CD Features John Michael Talbot
A Brooklyn NY parish musician is on a mission to revive devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Michael Zabrocki, director of music ministries at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Whitestone, NY, has produced a CD with original and traditional hymns, along with spoken word prayer tracks. The CD will be released on Nov. 21.
Zabrocki said, “My devotion began in my heart during the COVID-19 lockdown when I was introduced to Sr. Susan Marie and the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary at Brooklyn Visitation Monastery. I created online video Masses for their nine-day Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the Very Rev. Joseph R. Gibino.”
“Their community’s history and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus deeply moved me to learn more about Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque and the others whom Jesus used to bring this devotion to the world. Over time, it became the focus of my own spiritual life,” Zabrocki said.
Zabrocki shares that many people associate the Sacred Heart of Jesus only with a painting hanging in their home. “It is much more than that!” he said.
“I pray this collection of my new compositions and selected traditional hymns, along with prayers that have found a home in my heart, will help in some small way to spread this devotion again,” he said.
“Thank you to Sr. Susan Marie, Sr. Mary Cecilia and all at Visitation Monastery for a gift I can never repay.”
Delays, Death and Divine Providence
While Zabrocki wanted to begin making the album about two years ago, commitments kept cropping up causing delays. And then in April 2023, Michael formerly committed to having the album recorded and released by the Feast of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in October.
Then the unthinkable happened. Michael’s twin brother and fellow musician Ron passed away in May. “Along with the emotional impact, Ron was also my producer, guitarist, arranger and much more. I lost my studio and production staff. I now had to go it alone for the first time after thirty years of recording Catholic music.”
Zabrocki started a crowdfunding effort which resulted in 100% of production costs to be met in the first two months. Then, Grammy-winning Christian music pioneer John Michael Talbot offered to play guitar on a few tracks. This was followed by Lenny Smith, composer of the beloved hymn “Our God Reigns,” offering Michael the opportunity to be the first to record a new version of the hymn, transforming the song to true worship.
But God wasn’t finished with him and his mission to spread this devotion, Zabrocki recalled. It was announced that Bishop Msgr. Benoît Rivière of Auton, France had decreed a Jubilee commemorating the 350th anniversary of the apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Saint Marguerite-Marie (Margaret Mary) in Paray-le Monial beginning in December, 2023.
Sr. Susan Marie shared the first review of the album:
“These gentle flowing hymns of divine love, including original creations and traditional Catholic works, truly permeate the soul. Mr. Zabrocki's new album evidences the deep touch of Divine Providence as its release corresponds to the 350th Anniversary Years (2023-2025) of the Apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St Margaret Mary. Listen, and be transformed!”
Zabrocki said that God used COVID to bring him to the sisters at the Visitation Monastery in Brooklyn. Zabrocki echoes Talbot’s sentiments about that religious monastery’s being “the beating heart of the Church.”
“The heart of a monastery joined Michael’s heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. May God be praised and may this devotion spread again throughout our Diocese and the world!” Zabrocki said.
The title of the new album is “Consecration: Hymns and Prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus” and includes nine original and traditional hymns and five spoken word prayer tracks.
The album will be published Nov. 21 on all streaming platforms and wherever digital music is sold online. Those wishing the physical CD can purchase it directly from Zabrocki’s website.
You may listen to the title track on YouTube: “Only You (Consecration)”.