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On April 19, Bill and Maureen Hayes returned to their car from an afternoon outing, switched on the radio and heard that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had been elected Pope Benedict XVI.

The musical duo decided to employ their talent to compose and sing a song honoring the new pontiff.

"Pope John Paul II was very much loved, and I've heard other musicians writing songs for him," said Mr. Hayes, music minister at St. Clare's Church in Colonie. "I thought, 'I wonder if anyone will be writing a song for Pope Benedict?'"

He started writing the piece almost immediately, inspired by words taken from Pope Benedict's first apostolic blessing.

"He called himself a 'humble servant in God's vineyard,'" said the musician. "I thought, 'Here is a statement.'

The refrain asks Pope Benedict to "lead us to the Lord," while verses solicit his assistance with helping the Church to "build a sacrament of unity and love," "a spirit of knowledge and love," and "a spirit of kindness and wisdom."

The couple recorded the song in their home studio the night of Benedict's election and posted it on their website. Mr. Hayes plays instrumentals, while Mrs. Hayes, a cantor at St. Clare's, provides the vocals.

In putting the song together, Mr. Hayes said, he tried to balance a "contemporary feel" with a "sense of gentleness. I hope it allows people to soften their approach, so in the event that they might have questions in their minds as to whether Pope Benedict was a good choice or not, they'll take a second look."

(As a husband-and-wife team, the Hayes' received a Unity Award for Liturgical Song of the Year. Hear "Benedict, Servant of the Lord" at

- The Evangelist, Albany, NY


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Maureen Hayes, Vocalist, Music Minister, Instructor Performer and Recording Artist, is the Cantor and Soloist for The Church of St. Clare in Colonie, NY. She holds degrees in Vocal Performance and Fine Arts from Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri and Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. An award winning international performer, Mrs. Hayes has performed for audiences in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In 2000 she performed in Rome for World Youth Day. She has sung at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. for the International Week of Prayer and Fasting. Most recently she has appeared on EWTN's "Backstage" and Familyland TV Network Christmas Special.

Bill Hayes, Pianist, Organist, Composer, Performer, Instructor and Recording Artist is the Music Director for The Church of St. Clare in Colonie, NY. A published Composer of Liturgical Music, Mr. Hayes has composed, arranged and produced recordings of his original works including the 2002 Unity Award Nominated Song "I Am The Way", the 2004 Unity Award winning Liturgical Song of The Year, "I Am The Resurrection", the 2005 Unity Award winning Liturgical Song of The Year, "Living Bread", and the 2006 Unity Award Nominated song "Blessed Be God, Forever."
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Bill received his education in the Metropolitan St. Louis area, culminating in a degree from Webster University where he studied Musical Composition.

Maureen and Bill are the hosts of "On The Journey" which airs world wide on the internet at under "ON THE JOURNEY". Maureen and Bill are members of the Catholic Association of Music (CAM) an organization founded by John Michael Talbot. Maureen serves as the organization's Secretary and Director of Membership.

Maureen and Bill have been blest to be married and in ministry together for over 32 years.