Sunday, April 17, 2011


This song was inspired by and written in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows, who is also the Cause of Our Joy.  The general movement of the song is a journey from sorrow to joy.  The track may be difficult to listen to in the beginning.  It grabs your ear by a simple curiosity: the song is unpredictable.  The sound is eerie but beautiful with a continual flow of musical tension and resolution.  

The title becomes apparent in the beginning with the voice of Archbishop Fulton Sheen.  He introduces "the sword" and helps to set the scene at the foot of the Cross to the climax of the song.  As the song progresses, it becomes more and more familiar with modern music style, but still contains some artistic surprises.  It concludes with a hip-hop "explanation" of the purpose and meaning of the whole track.  Be with Christ during His Passion this week. Stand with Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, who is also the Cause of Our Joy, and allow yourself to gaze upon Love Himself.


written, recorded and arranged by
Rev. Mr. Rich Mastrogiacomo & 
Mr. Benjamin Ross

Archbishop Sheen:
And now comes the sword
Mary was waiting for it to fall
And She sees a centurion come with a lance
This solider takes this lance
And he plunges into the side of Christ

Ben and Rich:
This is where you let go
Joy will come from sorrow

Ave Maria gratia plena 
Dominus tecum benedicta tu

We're at the foot of the Cross 
picture the scene if you dare
The Mother of humanity 
is certainly standing there
The price of redemption she'll share
The pain She will bear
She kisses the blood as it drips on Her hair

This Lady was able to stand 
and endure without fear
The prophecy of Simeon, 
She accepted the spear - no fear
It was clear that what awaited was heaven
And yea Her suffering was perfect, 
yea Her sorrows were seven

And She looks up at Her Son
What else could She do?
She hears in Her heart,
 "Look ma I make all things new"

Pain She's embracing
While it is sin He's erasing
Heart is pacing and racing
Joy is so close you can taste it let's face it

So this is the Mother and Queen
Given to you and me
Fiat - let it be
Joy and sorrow dichotomy, you see?

This is the woman given to all humanity
Cause She's the one that we love
She's the Ave Maria!

Ave Maria gratia plena Dominus tecum benedicta tu

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Walk With Me" - The Beautiful Sacrament of Marriage

Every human person is a mystery of sorts. One can never completely know the mind and heart of the other. And yet, in the sweet sacrament of marriage, two people promise to explore the mystery of each other for life. That exploration yields an "us" - a partnership for life. The challenge of marriage is to turn the "I do" into "we can." The pathway a couple takes on their wedding day is paved with the promises they made to love and honor one another until death. It is an ordinary path to extraordinary union; a path bordered by an intricate web of relationships with one another, with children, with parents and extended family, with co-workers, friends and neighbors. It is a profoundly spiritual path that runs through the kitchen, the chapel, the bedroom, the garage, and into the larger human family. Marriage is not however just spiritual communion, it is also remembering to take out the trash.

Ultimately, those called to this remarkable vocation are charged with the responsibility of carrying their spouses to heaven - to "walk" with one another in this life to Jesus. Husbands and wives are called to make each other and their children holy.

I wrote "Walk With Me" in the spring of 2009 for a beautiful, young Catholic couple as a wedding gift. I believe the lyrics capture precisely what this vocation is all about in simple, uplifting terms. After spending a week in marriage preparation and counseling classes at the seminary, I felt called to post it. It has been an important reminder to me how precious and necessary holy marriages in the Church must be. May the Holy Family be our example of what this one flesh union is all about.

"Walk With Me"
written, performed, and recorded by Rich Mastrogiacomo

God the Father knew that it would be,
you and I from all eternity.
And my heart skipped a beat today with that kiss.
Together we will grow in holiness.

Walk with me to Jesus, take me to the good.
I want to see Him face to face,
and with you I know I could.
So take my hand, don't be afraid cause I know we'll be okay,
I give you my life, my heart, my soul and it all begins today.

You lean on me and I lean on you,
and together we'll be one.
We're gonna live this life the best we can,
and I promise we'll have fun.

And I remember the day that I met you
and how I felt inside,
now here we are, the journey begins,
so let's enjoy the ride!


I love your laugh, and I love your smile,
and I love the way you smell.
I'll always try the best I can
not to make you mad and yell.

I love to gaze into those eyes,
o baby how it's true,
I love to think about the years,
growing old with you!


I'll never forget the way I felt
when I said those words, "I do."
I'll never fall asleep at night
without saying, "I love you."

I can't believe it's official now,
I can call you mine-
on the eleventh day, of July,
in the year two thousand nine.


Lets live in faith, lets live in hope,
lets live in selfless love.
Lets ask the Lord every day
to send down His Holy Dove.

I live for you, and you live for me,
there is no other.
So come with me to the Heart of Christ,
with the help of Blessed Mother.


St. Joseph, Holy Mary, all angels and saints, pray for us...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sheen Set To Music- The Women Who Do Not Fail

"These are the women who do not fail.   And it is interesting if you've ever noticed it, that in the great crises - the greatest crises that ever faced Our Blessed Lord, there were many instances of men failing.  But there was never a single instance of a woman failing."  

This remarkable observation by Bishop Sheen sets the tone for this piece.  Women, created to bring forth life, have a unique and irreplaceable role on this earth.  Whether naturally or supernaturally, every woman in the world is called to be a mother.  With this understanding deep rooted in their feminine Marian hearts, it will be impossible for a woman to fail.  Sheen puts forth that women who do not fail can fall into three categories: 1) women who do not fail in the social, political and economic order, 2) women who do not fail in the home, and 3) women who do not fail in the preservation of  spiritual value for civilization. 

After carefully analyzing these three types of women, Sheen brilliantly makes the parallel of the three women who stood at the foot of the Cross as Our Lord was being crucified.  Their names were the same.  And the name?  Mary.  There was Mary Magdalene, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Nazareth, the Blessed Mother.  Each of these women represent the three types of women who do not fail respectively.  As we embark on understanding why these types of women do not fail, let us realize first and foremost that it is always at the Cross where saints are made. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sheen Set To Music-The Hour of Testing

As a Church, we are currently in the midst of severe attack and persecution. Rather than run from this, our current cross, we must remain faithful, steadfast in prayer, and suffer well. Archbishop Sheen knew we were approaching a time in which we as a Church would undergo opposition from the world. We should and need not despair. This opposition should let us know that we are in the battle. Yes, the enemy is strong, but the victory has been won by Our Savior as He drained Himself on that Cross which bridged heaven and earth. Let us then hope instead in these days, pray harder, fast more often, and remain hanging on our cross, for as long as necessary, just as Our Blessed Lord did.

Love certainly does not kill pain and suffering, but it does soften it. Offering our persecution, opposition, suffering, and pain to the Lord will enable us to keep fighting, and remain with Him in the midst of this hour of testing. What an honor it is to be considered a warrior for the Lord, for who would want to face Our Lord at death without a few scars?

Sheen Set To Music-The Woman I Love

Archbishop Fulton Sheen was perhaps the greatest evangelist of the twentieth century. I made a commitment to have a "Sheen Hour" everyday while in seminary, where I would listen to one of his numerous talks, retreats, or broadcasts, and keep this practice even today. I have listened countless times to this remarkable preacher, servant, but most of all, holy Catholic priest and victim. It is because of his influence that I make a daily holy hour, which has changed my life and my soul in ways I would have never imagined. Please pray for his canonization. Allow his inspired words to penetrate you. His thoughts on the Blessed Mother are arrows which pierce the inner depths of all our hearts, even those who may think She is distant. She only wants to lead us to Jesus, and help us to heaven. She is Our Mother, the Mother of the whole human race, and this was instituted by Christ on the Cross. On Mary, Sheen speaks directly, truthfully, but most of all, he speaks passionately - as a man who is truly in love.

In "The Woman I Love", Sheen discusses Mary as a dream, a mother, and finally, a spouse. He knew Her so well, and knew that through Her, one day he would be able to see Jesus face to face and be with Him forever in paradise. As a man studying for priesthood, Mary is the woman of my life, and I can only hope and trust that with Her, I can do the same.

Immaculata, Queen and Mother of the Church, I renew my self-consecration to you, for this day and for always, so that you might use me for the coming of the Kingdom of Jesus in the whole world. To this end, I offer you all my prayers, actions, and sufferings of this day.

Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee, and for all those who do not have recourse to Thee, especially the enemies of the Holy Church and all those recommended to You. Amen.

Sheen Set To Music-That Most Holy Heart

This song is entitled "That Most Holy Heart". It is a compilation of various excerpts from Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, reflecting on the Passion and Death of Our Lord, focusing on the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Heart of Christ was pierced and the love which flowed from His side was poured out for you, for me, and for all mankind. Mary's Most Immaculate Heart was pierced as well, and She alone is our greatest refuge and intercessor to lead us to Her Son. At the foot of the Cross stood Mary Magdalene and John the beloved disciple, alongside of the Blessed Mother. We can learn something remarkable from each one of these figures.

One of the best ways we can get to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord is by "keeping watch with Him for one hour" as He requested the night before He died. Praying the daily Holy Hour and being with Jesus in silence is based on His request- it is not simply a devotional practice, but biblical and rooted in Scripture. Let us then begin now to dare and make this practice habitual, drawing deeper and deeper into the Heart of Jesus day by day, with the help of Our Blessed Mother. I guarantee you, it will change your life...

He's waiting for you...

Thursday, April 22, 2010


"Ave" is a small litany written to Our Blessed Mother. Her impact on me and my vocation has been monumental, and I am certain that without Her, I would not know and love Her Son like I do. She always disappears, directing and guiding us to Jesus, even when we are unaware of Her presence. If we knew how much She loved us, we would cry- tears of joy. This song was written in the summer of 2008, after I consecrated myself, my life, and my vocation to Her on July 16th, the feast day of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Mary, Mother of the Church and Queen of Our Hearts, pray for us...