The song was originally recorded in 1941 as a message of hope in response to World War II bombings.
But it is the Doo Wop version by Willie Winfield and the Harptones
(1957) that runs through my head as Hurricane Irma wreaks havoc on Florida.
Certain Doo wop songs have the ability to touch my heart and bring me comfort in troubling times. This is one of them:
“Our home is in shambles
All I treasured is gone
The town seems deserted
Everyone’s so forlorn!
A storm came from up above
But somehow it missed
The Shrine of St Cecilia.
Irma, like Charley, Katrina and other disasters, has taken lives and left much of what we treasure in shambles.
Some have suffered greater loss than others. Regardless of the level of personal devastation, the key to our future is to find a “Shrine of St. Cecilia” in our hearts.
There are so many inspiring stories to hear and read of people coming together in the face of disaster to rebuild their lives and their dreams.
Not every story has a happy ending, but for those who have been spared it is the ability to cling to and build on hope that will determine the future.
The courage and resolve of many inspire me and, I pray, all of us, to do however little or much we can to bring hope and encouragement to others as the hurricane goes her way:
I kneel in my solitude
And silently pray
That Heaven will protect us dear,
And there’ll come a day
The storm will be over and
We’ll all meet again
At the Shrine of St. Cecilia.