On the occasion of the Apostolic Journey in 2007, the Austrian Bishops recorded a CD which is dedicated to the Holy Father and His visit to Austria.
The CD consists of Marian Songs which are frequently sung in the Austrian Dioceses and whose origin and tradition are deeply rooted in our country. Among the read commentaries are the "Mariazeller Festtags-Evangelium" (read by the Mariazell Superior P. Karl Schauer) and the unforgotten Cardinal Franz König is heard with one of his last homilies on church music entitled "Über die Kirchenmusik." The bell-ringing of Mariazell (including the "Benedict-Bell"), the sound of the "Pummerin" from St. Stephen's Cathedral, and organ music complete the CD.
The Bishops contributed to the production of the CD and rehearsed the songs, very much in the sense and the way of a pilgrimage group, and performed them before the Mother of Grace in the Mariazell Basilica. The recording may be described as the first CD of a "Bishops' Choir."
Besides being intended as a pilgrims' gift, the CD and its proceeds of 10 € per piece will go to a special charitable project: to the hospice movement which focuses on encouraging terminally ill people to have a life with dignity while they are dying. The hospice movement is supported and acknowledged by Christian as well as less religious people.
Starting on September 2, the CD is going to be available on the sites of the Pope's visit, the "Domshop" of St. Stephen's Cathedral, and the General Secretariat of the Austrian Bishops' Conference (Thomas Beranek, ++43 1 51 552-3189).
Mag. Thomas Dolezal
Musical Director at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna