Special to The Hays Daily News

Divine Mercy Radio will release a single compact disc of the musical composition, "Stewards of Hope," a hymn of prayer and worship written and sung by Father Nick Parker, on Saturday -- the anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II.

Parker said he was approached by Father Randall Weber to write a song based on the pastoral plan of the same title.

"It was the hardest song I ever wrote," Parker admitted. "Most of the songs I have written are more light-hearted and were done more for personal enjoyment."

Donetta Robben, executive director of Divine Mercy Radio, said she first heard the song at the farewell Mass for former Salina Diocese Bishop Paul Coakley.

"It's a most beautiful hymn with a catchy tune," said Robben, who was part of the Stewards of Hope committee to put the pastoral plan together. "The words say exactly what Bishop Coakley was trying to accomplish with the Stewards of Hope pastoral plan, and I truly believe it is what God desires for his Church."

In working with Parker, Weber and the board of directors of Divine Mercy Radio, Robben accomplished the goal of getting the hymn recorded. It was mutually decided that Divine Mercy Radio would pay for the production, and share the profits with the Diocese of Salina.

Stewards of Hope was produced by Anthony Pfeifer, owner of the Tone Group.

"Father Nick always came to the studio well prepared and was very professional," Pfeifer said. "It only took two tracks to cut the vocals. He's an excellent pianist and is just a nice person to be around."

Parker said he was humbled and honored to be asked to write the Stewards of Hope hymn.

"My hope is that 'Stewards of Hope' will be used as a prayerful hymn to God to help us in on our way of serving him, and rally the faithful to be excited about serving our Lord," Parker said.

Parker grew up in a musical home, as his mother is a piano teacher, and his sister is majoring in music-theater in college. Ordained to the priesthood in 2008, Parker is the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Atwood, Assumption of Mary Parish in Herndon, and St. John Nepomucene Parish in Beardsley.

A portion of the hymn can be heard at www.kvdm.org or www.salinadiocese.org.

CDs are being given away for a $10 donation to Divine Mercy Radio. If the CD needs to be mailed, a $15 donation is being requested. Divine Mercy Radio will donate 20 percent of profits to the Diocese of Salina.

CDs can be obtained at Messenger Catholic Books, Gifts, Music and Art in the Centennial Mall in Hays as well as KVDM studio office.

They can be purchased via mail by sending a check to Divine Mercy Radio, 108 E. 12th, Hays, KS 67601. Note in the memo the check is for the "Stewards of Hope" CD.

KVDM can be heard from Russell to WaKeeney and Plainville to La Crosse on 88.1 FM.