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For the Sake of Christ

posted Jul 7, 2012, 8:12 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Jul 2, 2015, 1:36 PM ]
Chapter 12 in the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians shows how a devoted disciple discovers, through his thorn, that when he stops trying to control, God can and will take over, and the disciple is changed.  Ken Canedo expresses these thoughts in his song For the Sake of Christ, and shares the story on how he composed it:

“Arleen Dunne was an energetic person, full of life and ideas and enthusiasm.  She was the Director of Religious Education at St. Monica Church in Moraga, CA.  Her daughter Shannon was one of our cantors.  Arleen coordinated a thriving religious ed program for the elementary children, and also made time to be a good wife and mother, and the parish watched Shannon blossom as an outstanding singer, growing up from high school musicals and liturgy to a burgeoning career in show business.  Arleen and her husband Frank were proud of Shannon and all their children.


One day, the unthinkable happened.  Arleen was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.  The affects were gradual but noticeable.  As her body moved toward muscular paralysis, she lost her ability to speak.  But she did not let this disease prevent her from carrying out her responsibilities as our DRE.  She communicated through a wonderful portable voice synthesizer that “spoke” the words as she typed into it.  ALS was not going to stop her from bringing children to Christ.

I was personally inspired by Arleen’s spirits, and moved by how her loving family dealt with these new challenges.  I wanted to give her something to show her my appreciation and love.  While praying the Liturgy of the Hours, I came across this reading, and tears streamed down my faces as I realized that this passage was personified in dear Arleen.  I went straight to my piano and this song came out almost immediately.  I started with the words For the sake of Christ…”