 
Have mercy on us. 
Holy Trinity, one God, 
Have mercy on us. 
Holy Mary, Mother of God, 
Pray for us. (repeat after each line) 
Saint Cecilia, 
Saint Cecilia, wise virgin, 
Saint Cecilia, whose heart burned with the fire of divine love, 
Saint Cecilia, apostle by your zeal and charity, 
Saint Cecilia, who converted your spouse and procured for him the crown of martyrdom, 
Saint Cecilia, who by your pleadings moved the hearts of pagans, and brought them into the true Church, 
Saint Cecilia, who did unceasingly see your guardian angel by your side, 
Saint Cecilia, who mingled your voice with the celestial harmonies of the virgins, 
Saint Cecilia, who by your melodious accents celebrated the praises of Jesus, 
Saint Cecilia, illustrious martyr of Jesus Christ, 
Saint Cecilia, who during three days suffered most excruciating torments, 
Saint Cecilia, consolation of the afflicted, 
Saint Cecilia, protectress of all who invoke you, 
Saint Cecilia, patroness of holy canticles, 
Saint Cecilia, special patroness and advocate of all singers, musicians, authors, and students, 
 
We salute you, O Virgin, who gave your blood for the defense and faith of Jesus Christ. We seek your prayers 
for liturgical music that is beautiful, holy, and universal. 
 
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world 
 Spare us, O Lord. 
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, 
 Graciously hear us, O Lord. 
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, 
 Have mercy on us. 
God glorified Saint Cecilia, 
 And he crowned her virtues. 
 
Let us pray. O Eternal God, who gave us, in the person of Saint Cecilia, a powerful protectress, grant that after having faithfully 
passed our days, like herself, in innocence and holiness, we may one day attain the land of beatitude, where in concert with her, we 
may praise you and bless you forevermore in eternity. Amen.