January 24, 2018
By Sister Mary Jo Baldus
I am a registered music therapist and provide music therapy services for many organizations in the greater Winona, Minnesota, area. I play guitar or harp and go out in the community, using many percussion instruments, voices and movement to encourage people of all ages to engage and participate in the musical experience.
After ministering as a music educator and a director of music and liturgy in Iowa, Montana and Wisconsin, I realized the undeniable power of music. This drew me to music therapy, because I realized that music does not only bring people together, but also it has the potential of healing and putting people back together in many ways. One powerful use of music therapy is with Winona Area Hospice where I work with patients and their families.
My ministry as a music therapist provides me a front row seat for reaching out in compassion, care and mercy for those most vulnerable in the Winona community. Not a day goes by that I am not overwhelmed with opportunities for kindness, patience and understanding as I work with those in need of some joy in living.
It is my pleasure, my privilege and my saving grace to be called to this Mercy ministry of music therapy. Oh, yes, and it is a very joyful way to minister! I am one lucky Sister of Mercy!