An order of Irish nuns has caught the eye of a top TV talent scout in the UK.
The Poor Clares of Nuns’ Island in Galway are resisting invitations to appear on Britain’s Got Talent.
The musical sisters released a song last month, ‘Calm the Soul’ which has clocked up more than 50,000 views online.
The nuns are tickled by the invitation to appear on UK TV, but feel an appearance might be counter-productive to their cause.
“A researcher from the show has been in touch a number of times asking us to perform ‘Calm the Soul.’ We are thrilled by the invite of course but feel the message of the song might get lost somehow,” Abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery, Sr Colette said.
Their song arose from the success of their best-selling book ‘Calm the Soul’. Many people were touched by the message of a poem which appeared in the book and this prompted the sisters to put it to music.
“We don’t watch a lot of television so we wouldn’t be following the X-Factor and other shows like that on a regular basis. We have seen a few highlights though including Fr. Ray Kelly singing the REM song Everybody Hurts.
“Somebody also recommended that episode where Susan Boyle’s performance stunned the judges and that was lovely to watch,” Sr Colette said.
The Order of Poor Clares is an enclosed, contemplative community of sisters whose foundation is based on a vision of poverty, humility and simplicity.
The order has had a presence in Galway since 1642. The nuns' daily routine includes rising at midnight for prayer, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and music. They are delighted the song is reaching a wider audience with its message of peace and personal consolation.
“As a community, we are gifted musically and love to try new stuff. Two sisters did singing lessons before they entered,” Sr Colette said.
Another sister who plays the guitar was a Mary Black wannabe when she was a teenager but there aren’t any divas among us really.
"We see any gifts that we have as given to us by God for others and also that any particular sister’s gift is everybody else’s gift too,” Sr Colette said.
The sisters have a singular hope that the song will continue to reach a wider audience and provide comfort to people who are struggling.
“We would hope that the song will give those who hear it a lift and maybe encourage those who have given up on God to renew the connection,” Sr Colette said.
Their prayers have been answered as Sr. Consilio Fitzgerald, founder of the Cuan Mhuire addiction treatment centres, is making the song part of the recovery program.
“There is a beautiful healing message there. Some of the people we work with have found it to be deeply moving and comforting. I think that this song will become part of our program for many years to come,” Sr. Consilio said.