When Anna Nuzzo made her Marian consecration in 2012, she had no idea what she was getting into.
The Kenosha interior designer, wife and mother of two teenage sons wasn’t exactly looking to add more to her plate when she began to read “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC. The book outlines a do-it-yourself spiritual retreat in preparation for a Marian Consecration – an ancient practice whereby an individual dedicates his or her soul to Christ through His Blessed Mother.
Nuzzo’s reading of the book and subsequent Marian Consecration was done along with a women’s group at her parish, St. Anne in Pleasant Prairie. Participation in the group had revived the cradle Catholic’s zeal for her faith, but she never expected it to lead to what she calls her “God job” – a singing career that has, to date, included three CDs, performances all over the globe and, most recently, the hosting of two television shows for Shalom World, a Catholic ministry that began in India in 1989 and has now grown to include an English-language channel with religious shows that streams online.
“It’s grown out of the Marian Consecration,” said Nuzzo of her career as a singer/songwriter. “It’s all for God’s glory. It’s not about me. It’s all to bring more souls to Christ and to glorify Him.”
A lifelong singer, she had participated in church choirs since childhood and done some professional gigs at weddings and funerals – but it wasn’t until after the Marian Consecration that she was struck with the urge to do any songwriting herself.
“I had prayed to the Blessed Mother to help me write this song, and then it all just happened,” she recalled. “Ever since then, prayer songs have just been oozing out of me.”
Her first CD, 2014’s “Be Love,” is a contemporary album with 11 tracks including original takes on the Memorare, the Lord’s Prayer, the Marian Consecration prayer and St. Faustina’s 3 p.m. prayer. “Be Love” was followed the same year by “Believe,” a collaboration with Fr. Domenic Roscioli that features inspirational true stories combined with Nuzzo’s original music. Her next release was “Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet” in 2015, which features both Nuzzo’s sung version of the chaplet and its recitation by Fr. Dan Cambira, MIC.
The CDs led to performances at churches, conferences and retreats throughout the country. Eventually, Nuzzo attracted the attention of Shalom World TV. For Shalom, Nuzzo is currently in production to host two shows, including one called “Sing For Him,” where she travels around the Midwest profiling church choirs and their members.
The half-hour show, which will begin airing on shalomworldtv.org in August, is an especially meaningful project for Nuzzo.
“It’s just to bring their reality and their ministry out into the open. I’ve been in choir my whole life, and I always notice music when I go to churches, but a lot of people don’t, and these people are devoting their lives to doing this, and it’s integrated in their lives,” she said. “It’s another way to promote volunteering at your church and to share their personal stories – what brought you here? Why are you singing at church instead of a nightclub?”
It’s providential that Nuzzo suddenly finds herself interacting with hundreds of choir singers all over the Midwest, since she’s in the market for a few to accompany her on an upcoming pilgrimage. In December, she will be partnering with Select International Tours to host a 10-day tour throughout the Holy Land, and participants will have the opportunity to sing in a choir with Nuzzo as she performs at two Christmas concerts in Nazareth and Bethlehem.
She was invited to the concerts during a visit to the Holy Land in January. “I thought, I want to open this opportunity up to my friends. Why don’t we make it a pilgrimage?” she said. Though the tour — which will include Fr. Peter Jankowski from the Diocese of Joliet — is perfect for singers, anyone is welcome to come along, said Nuzzo.
The December Holy Land tour means that Nuzzo will have both begun and ended 2017 in the very cities where Christ and his mother lived. It’s surreal, she said, but fitting. After all, this is her “God job” — a special commission from “the greatest intercessor.”
She encourages all Catholics to consider consecrating themselves to Christ through His Blessed Mother. “By saying Yes to her, just like she said ‘yes’ to God in her fiat, your life will dramatically change for the better,” she said. “You will be ignited with a great desire to use your God-given gifts to help others and give glory to God. She truly sets your heart on fire for the love of Jesus!”
For more information on Anna Nuzzo, visit annanuzzo.com. To learn more about the December Holy Land tour, contact Ceci Triska at (979) 543-8575 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit selectinternationaltours.com.