Benedictine Nuns' Album Debuts at No. 1

«Angels and Saints at Ephesus» Called a Heavenly Masterpiece

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A contemplative group of Benedictines from Missouri have a second No. 1 hit on their hands.

«Angels and Saints at Ephesus,» a follow-up to their hit record, «Advent at Ephesus,» debuted last week at No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s Classical Traditional Music Chart. 

The album also earned the No. 2 spot on Billboard’s new-artist “Heatseekers” chart, which encompasses all music genres.

«Angels and Saints at Ephesus» topped a group of classical albums that includes Fifty Shades of Grey: The Classical Album and Downton Abbey: The Essential Collection.

«This is an unprecedented accomplishment for an artist, a group of contemplative nuns, this devoted, hidden prayerful group who do not tour and remain close to their Benedictine Rule of Life,» said Monica Fitzgibbons, co-founder of De Montfort Music.

The producer noted that the sisters have maintained «their hidden life of prayer and sacrifice for priests and for the whole world» in the midst of their record-making.

“The Benedictines of Mary have again created a beautiful recording to connect us to the oldest traditions of European monastic chant and hymns,” remarked Costa Pilavachi, Senior Vice-President, Classical A+R Universal Music Group International.

During Advent, ZENIT spoke with the producer and the prioress of the convent. The prioress, Mother Cecilia Snell, has a bachelor’s degree in music and is a former member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (she plays the french horn).

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