University of St. Thomas presents 28th annual Sacred Arts Festival

University of St. Thomas presents 28th annual Sacred Arts Festival

The University of St. Thomas opens its 28th annual Sacred Arts Festival on Oct. 22. The festival, open to the public on the university’s St. Paul campus, is a celebration of sacred art and an exploration of faith. This year’s festival centers on the theme “Illumination.”

All festival events are free unless indicated otherwise.

This year’s festival events include:

  • 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas: A performance by the Rose Ensemble, the acclaimed St. Paul vocal group that presents medieval, Renaissance and baroque music. This concert celebrates the release of a new Rose Ensemble CD, “ Rosa das Rosas: Cantigas de Santa Maria and Other Spiritual Songs for the Virgin.” A limited number of free tickets are available (two per UST ID) for St. Thomas students, faculty and staff on a first-come, first-served basis at the St. Thomas Box Office; general admission tickets are $25 and $15 at the door or available in advance at
  • 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium: Poet Mary Karr, whose 1998 memoir, The Liars’ Club, was a New York Times bestseller for more than a year, will read from her work. Karr’s books of poetry include Abacus (1987), The Devil’s Tour (1993), Viper Rum (1998), and her new volume, Sinners Welcome (2006). She is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of English at Syracuse University.
    Mary Karr

Karr's Sacred Arts Festival talk at St. Thomas also is sponsored by the university's Luann Dummer Center for Women and English Department as well as the Creative Writing Committee of the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities.

Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society at St. Thomas, will host a book-signing and sale of Karr's works following the reading.

Karr also will discuss her work in a question-and-answer session at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the O'Shaughnessy Room (also known as the "Leather Room") of O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center. Students are especially welcome.

For a good introduction to Karr's point of view, Dr. Leslie Miller, professor of English at St. Thomas, recommends Karr's essay, "Facing Altars: Poetry and Prayer," from the November 2005 issue of Poetry magazine.

  • 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas: Solemn vespers for All Souls’ Day, an ecumenical service of liturgy and music, has its roots in a centuries-old tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. The vespers service, led by St. Thomas’ president Rev. Dennis Dease, includes psalms, petitions and music by the university’s Women’s Choir. All Souls’ vespers are an opportunity to remember the dead and celebrate the communion of saints.
  • 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, in St. Mary’s Chapel at the St. Paul Seminary, 2260 Summit Ave.: The St. Thomas Chamber Singers and soloists and the Early Music Orchestra of the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, perform one of the earliest known oratorios, “Jeptha,” by Giacomo Carissimi (1604-1674). The Early Music Orchestra will play on replicas of early baroque instruments. A 3 p.m. lecture precedes the performance at 4 p.m.
  • 8:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas: Korean organist Dong-ill Shin, winner of the Grand Prize this past summer at the prestigious 20th Concours International d’Orgue “Grand Prix de Chartres,” gives a recital.
    Award-winning organist
    Dong-ill Shin

Born in 1974, Shin won first prize in Korea’s National Competition for Piano when he was 10 years old. At 11, he debuted with the Pusan Philharmonic Orchestra, playing Mozart’s Concerto in D minor, No. 20. He since has won dozens of organ competitions and has performed all over the world. He is the organist at First United Methodist Church in Hurst, Texas, and teaches organ at Texas Wesleyan University. His St. Thomas program will include works by Couperin, J.S. Bach, Escaish, Franck and Liszt.

  • 12:45-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, in the lobby gallery of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center: A reception celebrates the opening an exhibit of 22 giclée page facsimiles from The Saint John’s Bible, which will be on display Nov. 1-Dec. 11 at St. Thomas. St. John’s Abbey, the Benedictine monastery in Collegeville, Minn., and St. John’s University commissioned renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson in 1998 to create the first handwritten, illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in 500 years. When the project is completed in 2007, The Saint John’s Bible will be located in the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John’s University.
  • 11:45 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center and other nearby locations: A daylong Saint John’s Bible immersion includes lectures, calligraphy demonstrations and “Visio Divina,” a visual Bible study.

    Lectures on Nov. 7 include Rev. Michael Patella, O.S.B., on “The Saint John’s Bible in Scholarship and Art” at 11:45 a.m. in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium, and Tim Ternes, director of public programs and education at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, whose talk is titled “From Inspiration to Illumination,” at 7 p.m. in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium).

    Demonstration stations with prints, tools and videos and experts on calligraphy will be open from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the first-floor atrium of Murray-Herrick Campus Center.

    Attendance is limited to the first 40 people who obtain free tickets for the “Visio Divina” session, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center. Obtain tickets at the St. Thomas Box Office, (651) 962-6137.

More information: For answers to questions or for more information about this year’s Sacred Arts Festival, call St. Thomas’ Campus Ministry Office, (651) 962-6560.