Emily Roman has always had a passion for music, dreaming of singing and creating music in a recording studio in Nashville one day with other talented musicians and of an eventual career and life filled with artistry.
Later on, when she decided to take a more spiritual path in life, she felt she was giving up on that dream. Instead of heading to Nashville, she devoted her time and energy to Regnum Christi, a federation within the Catholic Church, and became a consecrated woman. Now, she also lives on Pinecrest Academy’s campus, serving as the school’s high school campus minister.
“I kind of thought I would be letting that [dream] go in following Christ in this consecrated life,” Roman said.
Roman never considered, however, that one day, she would be able to live out her musical dreams even through her devotion as a consecrated woman.
Roman, along with Father John Klein and Father Jaime Lorenzo, recently started the Regnum Christi Music Collective, encouraging members from all over with musical talents and passions to get involved and create spiritual and inspiring songs.
Klein, who serves as a priest in Atlanta, said he studied music production at Tennessee State University, and when he first transferred there starting his junior year, he also grew closer to his faith. He ended up heading to a Catholic seminary in Connecticut after school where he studied for 12 years to become a priest.
Through the years, he found that combining his musical talent and connection to God could bring others closer to the faith as well.
“I really felt the Lord calling me — instead of using my music gifts in a worldly way in the music industry — to use them more to bring others to know and discover God.” Klein said.
Passionate about the idea that music could bring others into or closer to their faith, Klein and Lorenzo both have been hoping for years to be able to begin the music collective, which invites others to join in and get involved artistically, and Roman was more than excited to join in on the project.
While the project had never come to fruition before because the group never had the time to be able to travel or record music, the novel coronavirus pandemic actually offered them that extra time that they needed to fully get the music collective started.
That was why, over the summer, they were able to work together to write six songs, thinking about the high school students that they usually take on missions to Atlanta to encounter the homeless and poor and “teach them to come out of their world a little world and serve others,” Klein said.
“We started to write these for those students and for those missions, and so the idea was that we’d write music whether some of the songs be slow and be for prayer and some of the songs would be upbeat and be motivational, inspirational kind of theme songs that the kids could sing to and have fun,” Klein said.
Through their future music and the music collective, Klein said that they hope to offer the songs to other groups who are working on similar projects with teens and young adults as well.
“Hopefully after these videos come out, we’ll meet people who grew up doing missions in San Jose or New York or Mexico and they have other ideas or musical talents that they want to be a part of our next video or join us to record and help us to continue to write more music,” Klein said.
Finally living out her dream, Roman travelled over the summer along with Lorenzo and Klein to Nashville to produce their music for the first time. They worked with other musicians, along with Shawn Williams, a professional Catholic music producer, to finish the six songs that they plan to release in the coming months to get the word out about the music collective.
“I was like a kid in a candy store,” Roman said. “Everyone there is so incredibly talented that I just kind of tried to lay low. But it was such a cool experience to get to be with these professionals who were so encouraging.”
The group already released one song in August, called “Over and Over,” which listeners can find on most music streaming services and through Regnum Christi Music Collective’s Facebook page, and they have published the music video on Youtube.
“It’s been beautiful to see [the music collective] really become a reality,” Klein said.