Mary Jo Stetson - photo

A little bit Country, a little bit Folk, and just a trace of Rhythm & Blues. The music of Mary Jo Stetson covers such a diverse range of genres, it can not be neatly pigeonholed into any one niche. Except, of course, as 100% Catholic!
Whether heard on CD or experienced live in concert, Mary Jo's music leaves few untouched; the teenager moved to conversion, an elderly man moved to tears, the tired, struggling young mother given renewed strength and vigor. Mary Jo knows all about tired young mothers; she has composed all her songs in the few minutes she can spare from 'what she calls her 'Real Vocation' raising her children with husbandBernie in the Catholic faith.
Although an unlikely creative atmosphere, Mary Jo's lifestyle has been a true blessing in supplying her with inspiration for additional songs.
Most days, Mary Jo Stetson can be found collecting up her (eight) children for Holy Mass, attending to their schooling, or sharing Our Lady's Holy Rosary with them and husband Bernie. But somehow she manages to squeeze in a few private minutes here and there to create some of today's most compelling devotional music.
From what well springs this creativity? Some songs seemed to be like Mary was just singing them to her. She also includes inspiration taken from Holy scripture and Tradition. And some just come to her in the midst of her daily duties. Taking after her father, Mary Jo sings as she works, often silly songs to inspire her troops to perform their duties.
Sometimes songs will come to her in the midst of her daily routine, causing her to retreat to her room with paper and guitar. According to Mary Jo, it's the fruit of prayer and is prayer itself.
So, how did this unlikely combination of wife -mother -teacher - musician come about?
Her musical background was limited to childhood piano and guitar lessons. As a young woman, Mary Jo wrote tunes such as "Ave Maria" (the Hail Mary in Latin) and "The Lord is My Shepherd" ( both on Purify).
Then in 1978, Mary Jo was profoundly moved by the installation ceremony of Pope John Paul II; although she had no professional music experience, she found herself before an image of Our Lady asking to write Her a song. Out poured her composition, "Come to Me My Children".
Building on the foundation of this core song, Mary Jo was inspired to write more original songs, such as "Open My Heart", "The Goat Song", and "Totus Tuus, Mama".
What emerged was her premier CD, Purify, a collection of tunes exalting Jesus, the Blessed Virgin and our Catholic Faith. On this first release, our Holy Mother is further glorified in "The Jewish Virgins Magnificat" and "LikeYou, Mary".
Musician/Songwriter/Singer though she may be, Mary Jo's talent shines as a storyteller.

Her just released CD, To Life, is a chronicle of contemporary Catholic life, and almost like a guided tour through Mary Jo's own.
She leads us through the fervor of her youth in "Burn with the Fire of Love", to her courtship and marriage with "Come My Love" and "I Have Loved You".
With eldest daughter Anna Rose singing harmony, "A Rose" is the story of a young girl growing into womanhood.
She appeals to her own sons, and all young men, in "Good Man", reminding them of the joy and gratification that result in premarital purity.
She bravely put to paper the words to "A Saint is Born", the story of a baby gone to Heaven, one of her own.
The To Life theme is further developed in "Little Girl" and "Parent's Song",  spurred by her profound gratitude to her parents, and her love for them.
The "Mystical Mass" reflects the foundation of Mary Jo's life, and she says the song "Joseph"  made her feel that, "In a small way I had a visit to Nazareth; Mary and Joseph said 'Come in and visit'."
But the hand-clapping grand finale of To Life, "Put your Hands to the Plow", has become Mary Jo's signature song, and the rally cry of women everywhere. In it, she recounts the ordinary life of an ordinary wife and mother, the daily chores of a farm woman.  Instead of dwelling on the drudgery, we are led to see the glory we give God with our humble labors, and the privilege of  'raising up little images of God'!.
And why would she pursue this musical career in the face of all odds, and much hardship?
Admitting that she was hesitant when first considering taking her talent public, she then felt that God was asking her to spread His Word.She could not refuse Him, no matter how much she thought He was asking of her.
She prays that her music is a blessing, and that through it people will be encouraged.
In utter awe, she acknowledges that there are so many saints now battling the culture of death.
Perhaps her mission of spreading The Word through her music was best defined by Dr. Scott Hahn: "She is the voice of the lay faithful."
Where does the path lead from here? When confronted with pondering what is to come next or where God may be leading her, Mary Jo's immediate response is "I've learned not to point out where I'm going. I've learned the beauty of resting in Mary's heart. She is confidant that God will move her, and that "His Holy Will is the movement of my life". 


Below you will find opportunities to listen to and purchase Mary Jo's inspirational music in both CD and MP3 format.

You can click on any of the sound tracks in the player and they will stream the selection to your computer for your enjoyment. 

The same player can be used to select any track(s) to purchase,  download the entire album, or you can click the 'Buy Now' button under the 'Order the CD' column. 

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Purify CD photo



'Purify' - MP3 Downloads



Her CD, " Purify " delivers original compositions in a range of styles from the classic sound of a Latin "Ave Maria" to the youthful energy of her "Jewish Virgin's Magnificat." Her primarily Marian selections also include reflections of Mary Jo's love for and intimacy with Christ. Founded on scripture, her very powerful and personal music calls listeners to God, as in "Forever, We Are One, a religious love-ballad based on the Song of Songs. Mary Jo's music inspires tears and joy as listeners around the world are touched by her genuine message of Christ's love.




'To Life'

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Purify CD photo




'To Life'  - MP3 Downloads


Mary Jo's newest music CD 'To Life' , is an extensive collection of songs written in celebration of Christ's Love experienced through the family and Christ's call to each of us for an authentic response to life in His discipleship. 'To Life' is dedicated to Saint Joseph and released on March 19, Feast of St. Joseph the Husband of Mary. Again Mary Jo presents a considerable variety of styles in this collection from the gentle acoustic melody and love song of Mary to Joseph in the song ' Joseph ' - to the concert popular country song 'Put Your Hands to the Plow' celebrating the 'unsung heros' among us who give witness to their faith by the steadfast manner in which their daily lives are centered on Christ.





'Luminous Mysteries'

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Purify CD photo




'Luminous Mysteries'  - MP3 Downloads

Though not a music release, in keeping with her love of the Blessed Mother, Mary Jo released a recording of the new Luminous Mysteries with Rev. A. Donald Mantica, JCL, OCDS leading the rosary. This is a 'yes' response to the Holy Father's Apostolic letter, 'Rosarium Virginis Mariae'. Prayers of the rosary, including scriptural meditations followed by a pause for reflection for each mystery, are accompanied by a quieting musical background with the intent of aiding the faithful in this most praiseworthy tradition of Christian contemplation.




aborted but not abandoned'


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Purify CD photo



'aborted but not abandoned'

MP3 Downloads

Mary Jo's CD 'aborted but not abandoned' , was born of her passionate commitment to upholding life. All three songs on this single are what Mary Jo refers to as gift songs: the Father's gift that comes through her. 'Pour Out Your Mercy' is Mary Jo's heartbroken outcry against the abomination of partial-birth abortion. In this powerfully compassionate song, our cries and those of unborn babies are united with the crucified Christ pleading for God's great mercy.

 'Open Your Eyes to the Child' was written for the child-aid organization The Mission of Love . This song is a call to action to find fulfillment in respecting the lives of the needy: the outcast, orphaned, and forgotten children of the world.

'A Saint is Born' was written after Mary Jo suffered a miscarriage and this sensitive melody points to both the grief of loss and the hope we have in our Catholic Faith. Mary Jo's own heart and love of life shine in these songs inviting all hearts to unite in respect and love of life.





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