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10th Anniversary songs

Gratitude for 10 years - SSND Central Pacific Province
Central Pacific Province
2011 - 2021

For the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Central Pacific Province, held on June 12, 2021, Sister Christine Garcia, provincial councilor, and Michael Steimel, director of music and liturgy at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mankato, Minnesota, share the inspiration behind the two songs they composed for the event.


‘Thank You, O God’

By Michael Steimel
Michael Steimel is playing the organ at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mankato, Minnesota.

The School Sisters of Notre were dedicated teachers of our 12-grade school system in Gilbertville, Iowa. All my relatives, friends and neighbors were taught by the sisters, including my maternal grandparents, two great aunts who joined the community, Sisters Mary Ephrema and Blanche Becker, my mother, Lenora Becker Steimel and my siblings.

We were blessed with sisters who were musically gifted. Sister LuAnn Jacobs asked me, when I was in sixth grade, about learning to play the string bass for school liturgies and serving as her substitute with the parish guitar choir when she was away. I said, “yes” and thus began a now 40-year involvement in music ministry. By my senior year, I was directing a neighboring parish choir, had assumed directorship of my home parish guitar choir and led the music group for our high school liturgies.

I attended Loras College in Dubuque and obtained degrees in history and music with a secondary education teaching certificate. I helped with campus music ministry at Loras and was the Sunday organist at a parish in downtown Dubuque. From there, I held various music and liturgy positions at parishes in Iowa, Missouri and Kansas. Additionally, I earned a master’s degree in liturgy and music from Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana. I arrived Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato, Minnesota, in the fall of 2016, to renew my relationship with the sisters as their director of music and liturgy. I am delighted to share my antiphonal music for the upcoming anniversary celebration.


‘The More Grace I Recognize’

By Sister Christine Garcia
Christine Garcia, SSND

While on retreat I prayed with this theme and put it to music. I came to see this is a Magnificat. The full text attributed to Blessed Theresa for June 9 in Trust and Dare is, “The more grace I recognize in myself, the more I will thank you, Oh God.” This is like Mary’s song, “My soul proclaims the greatness of my God and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for the Mighty One has done great things for me and holy is God’s name.”

After the anniversary committee responded the song was what they were looking for, I asked Sister Barbara Neist if she would write a piano arrangement and she enlisted her sister musician, Mary Pancella, to help; they both were gracious to share their time and talents.

The next step was translation. I completed the Spanish and am grateful to Sister Regina Kabayama who translated the Japanese and to Sisters Francine Perez, Clare Marie Quichocho, Mary Joseph Quichocho and Lourdes Pangelinan from Guam who interpreted into Chamorro.

Much gratitude to Sister Carol Marie Hemish and the Theresa Center Choir in St. Louis for learning the song in all the languages and recording it for the rest of the province to hear and learn.

This community effort is offered as a gift to all of you. May it bring you joy as you recall the many graces God has given you and our congregation through the years.

'The More Grace I Recognize' Sheet Music PDF
(English, Spanish, Japanese, Chamorro)

'The More Grace I Recognize' Lyrics PDF
(English, Spanish, Japanese, Chamorro)


Read more reflections and stories celebrating our 10 years as the Central Pacific Province.

Gratitude for 10 years


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