FAIRFIELD—”Here I Am, Lord,” “Be Not Afraid,” “Sing a New Song” — who doesn’t love these classic hymns that so many Catholics grew up with? After their final concert in St. Louis in September, three members of the St. Louis Jesuits decided to bring a smaller version of that program to a few different areas of the country.
“There were so many people that sent us their regrets that they just couldn’t manage the long travel from the East coast,” commented Dan Schutte. So he, Tim Manion and Roc O’Connor, SJ wanted to continue the SLJ legacy with a Coming Home Concert. This much-anticipated event will take place on Sunday, February 16 at 4 pm at the Quick Center for the Arts.
“The continuing legacy of the St. Louis Jesuits’ music is that it lives not in hymnals but in the hearts of people of faith,” said Schutte. “For all these years we’ve never imagined ourselves as performers but rather as servants of the people. At our concerts we always invite people to sing with us because the spotlight is on God, not on us,” he said.
The group will be joined by the choir and instrumentalists from St. Anthony of Padua in Fairfield.
“As we began to imagine where we might offer such an event, Fairfield became a perfect choice,” explains Schutte, who for the past eight years, has been invited to join the music ministry at St. Anthony of Padua Church for Holy Week. “Over those years Fr. John Baran and the staff became dear friends and I’ve truly come to consider St. Anthony’s my home parish,” says Schutte. “It’ll be such an honor to present this concert in partnership with them and be joined by their choir and musicians for this celebration of God’s love and grace.”
About the St. Louis Jesuits
The St. Louis Jesuits, “a companionship of composers,” as their website cheerfully proclaims, consists of Bob Dufford SJ, John Foley SJ, Tim Manion, Roc O’Connor SJ, and Dan Schutte.
When the men first arrived in St. Louis in 1970, they barely knew each other. Because of their love for Sacred Scripture and prayerful liturgy, they were brought together to become not just casual acquaintances but were drawn deeper into a companionship of friendship and support.
That was nearly fifty years ago. Since then their music has found a constant presence in the worship of the English-speaking church not only here in the United States but into the far corners of the world – Africa, Korea, Japan, Australia, Philippines, Guam, Argentina, Canada.
At their final “Coming Home” concert in St. Louis, the group, backed by the College Church Choir, performed many of their most beloved liturgical songs and hymns in the setting of St. Louis’ magnificent Powell Hall, just a few blocks from St. Louis University, St. Francis Xavier College Church, and the former Fusz Memorial (residence for Jesuit scholastics), where it all began over 40 years ago.
Proceeds from February’s concert will benefit the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality of Fairfield University.
“The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality is very excited to be a part of the reunion tour of the St. Louis Jesuits who have touched our hearts with their music for so many years,” says Director, Denis Donoghue, S.J.
(For more information visit: www.quickcenter.fairfield.edu or call the box office at: 203.254.4010.)