FAIRFIELD—St. Louis Jesuits members Tim Manion, Dan Schutte and Roc O’Connor, SJ played to a packed house on Sunday at the Quick Center.
People of all ages clapped their hands and sang along to an array of their classic and timeless hymns.
“It’s almost like being on a pilgrimage, said Vic Eng, director of communications at St. Jude Parish in Monroe of the way that the men provided a reflection along with each song they sang.
“In the midst of this world so divided, so confusing, so filled with your Holy Spirit—let’s sing!” prayed O’Connor at the beginning of the concert.
The St. Louis Jesuits sang crowd favorites including, “Here I Am Lord,” “The Cry of the Poor,” “These Alone Are Enough,” “City of God,” “Be Not Afraid” and “Beyond the Moon and Stars.”
Roc O’Connor, SJ spoke about how challenging it was to sing “The Cry of the Poor,” saying, “Lord, you hear the cry of the poor, I’m too busy…hearing these words spoken to me in my poverty is even harder to hear…it opens my mind and heart a bit more to hear the cry of the poor…how do we sing and hear this today?”
Before “These Alone Are Enough,” which is based on St. Ignatius’ Suscipe prayer, Dan Schutte said, “rather than feeling that life is taking all that we love away from us, we become the active ones…trusting there is a mysterious love at the end of all that.”
“To be able to do what we love almost the most in life and to be able to share it with others and bring joy to others is almost too good to be true,” Schutte reflected on the experience of being able to share their music with the crowd.
“They’ve grown to be something none of us planned them to be,” said Manion of the 40 years of history between all the gathered and these songs. “Sitting around on Mondays, talking about what we were going to sing on Sunday…these are working songs, maybe that’s why they work for us,” he said.
“These are the hymns we always sang growing up,” said Fran Freer, reminiscing on looking in the hymnals and seeing the names of the men on stage.
The concert was made all the more beautiful with the addition of the St. Anthony of Padua Parish choir under the direction of Frank Macari, music director.
“We offer our deepest appreciation to Frank Macari, the concert’s music director, the St. Anthony of Padua Parish choir and all the talented musicians who generously came together from various communities throughout the Fairfield area to play for this celebration of God’s love and beauty,” wrote the St. Louis Jesuits in the concert program.
The St. Louis Jesuits assured the crowd that they had plenty of musical projects in the works to look forward to. “There are still more dreams to dream, more songs to write and new prayers to pray. Being with you today is part of that new vision as we step into the adventure that lies ahead of us,” they said.
The Coming Home concert will support the work of the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality of Fairfield University. The Center welcomes those seeking to deepen their relationship with God and enrich their daily lives and offers spiritual direction and programming, in the Ignatian tradition, to guide individuals and groups in their journey toward this encounter, as St. Ignatius did, by “finding God in all things.” As part of this outreach, the Center trains spiritual directors who can assist individuals and groups in the discernment of God’s promptings in their lives
(Visit the Center’s website at: www.fairfield.edu/catholic-and-jesuit/murphy-center-for-ignatian-spirituality to learn how you can support their efforts.)