A local group of singing sisters has quietly made a huge splash nationally.
Every day, in a remote area about 45 minutes north of Kansas City, nearly two dozen women sing to the heavens. Some say they sing like angels. They're the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles - nuns who've committed their lives to God.
"Our way of life here is truly one of great peace and tranquility... we live a monastic life, that is we live in a monastery, away and hidden from the world. And the sisters who are here have left everything behind to be here. They've left their families, their homes, all their possessions, their bank accounts, their jobs... everything in order to follow the call of God," said Mother Cecilia Snell.
Much of their day is spent in silence - peace, quiet and prayer are a constant. But a few times each day, the sisters sing.
Their talent is obvious - the nuns were signed by a recording label a few years ago and have produced three albums. Their latest album, Advent at Ephesus, spent four straight weeks in December at No. 1 on Billboard's Traditional Classical Albums charts.
"Did I ever think we would be making a CD for international selling? No, not a chance," Snell said.
The nuns don't sing for fame or glamour - they have a much higher calling.
"We're always singing, so it's just natural that we make a CD so that we could give something of our lives to people out in the world. Since not everybody can come here and we're not going to go out in the world, this is a way we can give a little a taste of our life and let people experience it," Snell said.
What people won't experience by listening to their music is how humbling the sisters' everyday lives can be.
"We have a dairy cow named Effie. She just had a calf named Sweet Pea," Snell said.
They operate a small farm, work a large garden and tend to an orchard. Their goal is to be self-sufficient.
To earn money to pay the bills, the sisters sew ornate vestments worn by priests with silk imported from Italy. Some of the vestments include their own original artwork.
But outside of listening to their music, people will likely never meet one of the Benedictines of Mary. Their life's work is on a northwest Missouri farm that they never leave.
"When you're away from the world people wonder, ‘why do you close yourselves away, why are you hidden?' It's so we can hear God, it's so we can talk to God," Snell said.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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