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Have you ever felt sadness, weakness or pain? Have you ever felt abandoned, isolated or lonely? If you said yes to one or more of these questions, you are sure to be encouraged by the music of Matthew Baute. Matthew is an inspirational singer/songwriter with a gentle spirit that is reflected in the style of music he plays, and one who shines a light on a bruised heart.

Matthew Baute (pronounced “bow-dee”: rhymes with “howdy”) grew up in a Catholic family among the cypress trees and piney woods of Covington, LA, just north of New Orleans. At the age of 2 he received a drum as a Christmas gift and a year later added a plastic-stringed guitar. Not long thereafter Matthew started piano lessons and learned quickly not only that he had a love for music, but a gift for music as well. As a teenager he sang in the church youth choir and was active in his high school marching band where he even received the John Philip Sousa Award for his outstanding commitment as a musician. As Matthew entered college at St Louis University, he spent much of his free time pursuing some sort of musical endeavor. He played in a jazz band, a pep band and a pop/rock group. He even worked on the technical side mixing sound for a choral ensemble. Although these were seen as extracurricular activities at the time, God did indeed have a plan for Matthew’s musical vocation but would reveal it only at a later time.

While in his senior year at college, Matthew received a book of writings by Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk. After reading this book Matthew experienced a period of spiritual awakening which prompted him to read works by other Catholic monks and mystics, wondering what his own calling may be. As time passed however, life took Matthew on a winding road. In his personal life, he married…but the marriage ended in divorce (and subsequently an annulment). The pain from this event eventually took Matthew to a monastery, but after a short time there…he knew this was not his calling either. He worked in a corporate environment…but felt isolated from his faith. He continued academic studies (in music) at the University of Missouri-St Louis, served as a youth music minister in the Archdiocese of St Louis, and participated in Life Teen groups at several parishes…but even that didn't seem like the right fit for his heart or his talent. In time, it would ultimately be music that God would use to lead Matthew on a path to clarity. Matthew learned to accept this gift that God had revealed to him and finally made a full commitment in 2004 when he released his debut CD Love Wins All. Several tracks from this project received airplay on EWTN’s Global Catholic Radio Network and Matthew took this as confirmation that he was just where God wanted him to be.

In 2005 he was part of a music mission trip to the Caribbean island of Trinidad. When he returned he began to perform at local and regional events including the Catholic Crossroads Festival and the Rock the Light Christian music festival in Kansas City. In 2006, Matthew Baute signed on as a WLP (World Library Publications) artist and in 2007 released his sophomore CD Hold Me, Lord. Matthew has embraced this opportunity not only to carry on creating new music but also to apply the experience of how God has touched his life on a journey toward wholeness. He uses this experience to inspire others also towards a direction of hope, healing and fulfillment for their own lives.

Today, Matthew travels to churches across the US as a full-time lay “music missionary” sharing God’s message of mercy and love through song. He leads a simple life describing it as “living a monastic life in a secular world”. He provides music for retreats, conferences, Eucharistic Adoration and healing concerts. He offers workshops on the single life, vocational discernment and healing through the annulment process. He continues to serve as music minister at his home parish (Holy Trinity Catholic Church) in St Ann, MO and also participates in an ongoing series of healing retreats held in Illinois.

God has Matthew Baute just where he should be at this point in his life…delivering hope and renewal through music and prayer.

Learn more about Matthew at http://www.songsforprayer.com/ and in this great GrapeVine article.