Monday, March 17, 2014

Renowned Pianist Jacqueline Chew former atheist and convert to Catholicism-an inspiring story

This month's edition of the Messenger of St. Anthony has a three page article on the conversion of Jacqueline Chew to Catholicism. It is well worth reading. Jacqueline Chew was born in Oakland, California. She is a distinguished pianist whose music is available at CD Baby and on Amazon. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from State University of New York-Binghamton. She performed, toured and recorded with the Women's Philharmonic (located in San Francisco) from 1990-2004. She has performed at concerts and music festivals both in the US and overseas. She currently teaches piano at at the University of California-Berkeley, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco Community Music Center. She was raised in the Presbyterian faith.

At college she lost her faith and became an atheist. However God works in mysterious ways. As an atheist she heard for the first time the music of Olivier Messiaen a devout Catholic. The music was from Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jesus (Twenty Contemplations of the Infant Jesus). This led her to the Story of a Soul, The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux. The music of Vingt Regards led her to God and ultimately to the Roman Catholic Church. She eventually met Olivier Messiaen and his spiritual influence was pivotal in her decision to convert. She was also strongly influenced by the writings of the American Trappist monk Thomas Merton. She has become an oblate of New Camaldoli Hermitage in the Santa Lucia Mountains of Big Sur, California. Being an Oblate allows her to remain associated with the Camaldolese Benedictine community but at the same time to live and work in the world as a professional musician teaching and performing concerts. This blog post barely scratches the surface of the article.

The magazine can be purchased at Messenger of St. Anthony NB Wrong link posted for 15 minutes after upload of this post

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