Several MODG graduates recently had the opportunity to participate in the ‘AWAKEN’ competition as part of the SEEK 2019 youth conference in Indianapolis this past January.
AWAKEN invited college students to submit poetry, art, or music that reflected the theme of conversion. Sponsored by ‘Our Sunday Visitor’ and ‘Papercastle Records’, the competition aimed to show beauty as a way to come to know God.
“I genuinely experience a lot of my relationship with God through music,” said Mary Rose Gallipeau (’16) “Since I was really young, it’s what I used to channel all of my emotions and connect with people and that’s just gotten so much more defined as I’ve grown older and through working for my Church as a music minister and Youth Choir Director.”
Mary Rose performed her song ‘Jerusalem My Home’ as a semi-finalist.
“It’s centered around the idea that every day is part of our conversion story; every day is a choice to pick up our cross and work towards our end goal of Heaven,” said Mary Rose. “It’s the upward struggle towards Home.”
Four winners were chosen after the final round of performances by a panel of judges that included Christian music artist Matt Maher. Among the winners is MODG graduate Andrew Ascough (’16).
“When they announced my name, I was tackled by my family and didn’t even know who else had won until later when we posed for a picture,” said Andrew, laughing.
Andrew described his song ‘Burn Out’ as reflecting the theme of conversion in two ways.
“One is the burning desire to know God fully and to commit to Him fully,” said Andrew. “My heart was burning out towards God as I wrote it. But also, my heart really was weak and I felt lost, and it felt like I didn’t know where God was or why I couldn’t hear or feel Him. It was a spiritual desert moment, with that feeling of no sense of direction. The devil convinces us that we belong nowhere. The song is trying to find an understanding of who I am and my origin as a son of God.”
Andrew and his three fellow-winners are being flown to Nashville to record their songs with Papercastle Records, a Catholic music studio that aims to inspire love for the good, true, and beautiful by means of their art.
“We all have our own conversion story - beautiful, unique and wild,” said Mary Rose, "and the Father has a job and place for each of us that no one else can fulfill. But you have the same purpose in this life as all the Saints and Prophets. For thousands of years, we have all been seeking the same goal and called to be disciples.”