The Parish Secretary of St Francis Xavier Cathedral Parish, Mr Benny Joseph, officially launched the CD, "The Merciful", that he produced in honour of Bishop Justin Bianchini's 25 years as the Bishop of Geraldton, W.A..
Mr Joseph produced the CD under his own banner of Salve Regina Creations, with the assistance of his close friend, Shaji Stephan. Mr Stephan is a very gifted person and a man of strong faith who has directed more than 500 video albums in India and written over 1000 songs. He also has a great role as the Convenor of Media Commission in the Diocese of Kannur, in the southern state of Kerala in India. Previously he had worked with Shalom Television and his experience in the industry made him well placed to know the right contacts for such a production. Mr Joseph was delighted that his friend was able to secure the talents of Jackson Aruja for the Music and Orchestration of The Merciful, as he is a renowned artist in India, who is in high demand and extremely busy. Mr Joseph acknowledges that without the great effort and sincerity of Mr Shaji Stephan this album would not have been possible.
Mr Joseph's own achievement is much more than just being the producer of a Praise and Worship CD, as it was he alone who composed the lyrics of all the songs. Each song is a testament to the love and mercy of our Loving God, and evidently Mr Joseph's personal experience of that in his life.
The concept of Producing the CD initially began after Mr Joseph had written the lyrics for one song, "The Merciful" during the Year of Mercy . After investigating the costs of producing it he realised it was a very expensive undertaking for only one song, and decided it would be better value to produce five songs. He set about writing four more songs, but the idea niggled him that the CD would be better value for people if it had ten songs. Being a man of great Faith, he reflected on the idea, prayed about it and the next five songs flowed within three days. Mr Joseph said personally he believes the best song he wrote is the last one he penned, "Forget Me Not Lord". Mr Joseph also further stated, "Indeed, the mercy of God is my merit. In the lyrics of "The Merciful" I quoted the words 'Not our wish or exertion, but His mercy is the foundation' (Rom 9:16, NRSV). It is His unlimited mercy poured upon me in feeling His Grace to write the words of all songs. He performs miracles through unworthy people and it is a miracle that this CD has been launched. I am very grateful and praise our good Lord from the depth of my heart which is beyond words".
When Bishop Bianchini was asked his thoughts on the CD he said, "I am deeply honoured by Mr Joseph's gesture in memory of my 25 years as Bishop of Geraldton. It is quite remarkable how the professional musicians and singers were able to pick up and joyfully convey the spirit of these songs. I believe the songs would particulary be helpful for both individuals and groups in their prayer and reflection".
The CD's are available for the low price of $10 from the Cathedral Parish Office or the Diocesan Office .
View a sample from the album The Merciful - Forget Me Not Lord on YouTube
Click this link if you wish to read the Perth Archdiocese e-Record article