Donna Cori shares her songs, sung prayers, and meditations via Golden Arrow Music in Catholic churches, prayer groups, and on TV, and has for 24 years. Known as the “Celine Dion of Catholic Music”, she is a repeating guest at many conferences and events from coast to coast and abroad. She speaks about the Faith, prayer, Catholic and Marian devotions, apologetics, Divine Mercy, and women's topics. She is often heard in interview and song on Catholic radio stations across the nation and worldwide. Donna is featured in numerous television programs, including EWTN's "Life on the Rock" and "Backstage", NY's Prayer Channel and Shalom World Catholic TV. All the songs from her "Divine Mercy Prayers" CD are featured on the audio version of St. Faustina's Diary produced by the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception of Stockbridge, MA.
"God does give us our heart's desire, just not in the way we often believe it to be nor at the time we think it should materialize." Originally from NYC, Donna studied music and performance from a young age. She started recording at age 9, sang with Pavoratti in the opera Tosca at age 13 with the Miami Choral Society, studied musical theater at Miami Performing and Visual Arts. At 16 she joined a punk rock band and recorded another album. While attending the University of Miami, studying jazz vocal, opera, engineering and business, she worked as an on-call studio vocalist, lending vocals on other's albums, jingles, and even cartoons. She had her own band for a while and recorded her own songs, which were later published by a NY publishing house. While singing in a club in Coral Gables, she was "discovered" by an A&R representative for Arista records. He signed her to a recording deal which eased her transition to the big city, bringing her back to New York. She didn't find the songs she was asked to sing of very good quality and so she was allowed out of her contract. After that, singing every kind of venue and style was how she made a living - bands, clubs, studios, sessions, jingles, singer/songwriter and composer of jingles for major companies, and at one point, even received major financial backing to record her own songs with one of New York's largest studios, while working toward a major label recording contract.
After realizing the emptiness of her "dream," she no longer desired fame and fortune. She sought only God, His ordaining Will, spending much time in prayer, studying His word, reading only spiritual books, and praying for direction and so desired to combine her two interests of God and music. Her first recording, Prayers from Heaven and to Heaven, was the result of this endeavor. As a lay Carmelite since 1999, Donna's production company, Golden Arrow Music, LLC, is dedicated to setting prayers to music with the idea that "when we sing, we pray twice" (St. Augustine). Songs include word for word prayers from the Bible (as singing makes for easy memorization) and well known prayers of the Church and Great Saints. Setting prayers to music is Donna's way of helping brothers and sisters in the Lord to "Pray to the Spirit on all occasions with all kind of prayers and requests" (Phil 6:18). If you are going to have a song "stuck" in your head, let it be a prayer that will affect all eternity instead of some trite pop ditty from the radio that doesn't really have much meaning anyway. Most noteworthy is "The Way of the Cross", having gigantic production and live 40 piece orchestra, being entirely paid for by her fans. So much for the big city record company she always thought she needed. All glory to God!
Donna now lives in the Midwest, far from the secular scene. After 20 years of sharing Catholic Music, God has called Donna to add being a speaker to her travels. For the last 3 years, Donna has been leading Women’s retreats and Days of Recollection with the theme "Keeping a Mary Spirit Throughout a Martha Day." Since becoming a single mom and having to raise her children on her own, she can share life lessons of how to find (make) time for prayer and ways to stay at the feet of Jesus no matter what you are doing or where life's necessities may call you.
Way of the Cross - Make the Stations of the Cross like never before. Really "experience" this intimate and emotional walk with Jesus. Each meditation on the 14 stations is in song and video form. Words are taken from scripture and inspired by St. Ignatius, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Jose Maria Escriva, Mother Angelica and other approved sources. This devotion should not be limited to only Fridays during Lent, but should be united to constantly, especially at 3pm like Jesus requested of St. Faustina. St. Pio said, "A Christian soul never lets a day go by without meditating on the passion of Jesus Christ."
Our Catholic Faith - Donna draws from her collection of songs to share her love for the Bible, the Church, the importance of prayer, suffering/trial, and God's love for us. She shares a little bit about why we believe what we believe as Catholics. She touches on prayer, the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the powerful intercession of Our Lady, what really goes on during Mass and how we can get the most out of it by participating fully in it. She also includes word-for-word prayers from scripture and the saints. This concert can be easily tailored to meet a specific topic or interest.
Divine Mercy - Donna was asked by the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy Convent in Poland, where St. Faustina received her revelations, to share the 5 points of the Divine Mercy Devotion, which she does at concerts, interspersed with sung prayers from St. Faustina's Diary, including the Chaplet, and other songs from Donna's collection. Other times, Donna is asked to simply sing the Chaplet at 3pm or at some point during conferences or during adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This chaplet is regularly played on many radio stations around the country. (Can be combined with another topic.)
Our Lady/Rosary/Fatima - The months of May and October are especially accommodating to a presentation on Our Blessed Mother (but let's not forget her feast days in July and August!). With many songs to share about Our Lady, Donna also relates stories of her from the Bible, Fatima and Carmel. Donna's sung rosary is very easy to sing. Everyone is singing together by the first decade and the spirit of prayer is so powerful, you can feel it storming heaven. (Can also be combined with another topic.)
Christmas, Advent to Epiphany - Journey with Donna through the Christmas story as she takes you on a meditative and moving experience of the birth of our Savior as Mary may have felt/experienced it. The concert opens with suggestions and analogy on how to prepare to receive so great a gift of Jesus at Christmas, continues with Old Testament scripture, Advent music, New Testament quotes, songs, classic carols and sing-a-longs. After expounding of Jesus' True Presence in the Eucharist and how it's hard for some to believe like it was hard for some to believe in the Incarnation, we close with more carols.
Women’s Retreat/Day of Recollection - "Keeping a Mary Spirit Throughout a Martha Day" - Donna's most requested retreat theme, overwhelmingly well received by women and men alike. Donna covers all aspects of prayer and keeping a rule of life.
"I find Donna's music to be prayerfully deep and inspiring. Simply and uncomplicatedly Catholic. Her message is soaked in Scripture. When I listen to her music, I hear the same thing that I discovered, and which I try to share in my teaching -- the beauty and power of the Catholic faith! God has really gifted Donna with a powerful voice and a pure heart!" - Dr. Scott Hahn, Professor of Theology, Franciscan University at Steubenville, OH
"I don't know of one of (Donna's) songs that I don't like. Her music really touches me and to hear her sing just makes me want to worship the Lord." - Jeff Cavins, EWTN's "Life on the Rock"
“Donna’s music expresses the deepest emotions of the heart and makes praying the rosary a joyful song you love to sing.” - Fr. Albert J.M. Shamon, pastor, columnist, radio and television speaker
“Donna Cori is a wonderful Christian minister and singer through her songs and her gift of prayer. Her sung prayers and especially her sung rosary, are great singing and – in particular great praying and ministering. Of the Christian singers who help people to the Lord through their music, Donna is the best, by far, that I know.” - Fr. Robert Faricy S.J., Professor of Spiritual Theology, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
“Donna’s voice is fantastic and haunting. Her music can penetrate your spirit, lift up your heart and heal your brokenness. She is truly inspired by Our Lady and the power of the Holy Spirit. Please listen to her.” - Fr. Michael B. Semana, “The Singing Priest” Founder of World Hope Foundation
“Donna has been touched by the Spirit. Listening to the Father, she loves with the Son and sings with the Spirit. Her singing, therefore, is anointed. Through word and song, she inspires and uplifts. her music heals and transforms.” - Fr. Bill McCarthy, “My Father’s House” Spiritual Life and Retreat Center, Holy Apostle’s Community, Cromwell, CT