March 2, 2006 • Volume 14 Number 12

Performance Piece Inspired by Ignatian Spiritual Exercises

quot;For the Greater Glory of God", a theatrical dance piece conceived by Boston College Jesuit Artist-in-Residence Rev. Robert VerEecke, SJ, will be performed in celebration of the Jesuit Jubilee Year 2006 on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the original chapel of Boston College.

The piece, inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, will be presented by members of the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble, the resident dance company of BC for which Fr. VerEecke serves as president and artistic director, as well as musicians from St. Ignatius Church, the Jesuit Urban Center and Holy Cross College.

"For the Greater Glory of God" uses music, dance, biblical text and the character of Ignatius of Loyola "to make the Spiritual Exercises come alive with renewed imagination and spiritual impact," according to Fr. VerEecke, who is pastor of St. Ignatius.

Fr. VerEecke says there is ample historical and social significance in the venue for the event.

"The Church of the Immaculate Conception traditionally attracted busloads of Bostonians for the Novena of Grace," he said. "The Immaculate was noted for its preaching of the Novena and would draw folks from parishes around the Diocese.

"I thought it would be good to begin the Novena of Grace in this Jubilee Year at the church which was built as the chapel for Boston College when the University was in the South End."

By the same token, adds Fr. VerEecke, commemorating the Jubilee Year through music and dance is a more-than-appropriate tribute to the Jesuit legacy.

"Before the suppression of the Society of Jesus in the 18th century, the Jesuits were active in all of the arts and were significant contributors to the artistic life of the church and society," he said.

"The first manuscripts that are essential to the study of dance history were written by Jesuits who used dance in their theatrical spectacles. Most people do not have any knowledge of the role that the Jesuits played in the development of the classical ballet. The same musicians, choreographers and dramatists who worked in the academies and the courts of Louis XIV also worked in the Jesuit schools."

More information is available through the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble Web site at,

-Sean Smith

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