Brotherhood’s ‘Into the Deep’ CD calls to holiness

BOSTON--With the words of Pope John Paul II in mind, the Brotherhood of Hope has released “Into the Deep,” the second album of the religious community which ministers primarily to college students at secular universities.

The CD’s title is taken from Christ’s words to Peter in Luke’s Gospel to “put out into the deep,” which John Paul II used in his encyclical “Novo Millennio Ineunte” or “At the Beginning of the New Millennium.” The encyclical explains that the Apostles follow Jesus’ command to “put out into the deep” and catch a great number of fish and that in the same way today’s Church is called to a new evangelization.

“I have no hesitation in saying that all pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness,” the pope wrote in the encyclical.

The Brotherhood’s CD is also meant to encourage all to follow God’s call to holiness, the vocation of all the baptized, said Brother Rahl Bunsa, BH, the community’s superior general. The CD reflects the brothers’ own spirituality, he added.

“We wanted something that everyone could identify with and that would summon everyone to a deeper level of their relationship with Christ,” he said.

The album is deeply personal for the brothers and features some of their favorite songs, chosen by the community, which was founded in 1980 in New Jersey.

“We chose these because they’re very special to us in our own relationship with Christ, and we wanted to share that with others,” said Brother Rahl.

Three of the songs -- “Holy is the Lord Our God,” “He Who Dwells in Me” and “Our Call” -- were written by men in the Brotherhood. “Our Call,” written by Brother Rahl, has only been sung within the Brotherhood until now, and its lyrics are from the community’s founding documents.

Most of the 16 songs are sung in English with two in Spanish and one in Latin. There is an Irish hymn, “Be Thou my Vision,” that ends with a lively jig to the tune of a fiddle and tin whistle. The CD features other instruments including the mandolin, violin, Dobro guitar, harmonica, cello and bagpipes.

The CD includes a 32-page booklet featuring Scripture, catechesis, meditations, quotes from saints and pictures of different Catholic people living their individual vocations.

The brothers were encouraged by the success of their 2003 Advent CD, “A Season of Hope,” which sold over 5,000 copies, Brother Rahl said. It was featured in Catholic newspapers, on EWTN and played on 130 radio stations, he added.

The Brotherhood wanted to bring what they learned from the first CD into a second as well as create an album that was “perennial,” he said.

The new CD was recorded in Tallahassee, Fla. over the course of two weeks, and the editing process took another week. Each of the three Brotherhood households in Florida, New Jersey and Somerville were represented by performers.

The Brotherhood hired two producers and a few musicians to work on the CD. They also received help from former students involved in their campus ministry at Florida State College. The brothers also minister to students at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Northeastern University and Boston University.

Brother Joe Donovan, campus minister at Northeastern, said that music is a staple of the brothers’ campus ministry and work of evangelizing the youth.

“It’s a way of getting people together,” he said.

Brother Rahl added, “Music and worship is a very important part of not only our ministries but of our daily fraternal life. We spend a lot of time using praise and worship songs. This CD really reflects our own spirituality and ministry.”

Brother Rahl said that he is “extremely pleased” with the way the album has turned out. Like the previous CD, they will sell copies on their Web site,, and through two large distributors.

The CD has also received several endorsements and approval from Vatican radio, he said.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley said the album is “an inspirational CD and booklet. The Brotherhood’s music is like their outreach to college students: it’s challenging yet refreshing, clever yet Christ-centered.”