Devotion to our Lord and the desire to do His will is the motivation behind the music of the Rennas. Mary Ann & Joe Renna have been involved in music for most of their lives. Mary Ann has been writing music for many years. She taught preschool music to children in Catholic and Montessori schools, and is certified in Orff-Schulwerk music training. Joe has been singing and recording professionally for many years. He was director of several Catholic choirs, and works as a free-lance Broadcast Engineer. They were instrumental in the creation of the Foundation for Liturgical Music founded in Birmingham, Alabama, which brought many talented musicians from all over the country for workshops and training for liturgical musicians. They sang together in various acoustic and classic rock bands, and soon felt that God was calling them to record their own original music to spread the Christian message.
Their parish at that time was in need of funds, so they decided to compile songs they had recorded as demos over the years to contribute to the cause. This was their first release, “Walk With Me”. Songs from this CD have been used in Corpus Christi and First Holy Communion celebrations (“Take and Eat”), Christmas Mass (“The Little Baby”), LifeTeen Liturgies (“Faith of Peter”, “He Is Risen”, “You Are My God”), Lenten retreats (“Water from the Side of Christ”), and tributes to Pope John Paul II (“Holy Father”).
Their second release “Kids Sing For Jesus (Catholic Songs for Little Ones)” was nominated for a Unity Award (sponsored by the United Catholic Music and Video Association) for the Best Children’s Music Album of the Year in 2006. It was recorded in response to a request by a preschool teacher with the hope of teaching fundamental aspects of the Catholic faith to preschool age through grade 3 children (Read more about it here). The physical CD has a lyric booklet included with hand/body motions for many of the songs. Parents and teachers use it for PSR, VBS, classroom teaching, Baptism and First Communion gifts, and simply fun listening in the car. Several songs have been included in compilation CDs, First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, and other lesson plans. There is an accompanying songbook available through World Library Publications.
The Rennas live just south of Birmingham, Alabama where they homeschool their six children, ages 3 to 18.
UPDATE 2021: We now have two children that have graduated college, and two will be in college in the Fall. We are still homeschooling the others, which keeps us very busy. After the Midwest Catholic Family Conference in 2013, we were asked by Pat Polachek, President of The Foundation for Jesus The Divine Mercy, for a kid friendly Divine Mercy Chaplet to be used to help children learn it. I had written one a year before with that in mind, but we had not recorded it. Through much prayer support, we were able to record it and release it in 2014 as “Kids Sing Divine Mercy.” We were asked to share it live at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC in 2014 and 2015 at the International Week of Prayer and Fasting hosted by Maureen and Ted Flynn. After hearing a beautiful Hispanic children’s choir sing a meditation song at the Holy Mass in 2014, God seemed to be saying He would like us to record it in Spanish and other languages as well. We recorded a Bilingual version with alternating decades of English and Spanish which may be downloaded. Through the ceaseless efforts of The Foundation for Jesus the Divine Mercy, Divine Mercy Kids’ Prayer Groups began to form all over the world. They translated the Chaplet into their own languages fitting it to our music and motions. (See the motion instruction video here). This was the start of the Global Divine Mercy Chaplet (Versions 1 and 2), which is shown now on EWTN. Each decade is presented in a different language from Divine Mercy Kid’s Prayer Groups in so many countries now! We are so thankful to be a small part in the teaching of this most important devotion to children and their families!
What They Are Saying About Our Music
My 3 year old grandchild loves this CD and asks for it every time we get in the car and also wants me to take it out when we getContinue reading5.0 out of 5 stars Great for little ones.
These are fun songs! We love listening to them! Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2018 Verified Purchase Amazon Review
“My favorite song was the “Jesus, I Trust in You” song! – Collin Milko – PA – 7th Grade
“Songs from this CD have been featured on EWTN’s Catholic Jukebox. Includes very upbeat songs – great for LifeTeen, Easter, Christmas. There are liturgical songs for Corpus Christi, Lent. ItContinue reading5.0 out of 5 stars Song List
My grandkids love it… Thank you so much!!! – Marilou Urzo Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2017 Verified Purchase Amazon Review
The music is great along with making it fun to learn. This is what I was looking for to help the little ones enjoy while learning. -Judy M. Byrne ReviewedContinue reading5.0 out of 5 stars This is great fun music for little ones to learn