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Singing for Life View Comments
By Susan Hines-Brigger

FOR COUNTRY SINGER Collin Raye, “music is like breathing.” In the 1990s, Raye was a leading figure in the country music industry, with 16 number-one hits, a total of 24 top-10 songs, and many other honors. He began singing at the age of 7 and says his goal was always to make it in the music business. He talked about that goal, his career, his faith, and his advocacy when he stopped by Franciscan Media some months back for an interview.

“I wanted hit records,” he says. “I wanted my name to be known. I wanted to perform in front of a lot of people—all the reasons a young person wants to do this.”

Starting at the age of 15, he worked to get a record deal. When he finally got one in 1990, Raye, now 53, says he gave glory to God and thought, “For some reason God had kept this from me because he knew I wasn’t ready— either professionally or mentally.”

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Susan Hines-Brigger is the managing editor of this magazine and editor of the new digital magazine Liberty + Vine.

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Leopold Mandic: Western Christians who are working for greater dialogue with Orthodox Christians may be reaping the fruits of Father Leopold’s prayers.
<p>A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment.
</p><p>Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.
</p><p>Leopold’s dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers.
</p><p>At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is "to have lost all sense of sin," Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God’s grace awaiting human cooperation.
</p><p>Leopold, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.</p> American Catholic Blog Heavenly Father, give me the grace to be grateful and to use my gifts and talents to show your love to others so that when they see me, they recognize you living in me and loving them through me. I ask this in Jesus's name, Amen.

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