March 6, 2024 at 9:26 a.m.

SONG AND PRAYER

Composer Dan Schutte is coming to Albany for IVC’s Lenten events
Dan Schutte has been composing Catholic and contemporary Christian liturgical music for over 50 years and he is coming to St. Vincent de Paul Church in Albany for a Lenten Evening of Song and a Lenten Retreat on Palm Sunday weekend. (OSV file photo)
Dan Schutte has been composing Catholic and contemporary Christian liturgical music for over 50 years and he is coming to St. Vincent de Paul Church in Albany for a Lenten Evening of Song and a Lenten Retreat on Palm Sunday weekend. (OSV file photo) (Courtesy photo of Gregory A. Shemitz)

By Emily Benson | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

A night of prayer and beautiful music is coming to the Albany Diocese.

Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) Albany is proud to sponsor a Lenten Evening of Song and a Lenten Retreat with composer Dan Schutte, held at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Albany on Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23. 

Schutte will lead both the Evening of Song on Friday (beginning at 7 p.m.) followed by the Lenten Retreat on Saturday morning (9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.) Guests are welcome to attend one or both events. 

Kathleen Burgess, regional director for the IVC Albany chapter, is excited to be hosting the chapter’s first public event since its inception in 2019.

“This is brand new, this is the first time we’ve done this,” Burgess said. “We’ve only been around for five years, so this is our first event that we’re doing that’s open to the public.”

According to their website, IVC’s mission is “to provide men and women the opportunity to serve the needs of people who are poor, to work for a more just society, and to grow deeper in Christian faith by reflecting and praying in the Ignatian tradition.”

In addition to their service, IVC members gather once a month to reflect on their volunteer experiences while getting the chance to meet with a spiritual reflector.

“That’s what really calls to people as Ignatian volunteers,” Burgess said. “IVC is different in that we get together and talk about our faith, because there aren’t many places you can share your faith story with others and can talk about where you see God in your service and where you see God in your life.”

Schutte, an American composer of Catholic and contemporary Christian liturgical music, has been at the core of many churches’ liturgies for over 50 years, and is best known for his popular hymn, “Here I am, Lord.” 

“His music has a way of lifting your heart and soul with others, and we thought wouldn’t that be wonderful to have him come to Albany,” Burgess said. She reached out to Schutte’s manager about coming to Albany, and by pure chance, he was available Palm Sunday weekend.

“I thought what a gift that we could have a program like this to mark the beginning of Holy Week,” Burgess said. “To be together in song and prayer on Friday night and then to come back for more of a retreat format on Saturday morning, what a wonderful thing to offer to people.”

The Evening of Song will cover a variety of Schutte’s works, but will not be organized in a traditional concert manner. “This is not a concert,” Burgess said, “it’s an opportunity for people to sing together because that really is what prayer is, it’s singing together.” 

The Lenten Retreat on Saturday will include music, prayer practices and time for reflection.

“The arts have a different way of reaching us and music is certainly one of them,” added Burgess. “I think (Schutte) will have a way of just being a balm to people’s souls through music.”

Tickets are currently on sale: $15 for the concert or retreat, and $25 for both events. For more information, contact IVC Albany at [email protected].


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