Recording Artist Michael Zabrocki

By Michael K. Jones

A Brief Gistory.

Michael Zabrocki is no stranger to Christian audiences with three successful contemporary Christian albums to his credit. Michael is quickly becoming a familiar face on the music scene, appearing at concerts and liturgical services with other top names like Irish star Dana, Tony Melendez and others. Ten time Granny award winner, Jimmy Sturr say's, "Michael's albums renewed my love of Christian Music."

Interview with Michael Zabrocki.

Q. Have you always had a strong faith in God from childhood?

A. Yes. I have always been into astronomy - I have many memories of being outside at nite as a young boy and looking at the stars and space and feeling a warm closeness to my creator. Growing up I had some great teachers who always encouraged me in my faith and music. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are of being alone in church and seeing the afternoon sun come through the stained glass windows while the incense was fading from morning services and knowing I was in my Father's house - I was home. A more defined relationship with Jesus and Mary came much later - as a child it was always about GOD!

Q. How many years have you been performing Christian music and to date is there one performance that has deeply touched you that you can tell us about?

A. I started out in folk groups in the early 70's (I feel old!) and have been an organist/choir director for over 20 years (feeling really old now!!!). I have been a recording artist for over 7 years now (but still hold down the position of Organist in my home parish of St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr in Ozone Park, NY). I had the sad priviledge of singing at the funeral of a five year old girl who died of aids. We met in the hospital - after my third daughter was born she came down with a high fever and was admitted to the hospital for tests and antibiotics for about two weeks. No one wanted to room with this girl and her parents because they were afraid of the disease (aids)....she was so beautiful and my infant daughter and I roomed with her and her parents and became very close - she would only eat for me, she was so sad all the time and I would try to make her happy. When she died - they asked if I would sing and I said yes not knowing it was at the gravesite....I was not prepared to see her little white coffin and her mom holding her "Elmo" doll...I felt unworthy, confused, VERY sad (as any parent can relate) and had to hang on to my faith and some knowledge that God knew what He was doing....even at this sad time. I related to St. Paul saying "When I am weak, I am strong".

Q. Having written the songs for three albums, is there any one song that you feel is some of you best work?

A. Musically, my favorite song is on my Polish record - in English it is called the "Rosary Song" and it is written around the three parts of the Rosary (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)....I really feel the melody is from God. I wish it translated well into English but it doesn't! It only works when sung in Polish! In English - I have a very personal song on my first album called "October" whish is a song about surrendering to God's will...it was getting a little presonal and I name it October to throw folks off the trail! I have been writing alot lately though - even some hymns! - some of these new songs may be moving into my "favorites". We'll see. It's alot like fishing - ya never know what you're gonna catch!

Q. You seem to have a close bond to the Polish community. I understand that although you do not speak polish, you spent months leaning enough so you could publish your album called, "Ofiarowanie Milosci." Publishing an album in a language you really do not know is quite an undertaking, what inspired you?

A. This is a long story - I would direct folks to the testimony page on my website (www.zabrockimusic.com) for the whole story. Briefly - I had left the Catholic faith for a while....and it was the faith and love of the Polish community which "loved" me back to fold...I became the real "Prodigal Son" and wanted to find a way to thank the Polish community...Music is what I do so recording an album in the Polish language was my small way to say Thank You and share how I felt. It was a true Labor of Love.

Q. I am deeply devoted to the Divine Mercy Chaplet, which was given to Sister Maria Faustina, a Polish Nun. Do you have any comments you would like to share about this devotion?

A. This question makes me VERY happy! I was not very aware of Sr. Faustina or the Chaplet...then within ONE YEAR several things happened - a man came up to me and gave me the sheet music for the "chaplet" in my church, then I had the pleasure of meeting Vinny Flynn at a Catholic Marketing Convention - he is a regular on EWTN with his family (they sing a VERY popular version of the Chaplet), then I ran HEAD ON into a gracious and humble woman - Annie Karto - at a Catholic Association of Musicians Conference whose whole life glows with the spirit Blessed Faustina and Divine Mercy - and she really pushed me toward Sr. Faustina so....... I said I had better check this out! I have since read her Diary (Sr. Faustina) MANY times and now that we have the approval of the Pontiff since her Beatification - my Parish is preparing for our first celebration of Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter). I love her - pray to her - and encourage EVERYONE to check her out.

Q. In the Diary of Sister Faustina, Jesus tells her that even if a soul had the sins as if all the grains of sand, that soul could obtain mercy by the saying of the Mercy Chaplet, what does this say to you?

A. I sometimes look at my life compared to Sr. Faustina and her confessions would include so many "small" sins I would (and do) so easily overlook! She set the standard....the Bible teaches we are all sinners and all fall short of the glory of God. I often find myself clinging to the promises given to Sr. Faustina through the Mercy Chaplet. I pray it for myself and for the concersion of many others. You ask what this says to me - it says - God is Good and he wants to "flood our souls" with His Mercy! Christianity is nothing without forgiveness and God wants us all home with Him forever!

Q. We are coming upon a Holy time in the Church, ash Wednesday is upon us and Easter soon to come, what does this special time mean to you?

A. Repent, turn from sin, pray! We are all destined to die some day and Jesus came to call us to conversion....it is a time of preparation for the joy of Easter and our sharing in the resureection of Christ.

Q. What do you most look forward to when attending Mass with you family?

A. Cool question! I am at Mass alot being an organist! I love the fact that they share what could easily be time away ( I do 5 Masses every weekend!) ...my 6 year old comes with me to the 5:00 PM Saturday night mass and usually ends up sitting on my lap while I play and sing in the choir loft! My wife sings in the choir at the 9:30 AM Sunday Mass and my middle daughter is an Altar Server! My oldest is leading a youth choir in a neighboring church....Church is a family event!

Q. There have been many Marian apparitions throughout History, can you tell us if there is one apparition that stand out in your thoughts and tell Medjugorje USA visitors why you feel a closeness to that apparition?

A. Fatima was important in my formative years (and I still find myself revisiting the story!) but Medjugorje is ours! It happened in my lifetime, in my generation! God loves us and is speaking to us! I have read EVERY BOOK, MAGAZINE, Love the movie GOSPA and I would ask everyone reading this to pray I can visit there soon! My schedule gets a bit crazy sometimes (with three daughters and school schedules and church and concerts!) it is difficult but I pray God can make a way! And if I could sing there....I just can't say how much this would mean to me!

Q. Do you have any thoughts or impressions about the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje?

A. It's all about the "fruits" of Medjugorje, the conversions - changed lives. I will say publicly I believe the appartions are real and thank God for sending his Mother to us!

Q. It is my understanding that you will soon go to Italy to visit with recording artist Roberto Bignoli. As you may know Roberto credits his conversion to Medjugorje. Do you have a conversion story that you can share?

A. Whew! I would lead folks again to the Testimony page on my website....long story! (www.zabrockimusic.com). (I would like to say I am not trying to lead anyone to my website intentionally - it's just a loooooong story!)

Q. Close your eye, picture yourself on stage singing to a Christian audience, what are you feeling inside and what is the message you hope you are sending?

A. I tell this story sometimes when on stage - prayer is alot like being on stage! It's true we can see God sometimes in His creations (other people, sunsets, etc...) but we don't see God himself as He is. When we pray it's like when I am on stage and the lights are blinding me. I "know" the audience is there - but I can't see them. I am talking into a darkness "knowing" they are out there. But there is a promise in the Bible that says one day we will see Him and we will be like Him just by seeing Him!

You asked what I am feeling and the answer is I have stopped trusting my feelings! I can't trust them! I have a song where the chorus says "Take Him To Heart, don't take Him on your feelings!" I kind of just pray God will use me in anyway He wants and I back away.

Q. If you could sit and talk to the young people in this world, what message would you bring?

A. Youth ministry is so tough! I understand why - having been a "youth" once!!!!! All young "know that they know" more than adults! I try to talk as a coach more than a leader when talking to young people. A coach leads by using his experience to save the "players" time. If left alone - someone without a coach will reach the goal - but with alot of pain and sorrow and extra work - trial and error. I share my experiences and try to save them time and pain (but realize sometimes God wants us to go through the trials!). If I could talk to the all the young people of this world at one time I would ask them to try to simply "look up" no matter where they were in life. It's a beautiful world and life is such a precious gift - and being young is the most special time of their lives. Don't waste it on fighting, drugs, hate, violence. Don't be afraid to share, cry, laugh, jump, eat ice cream....and to thank God every day for the precious gift of being young and to ask Him to guide them to His will for their lives!

Q. If your prayer came true, what would you pray for?

A. I was just writing a song about this!!!!!!!! The chorus is simply my prayer, "O Lord, bring the world into Your will and let us gather all people in Your love!"

Q. What are your greatest hopes for this world?

A. Our ONLY hope for this world is in God through Jesus and Mary. The world is hungry - we want to be filled - want a reason to exist! Look at the current popularity of the "Left Behind" book series based on the End Times prophecies! Tens of Millions of these books are snatched off the shelves when released! It seems obvious to me that between Medjugorje, Sr. Faustina, the wars, earthquakes, etc...God is moving and is using EVERY means possible to draw His people back to Him again and away from the lies of Satan. We must PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for conversion in ourselves and others and for God to be merciful and continue to hold back His judgment!

Q. Is there anything that you would like to add to this interview?

A. I am just a guy trying to follow God's will for my life....if someone is helped - praise God. Music "primes the pump" and softens our hearts for God's word. I must close this though by first saying that all musicians should be like John the Baptist - simply preparing the way for Jesus. If we do our jobs right - we are giving away our ministry and pointing to Christ. I must also quote Mary at the wedding feast, "DO WHATEVER HE TELLS YOU!" Pray, Pray, Pray and then follow through - it may hard but when we come down to it - we only have one choice! Love you all! Thanks for letting me talk to you all for so long! Feel free to write me and say hi!

Note: If you would like to visit Michael Zabrocki's website click here >>Michael Zabrocki

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