I was featured in this article titled "Singing Their Hearts Out: Young Catholic singers mix faith and music," during my senior year at Franciscan University. It was an awesome experience, being interviewed and getting to share my love for music and the Lord. I hope it's not the last time. You can click on the link to see the rest of the article, as I have only presented the portion referring to me.
The Beauty of Praise
Gabriela Martinez, age 22
At Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, senior Gabriela Martinez has found a way to give back to God her talents as a student group leader in music ministry.
“Music has such a real capacity to enrich and uplift people’s hearts and lives,” explains 22-year-old Gabriela of her work in this campus ministry. “At Mass it is sanctified, and it is a prayer glorifying God. It encourages people to do the same. There’s no more beautiful use of music than in the liturgy of the Mass.”
Gabriela, who plays piano with the other musicians, is exuberant about how this ministry has increased her “awareness of the deep unity in the liturgy of the Mass.”
She also participates in the university’s Born of the Spirit retreats, a source of spiritual healing and growth for her. She became student head of this retreat ministry.
“Because,” explains Gabriela, “I wanted everyone on campus to experience the deep love of the Lord and know all the incredible gifts he pours forth with the Holy Spirit. … It’s all about him.”
“Using a pure gift the Lord has given me for music to encourage others is very humbling,” says Gabriela. “Watching them pray is the most humbling feeling in the world.”
She also composes religious music and gives concerts. At the Students for Life campus coffeehouse, soprano Gabriela sang her pro-life songs like “Let Me Live.” Off-campus concerts include some at her parish in her hometown of Fort Myers, Fla.
“I’ve been able to perform the words the Lord has spoken to my heart and to share a vulnerable side of my heart with others,” she says of them. “Developing my music has helped me grow, and sharing it has helped others who are experiencing similar trials and joys.”
No wonder she hopes to devote the first year after graduating with a Humanities and Catholic Culture degree to bringing others her songs of trust, surrender, and abandonment to the Lord’s love.
Staff writer Joseph Pronechen writes from Trumbull, Connecticut.