Ellie Ragonese is a singer-songwriter, music minister and retreat leader originally from Pennsauken, New Jersey. After completing her Bachelors of Arts in Music at Rutgers University, she packed a couple bags, her guitar and PA system, and headed to Los Angeles to pursue her passion for music.
Throughout the years, performing in nightclubs and bars, Ellie showcased her original rock music. Although experiencing some success, she became discouraged and questioned her true purpose in life. Through a chain-of-events, she experienced a conversion back to her Catholic faith and her rock albums finished their turn and gave way to three albums of Christian music.
Transitioning from rock singer to music minister initiated Ellie’s search to understand her faith better. After completing the course of study at Mt. St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, Ellie obtained her Master’s degree in Religious Studies. She went on to teach high school religion in Southern California for 25 years, mainly at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Canada and Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills. During these years, she used her gift of music to glorify God through music ministry at churches, schools, conventions, retreats, Christian television and prayer groups.
After retiring from classroom teaching, Ellie developed an original workshop series on Christian meditation and contemplative prayer as a response to the Lord’s call to serve him in a new capacity. The “Prayer of the Heart” workshop offers a unique way to enter into Christian meditation using music, scripture, guided visualizations, journal reflections and group sharing.
Ellie and her husband, Charles, raised their two children Michael and Nina throughout these years. Following in her footsteps, Michael age (25) and Nina (24) are both professional musicians rooted in faith.
“I know Ellie as a strong liturgist, singer, and musician, and as a faithful parishioner. The workshop would no doubt be a perfect parish offering for parishioners at Advent or any season.”
Retired Assistant Superintendent
Department of Catholic Schools,
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
“Ellie is capable of using music to help others reach into their hearts to find God’s dwelling place there. I am sure that you will not be disappointed.”
FR. NORM SUPANCHECK
Bishop Alemany High School, Mission Hills, CA
“I know that Ellie’s Educational Background as well as her years of allowing God to be ever present in her daily life have well prepared her for the prayer experiences she has designed.”
Former Director of Religious Education
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Tujunga