Midwest Province Celebrates Order’s 800th Anniversary with Concert

HNP Communications Franciscan World

RIVER FOREST, Ill. — Friars from Sacred Heart Province celebrated the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Franciscan Order on June 26 and 27 with “A Celebration of Hope and Peace,” a concert at Dominican University here.

The event took two years of preparation by Chiesa Nuova, an organization that witnesses God’s beauty and love by inviting artists and the community to experience the fine arts in a Franciscan atmosphere.

An announcement by Sacred Heart Province read, “800 years is a milestone, and it is being celebrated around the world; this is the only celebration in Chicago.”

Fr. Dennis Schafer, OFM, conducted the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra for the U.S. premiere of “Prayer for Peace,” an essay for string orchestra by Fr. Robert Hutmacher, OFM. The announcement described it as, “Bob’s musical statement about the innate human capacity to overcome discord and arrive at peace.”

Also performed at the concert were “Five Mystical Songs” by Vaughn Williams, and the oratorio, “Dialogue of Francis and Clare,” by Fr. Robert.

Nearly 100 musicians in the Chicago area participated.

This musical celebration is just one of many ways that Franciscans around the world are commemorating the 800th anniversary this year.

Last week’s All Friars Info, the news and information bulletin of Sacred Heart Province, reported on the upcoming events for Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, the Order’s newly-elected General Vicar and the province’s former Provincial Minister. The events included the celebration of Fr. Michael’s silver jubilee of priesthood celebration on July 11.

He will be at St. Peter’s Friary in Chicago July 23 and in St. Louis July 25 for a going-away party in his honor.