The idea for "To Be Certain of the Dawn" came from Father Michael O'Connell, currently co-rector of the Basilica of Saint Mary and pastor of the Church of the Ascension in Minneapolis.
In 2000 he traveled to Eastern Europe and visited former Nazi concentration camps with people from the Basilica congregation and members of the Minneapolis synagogue, Temple Israel.
Father O'Connell came to the conclusion that while Christians didn't cause the Holocaust, 2,000 years of blaming Jews for the death of Christ made it possible. He was convinced that Christians had to own the Holocaust.
"We need to own it in such a way as to create what is hopefully a beautiful, strong, powerful, and compelling piece of choral and orchestral music," he said. "I want the work to teach Christian children of the 21st Century to not forget what history did and what misguided Christianity did and in some profound way help them learn to not do it again."
Well, I take solace in the fact that "children of the 21st Century" prefer Hannah Montana to this self-important tripe.