Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 18, 2005
Song honours John Paul II
Musician sings the late pope,s praises
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Just an ordinary Man
Who said yes to a plan
Of infinite, extraordinary Love
In a world torn by War
An Actor destined for
A role in the drama of our times
Janelle Reinhart, the Radway-based Catholic singer/songwriter who met and sang for Pope John Paul II in 2002, has a new single out honouring the late pontiff.
Be Not Afraid was recorded in English, French and Spanish and celebrates the life of John Paul from his early days as priest to his death on April 2 following a long struggle with illness.
Released in early April, the CD has already sold more than 10,000 copies around the world, mostly online. It's the second of two versions recorded in Nashville last fall.
The song was originally written in March of last year to defend and uphold the pope's name following bad press the pontiff had received due to his failing health and some scandals involving the Church in the United States. The first version was released in September, the second the day after the pope's death. Janelle received a letter of thanks from the Vatican following the release of the first version.
Janelle met and sang for the pope in Rome in March 2002 and then performed before over one million people at World Youth Day in Toronto four months later. Her first solo album, called New Day, was released during World Youth Day and sold more than 3,000 units in its first week of release.
When the pope began getting "negative flak" from the press early last year, Janelle and Jason, her husband and manager, decided they should do something to counterbalance it.
Sing the good word
"We wanted to counterbalance (the bad press) by spreading the good things that the holy father had done for the Church and for the world. I said the best way I know how to do that is to write a song to honour him," said Janelle.
Without missing a beat, Janelle and three other songwriters from Life Visions, the Radway-based communications company behind her career, gathered together and each took a stab at writing a song. In the end, they took the best parts of all four songs and created Be Not Afraid.
"So writing that song meant a lot to me because it's my way of honouring Pope John Paul II, but also aiding him to continue his legacy of hope especially for young people," Janelle said. "When I met him, he seemed to really say, 'I trust you as a young person and I believe in you as a young person and I entrust you with the mission of Jesus Christ: Go and be an example with your life.'"
The song touches on the "main moments" of John Paul's life, including his travels, his forgiveness of the man who attempted to kill him, the way he inspired young and old alike.
"The fact we were able to record it in Spanish and French was an added bonus so that we could reach more people with the message and the legacy of Pope John Paul II and the hope that he left for all of us," Janelle said.
Recording in French was no problem for the Catholic singer, who was born and raised in Legal, a French Alberta town north of St. Albert. She doesn't speak a word of Spanish but a Spanish producer she met in the U.S. accompanied her to Nashville and helped her with the linguistics in Spanish. "It has been a big hit in Latin America," she said. Hundreds of orders have also come from Portuguese-speaking Brazil and from many other parts of the world.
Janelle, 25, has a new contemporary Christian pop rock album coming out at the end of August and she and her band, One 80, will go on a North American six-week bus tour in September.
Be Not Afraid sells for $7.50 and can be ordered at www.popesong.com or www.Janelle.ca.
The CD can also be ordered through Life Vision Communications by calling toll free 1-866-286-5433.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.