COLUMBIA CITY — Music has always been a part of Hannah Schaefer’s life. The Columbia City native and member of St. Paul of the Cross Parish has just released an extended play album featuring Christian music that she wrote or co-wrote. And churches throughout the region are beginning to tap into the 19-year-old’s music talent by inviting her to sing at their churches.
“I had always known I wanted to pursue music,” Schaefer told Today’s Catholic. “My constant participation with the music at St. Paul’s only increased my desire to choose the Christian music industry. What better way to live life than combining all the things I am passionate about into one?”
Growing up at St. Paul of the Cross, “everyone knew everyone and I was able to make lots of childhood friends,” she said. “In the summertime, my mom was in charge of Vacation Bible School. I loved being a participant and group leader at VBS, but by the time I was in sixth grade all I wanted to be a part of was the music.”
Although she was young, Schaefer didn’t hesitate to help lead all the kids in Sing and Play.
“I loved being able to combine my passion for music with my passion for being a role model for kids,” she said.
Throughout the years at St. Paul of the Cross, she was actively involved with religious education (10 years), youth group (four years) youth choir (seven years), cantoring (sixth grade to the present), being an acolyte (seven years) as well as singing for weddings and funerals. “I love to serve and I am so thankful for my home parish,” she said.
Now she is taking her talent, her ministry, to the world. Talking about the release of her first album, titled “All the Way,” Schaefer said, “Each song is special in it’s own way. ‘All the Way’ came to life when I was trying to decide on a college to attend. I wasn’t sure where God was trying to lead me and all I wanted was to follow His will.”
As Schaefer casually expressed her feelings of confusion and frustration with her co-writer, “he quickly reminded me how important it is to trust in the Lord with all your heart,” she said. “I had gotten so caught up in the world that I had forgotten to relax and just trust my God. Within the next few minutes the first verse of ‘All the Way’ was born, and we were able to encompass my moment of revelation. No matter what I was going through God would never abandon me, nor anyone else.”
She said, “I hope that this song gives listeners a peace of mind and enlightens their hearts knowing that they need not worry about whatever situation they are in because God will be with them all the way!”
Schaefer also co-wrote the song “Go.”
“I was in a state of mind where I was ready to put the past behind me and leap into the unknown,” she noted. “I was tired of being afraid of the future, and I was ready to trust God. I was ready to walk upon waters that I had never been before and GO. ‘Go’ was written as my anthem song, but it was also written for anybody who is afraid to follow what the Lord is calling him or her to do. It was written with the intention of encouraging everyone to not be afraid of the unknown, and it was meant to inspire him or her to have faith!”
The song, “Eyes Open,” is special Schaefer because it is the first song on the EP. The song, she said, “wasn’t inspired by a personal experience of my own, but of a close friend of mine. I was able to witness this person find the Lord after many years of darkness and help them fall in love with Him. It was amazing to see their whole life begin to change in wonderful ways. Joy replaced sorrow and healing began to replace the hurt. It was just so moving.”
This experience, she said was something she couldn’t ignore and knew she had to write her next song about it.
The concept of “Eyes Open” is not really meant to be taken literally, but spiritually. “You know the feeling you get when you realize who God really is? It’s meant to encompass that feeling of security, hope and realization. It’s meant to symbolize an awakening,” she said. “‘Eyes Open’ is for the lost who find their way back home. Which, in reality, is all of our stories at some point in life.”
She is also excited about “Warrior” because it is the only song on the EP that wasn’t previously released as a single and will be completely new to everyone. “It’s powerful and personal,” Schaefer said. “This song was written for the fighters, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Schaefer is a minority in the Christian music field. Not many of the artists are Catholic. But Schaefer does not shy away from the faith. “I have an uncanny desire to speak truth,” she said. “Due to my exposure to the vast knowledge, history and tradition of the Church, Catholicism has molded me into a spiritual warrior. Because of that, I have become a bold lyricist.”
“Discovering the great truths of Christianity,” she said, “inspires me to write lyrics that will really connect to the listener. My music is meant to instill hope, strength, courage and peace. Catholicism only helps bring my message to life because there is unending promising truth to sing about and share with everyone.”
“I would love to become more involved in the diocese,” she noted, “especially at youth events because I have such a passion to share my music and message with them. I truly understand and can relate to what they are going through as tweens/teenagers. I would just love it if parishes invited me to come perform!”
Catch the music of Hannah Schaefer
The music may be purchased on iTunes or Amazon, Google Play and Spotify.
Facebook: Hannah Schaefer (Page)
The best news. Delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe to our mailing list today.