When I look back on what influenced me about music I reflect upon singing in the church choir. I was fortunate to raise my voice in song at church and at regional choir competitions. I love hearing and singing hymns at weekly Mass.
This morning’s entrance hymn was “How Great Thou Art” which is my favorite Elvis Presley song of all time. I reflected on the Elvis Presley Gospel vinyl recording How Great Thou Art (RCA Victor 1967). I was always impressed with how humble and religious a person he was in life.
Little did I realize that our celebrant would deliver a sermon that involved Elvis Presley and his first on-screen kiss with an actress. The actress’s name was Dolores Hart and the movie was Loving You in 1957.
Dolores Hart entered the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, at the peak of her career, not to leave the glamorous world of acting she had dreamed of since childhood, but to answer a mysterious call she heard with the “ear of the heart”. While contracted for another film and engaged to be married, she abandoned everything to become a bride of Christ.
Our celebrant provided us with valuable insight into the contemplative life of Mother Dolores Hart by telling us more about her book, The Ear of the Heart: An Actress Journey From Hollywood To Holy Vows.
I identified with her conversion to Catholicism when she was younger for I too am a convert to the Catholic faith. (38 years now) I began to realize that Mother Dolores Hart through our celebrant was in turn communicating with the music of our heart. It brought me great peace.
I just noticed there was also an HBO special filmed about Mother Dolores Hart, God Is The Bigger Elvis. This documentary was nominated for an Academy Award and is available on DVD.
I hope sharing what I have learned today about Mother Dolores Hart will bring your life and heart solace. Peace Be With You, this Sunday and Always.
- Mother Dolores Hart on discerning her vocation, leaving Hollywood, learning Latin, loving chant (insightscoop.typepad.com)
- Why Is This Elvis-Kissing Actress Turned Cloistered Nun Trying to Raise Millions? (theblaze.com)