One of those magnificent voices you hear every weekend exalting God in song is none other than our Music Director, Michelle Kessler. A native Minnesotan, Michelle was raised in a Protestant family, entering the Church soon after she married her husband, David. Today they enjoy their family of five children and nine grandchildren and look forward to welcoming more over the coming years.
Michelle has “a million” favorite hymns and finds that through music she can express the love and longing for God in our hearts that sometimes words cannot, and if she could ask each of you a question, it would be this: “What can I do to help you get to heaven?”
Her favorite saint (at last count 100 and climbing) is Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. “He promises to wait at the gates of heaven to welcome his spiritual children,” she says. “And now YOU are one of St. Pio’s spiritual children, because you are dear to me.” St. Pio also promises that our loved ones and anyone dear to us are also his spiritual children, and she encourages you to check out the books written on Padre Pio. (Formed.org has great content as well.)
Life hasn’t always been one happy song after another. Her conversion to Catholicism was not well received by every member of her Protestant family, leading to estrangements and separations. Time, patience, and God’s grace slowly knit the family fractures back together, a reminder to us all that discipleship has its costs, but that all things work together for good for those who love God (cf Rom. 8:28).
She would love to get to know all of you better, and after the end of COVID (which will happen, by the way) looks forward to meeting and talking with you personally. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to her via text or phone at 218.259.9698, or by email at [email protected]
Next time you celebrate Mass and revel in the music that draws you closer to Christ, give thanks for the gifts He gives and the people like Michelle who share them with us.