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St. Louis Jesuits Reunion Concert

St. Louis Jesuits Reunion Concert

The Creighton University Jesuit Community will host The St. Louis Jesuits for a 35-year reunion concert at the Holland Performing Arts Center at 3:00 p.m Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009. Proceeds from the concert will benefit both the Jesuit Middle School of Omaha and St. Peter Claver Cristo Rey High School in Omaha.

Tony Ward, director of Music Ministry at St. John’s Catholic Church at Creighton University, will coordinate and rehearse choirs and musicians from several Omaha parishes for the event.

All five original members of the St. Louis Jesuits –Bob Dufford, S.J., John Foley, S.J., Tim Manion, Roc O'Connor, S.J., and Dan Schutte –will join together for this event. Both Dufford and O'Connor grew up in Omaha, Neb., and graduated from St. Pius Grade School and Creighton Prep High School. Creighton University bestowed an honorary doctorate of music on the St. Louis Jesuits in 2006.

As a group, the St. Louis Jesuits produced 10 collections of music between 1973 and 1984. All five have put out individual collections as well. The music they created in the 70’s and 80’s continues to nourish the prayer of many Christians today who gather for liturgy. Many of their recent compositions have also become a significant part of the contemporary repertoire of Roman Catholic liturgical music. Among the songs composed by members of the St. Louis Jesuits that can be found in worship hymnals throughout the world are "One Bread One Body," "Be Not Afraid," "You Are Near," "City of God," "I Lift Up My Soul," "Sing a New Song," "Here I am Lord," "Lift Up Your Hearts" and "Sing to the Mountains."

In 2005 the St. Louis Jesuits reunited in Portland to record their first CD in 20 years, the anniversary collection, "Morning Light."

Their music, which has touched the hearts of millions throughout the world, was inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Father Bob Dufford spoke about Ignatian Spirituality as “built around getting to know the person of Jesus through contemplation of the scriptures. When the St. Louis Jesuits began to think of how to write songs that might help other people to pray, the first place we looked was the Scripture.” Dan Schutte added, “That’s where our music grew from. We hope that this performance will touch people’s hearts and spirits in ways that a lecture or book cannot, and that it may spark in people desire to serve the ‘Magis’, the greater good.

Tickets for this event go on sale Monday, July 20, through Ticket Omaha. Tickets can be purchased online at TicketOmaha.org, by phone at (402) 345-0606 and at the box office located inside the Holland Center, 13th and Douglas Streets. Patron’s Tickets ($75) will include a pre-performance concert reception with the St. Louis Jesuits, as well as prime seating at the concert. All other advanced tickets (ranging from $20 to $35, depending upon seating) will include a post concert autograph signing by the members of the group.

The new "Morning Light" CD will be available for purchase along with their other collections. The commemorative book, "The St. Louis Jesuits: Thirty Years," offers readers an inside look into the history and development of Catholic contemporary liturgical music and these men who composed it.

About the Jesuit Middle School of Omaha
The Jesuit Middle School of Omaha’s motto describes the core of its mission: “Advancing the hearts and minds of young men.”JMSO is an all-boys Catholic school serving inner city men in grades 4-8. No student is ever denied an education at JMSO for an inability to pay the $70/month tuition. JMSO opened in 1996 and has developed into a leader in inner-city Catholic education, with 98% of its graduates completing high school, compared to the national average of 52% for minorities. JMSO belongs to the NativityMiguel network of schools across the United States and is open to young men of all faiths and racial backgrounds who would not otherwise have an opportunity for a private education.

About St. Peter Claver Cristo Rey Catholic High School
St. Peter Claver Cristo Rey Catholic High School opened its doors to its first freshman class in 2007. St. Peter Claver/Cristo Rey Catholic High School (http://www.spccristorey.org) is a new and innovative model for high schools in Omaha, blazing a new trail of opportunities for its youth. Students at the school work to reach their potential and prepare for college, work and life after high school. St. Peter Claver Cristo Rey Catholic High School helps that dream become a reality for more families who desire it the most, but can afford it the least. As part of a national network of 24 Catholic college-prep high schools, Cristo Rey has broken the traditional tuition plan in order to make private education attainable for all families.