Pope Francis is taking direct aim at the wealthy and powerful of the world, saying in his message for Lent that they are often “slaves to sin” who, if they ignore the poor, “will end up condemning themselves and plunging into the eternal abyss of solitude which is hell.”

Published in Faith

If Michelangelo was listening to music while he worked on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, his playlist would probably sound something like Le studio de musique ancienne de Montréal’s Music from the Sistine Chapel concert.

Published in Music News

TV star Nathan McLeod is taking his talents from the small screen to the church.

McLeod will lead the band Look Out Below at the Oratory Youth Concert Sept. 21 at Toronto’s St. Vincent de Paul parish.
Known for his role as Gabe, the hot older brother who loves dishing out girl advice to his younger brothers on YTV’s Life with Boys, McLeod’s abilities go beyond acting. Performing in musical theatre since he was nine, the 18-year-old plays the guitar and piano, but thinks of himself as a singer first when it comes to his musical skills.

These skills will be on full display when McLeod headlines the Oratory Youth Concert.

McLeod is a Catholic and said he was attracted to St. Vincent de Paul’s Latin Mass and has been commuting to Toronto from Oakville to attend the service since last summer. McLeod has performed in other churches before, but this is his first time doing so at St. Vincent de Paul. He plans on performing Christian rock, praise and worship and original songs. 

“Every song that I write has a story behind it and God’s always been a really big part of my life,” said McLeod, “so His influence completely affects what I write about, even in my secular music.”

One of the original songs he plans on performing at the youth concert, “Stand Tall,” is about God helping him through being bullied in elementary school. McLeod will also perform “Unborn Baby,” a song he wrote for his older brother Nicholas. The elder McLeod is active in the pro-life community and is currently studying in seminary with plans to join the priesthood, says his younger brother. 

McLeod first turned to songwriting at age 12 when his grandmother Rose Sliger died of a severe form of Parkinson’s Disease. McLeod recalls Sliger as “the luckiest woman in the world” who would always beat him at board games and who taught him about patience.

“Till her dying day she was the toughest woman I knew. She was for sure a great example for my life,” he said.

“Growing up in music theatre, music was always a big part of my life that when something tragic and something that affected me so much as my grandmother dying, it really encouraged me to want to write her a song, which was the reason I learned the guitar.”

With guitar in hand, McLeod will be playing with Look Out Below, a group of five friends from the Etobicoke School of the Arts. 

“We respect Nathan as a singer,” said band leader Sanjay Parker, who classifies his band’s sound as funk dance music.

Parker says they can’t guarantee they all will play together in the future, “so we want to play as much as we can now.”

The concert, organized by St. Philip Youth, will have young acts performing for their peers.

“I believe God is sending me on this journey of music to be in  a position of power so that I can be a good role model and bring about change,” McLeod said.

Published in Youth Speak News