Returning, Learning, Discerning Songs for a New College Semester

by Sister Julie Ann on September 1, 2013

As September signals a new season of returning, learning and discerning whether in academic studies, but often also in the work place or in ever-changing relationships, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity collaborate with Catholic musicians to offer you 2 free music downloads: Mike Mangione’s Fields of Evermore and Paul Koleske’s Maybe You Will See. The selections offer two different perspectives on faith and the human experience.

St.-Francis-at-peace-with-all-of-creationSt. Francis’ own words encourage all of us in long-term goals in this new month: Let everyone remain in that trade and office in which he (she) has been called.”

Fields Of Evermore by Mike Mangione

Mike-MangioneI remember being taken back by Johnny Cash’s description of his childhood in his autobiography, Cash.  He spoke about the hardships of moving to government subsidized land in Arkansas with his family and having to work the land with his father.  The land was littered with stone and needed to be cleared in order to field a potential harvest.  Even then their efforts would be at the mercy of nature’s elements.  Early on in his story, I was mesmerized by the amount of faith, hope, and perseverance needed to obtain their dream, to provide and survive.  Cash spoke of the grueling labor he and his father had to endure removing the fields of stone and working the earth to suitable soil.  Once cleared, they began tilling and caring for what they hoped would be a profitable cotton harvest, which was not guaranteed.  At stake was everything but beyond it lie nothing.  During harvest time their hands would bleed, scab, and bleed again from the hostile cotton harvest.  That which gave life broke their bodies.

Life comes through labor, grows through pain, and blooms from the agony – this song rests in that thought.  Separate from Mercy, Grace, and faith we are mere broken bodies; conjoined with these we are thriving farmers, reaping a bountiful harvest though our bodies, sustaining and truly living in the field with our Father.  Put your hand to the plow and work for the harvest that lasts forever.

-Mike Mangione

Touring with his band the Union, Mike Mangione’s music combines a folk-rock sound with an orchestrated string section, soulful vocals and literate sensibility. Their new album “Red-Winged Blackbird Man” is produced by Grammy-nominated producer, Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown, Iris DeMent).




MAYBE YOU WILL SEE by Paul Koleske

Paul-KoleskeMAYBE YOU WILL SEE speaks to the need to express the Holy Spirit’s presence with us. It talks of the beauty of God’s existence/presence in a world where people don’t necessarily move in accord with Him. I could write volumes on this song (and others) but the words in it should suffice.

-Paul Koleske

Paul Koleske started playing guitar and singing publicly at the age of 9. Up until 1993 Paul sang, played guitar, wrote and recorded secular music patterned after the soft rock style prevalent in the 70’s and 80’s. For his latest CD “THANK YOU LORD”,  Paul toured the country and also developed his first Parish Mission series ‘Igniting The Light Of Christ Within’

Koleske’s song Maybe You Will See is a bright meditation on discerning holiness in everyday life even as “So much of life is just a mystery.”



Any thoughts you’d like to share?


8 thoughts on “Returning, Learning, Discerning Songs for a New College Semester”

  1. Sister Monica says:

    Fields of Evermore: This song is full of beautiful imagery, such as: “The fields are hot and heavy and filled with stone.” My friends who grew up on farms have spent long hours picking up stones. The hard work of farming seems to be a symbol for the hard work of everyday life. I love the line at the end: “Mercy come and hold me and get behind the plow.” We can trust God to lead us through the toil and drudgery.

  2. Sister Carol Seidl says:

    Growing up on a Wisconsin dairy farm as I listen to this song I think of the days in Spring when my brothers and my sister and I would be in the fields picking stones so my Dad could begin his planting. The field was soon transformed from dirt to fresh green sprouts.

  3. Sister Monica says:

    Maybe You Will See: This song strikes crying out to God, beckoning him to let us know that He is near to us throughout our days, and not just during our times of personal prayer.

  4. Sister Regina Rose says:

    I always find the mellow, earthy tones of Mike Mangione’s music moving and thought-provoking. Fields of Forevermore is no different! Incorporating the wonderful sounds
    of stringed instruments, it’s a beautiful song that speaks to me of perseverance through brokenness, of faithfulness through the fallow times, and of waiting with confidence that the “rain” will come. He touches on the process of regrowth and rebirth that comes after struggle. It’s a great message for a world that is broken, lonely, and in need of refining!

  5. Sister Winifred says:

    Enjoyed Paul Koleske’s song ‘Maybe You Can See’. Meditated on the words, calming melody. Could actually get most of his words by listening, not reading the lyrics. Neat modulation, too, to heighten the spirit and the longing.

  6. Sister Regina Rose says:

    Both soothing and gentle, Paul Koleske’s “Maybe you will see” offers prayerful inspiration to those who seek to experience the deep peace and lasting love of the Spirit. The movements of the Holy Spirit really are a mystery and Paul’s music encourages us to give ourselves over to that mystery without discouragement. The song is simple but full of the challenge of peacefully resting in God!

  7. S. M. says:

    Deep, intense prayer in a low-lit church…get behind the plow!

  8. J.B.. says:

    Haunting and beautiful melody…

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