Musician to share story with St. Patrick Parish
By ERIC SCHELKOPF - email@example.com
ST. CHARLES – Raising nine children has provided plenty of songwriting fodder for country music singer and songwriter Marie Bellet."
Bellet will come to St. Patrick Parish, 6N491 Crane Road, St. Charles, on April 13 and 14 for a weekend of concerts and conversation. At 7:30 p.m. April 13, she will participate in a couples retreat, which includes a full concert, conversation by Bellet and dancing.
The cost is $10 per couple, available by emailing MarieBellet2013@gmail.com or by calling Sister Betty Ann at 630-338-8041.
Bellet will return to the parish at 4 p.m. April 14 for a Family Day of Fun, which will include music and conversation. Free-will offerings will be taken for the event, and RSVP’s can be sent to MarieBellet2013@gmail.com. More information is available by going to www.StPatrickParish.org.
Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Bellet about her music and ministry.
Eric Schelkopf: You will be part of a couples retreat at St. Patrick Parish. Why do you like being part of something like this?
Marie Bellet: It’s kind of a cute evening. It’s fun.
A lot of times husbands and wives don’t get to spend much time alone together. We set it up with candlelight, and some wine and cheese, and I sing songs about marriage and talk to them about marriage, and get a lot of laughs.
I just like it because you can see them a lot of times stiff coming in, and they really loosen up. It’s just a sweet evening.
I try to talk to people pretty honestly about what the struggles in marriage are, and get them to laugh at themselves, and realize that a lot of those things are pretty common. A lot of times people think their troubles are so unique.
ES: Of course, you and your husband Bill have raised nine children. How do you find time to spend with each other?
MB: There were definitely years where you are just kind of swept up in trying to take care of everybody. But those were such fun years. It’s a great life having a big family, and I write a lot of songs about that, too.
I’ve loved being at home with a bunch of kids. I try to point out in my songs the good part of it, and a lot of difficulties, too, the frustrations.
It’s kind of a counter-cultural thing to do, and you get a lot of guff for it when you go out in public.
ES: I understand you started writing songs when you had five kids.
MB: I had five little boys, and I was expecting my only little girl. I was kind of isolated at the time, because it was really hard to get out the door.
And I didn’t know many people who could identify with what I was doing. I found that I had so much to say, because I love this life and I felt like people were missing out.
I tried to write in response to people questioning that kind of life. One of the very first songs I wrote was called, “What I Wanted To Say.” And it’s about trying to explain the beauty of children to people who give you a hard time in the checkout line at the grocery store.
In the song, I was imagining that I was speaking to other women right there in my kitchen. And I discovered there were a lot of other women like me. I got so much mail from women who said, “You are writing about my life, and I didn’t know anybody else had it like this either.” So it was tremendously rewarding to find out I wasn’t alone.
ES: You must be used to a big family because you grew up in a family of five sisters and two brothers.
MB: I grew up in a big family and I loved it. I think a lot of people don’t realize that it’s easier to raise kids when you have a lot of them.
First of all, they are not always on you looking for entertainment. They interact with each other quite a bit.
My first five are out of the house now. The house now is so calm I can’t stand it. I really miss the humor and energy of it.
ES: Do you see yourself as a musician or do you see yourself as part of a ministry, or both?
MB: To me, it’s just all about communicating, and I’m trying to communicate the really important things in life in my music.