Monday, June 14, 2010

On the move.

Though I'm not traveling at this exact moment, I may be said to be "on the road." Having flown from Philadelphia to Chicago last Wednesday, I spent Thursday through at a gathering of approximately four hundred Jesuits from the Chicago, Detroit and Wisconsin Provinces, very graciously hosted and housed by Marquette University in Milwaukee. On Friday evening, we celebrated the ordination to the priesthood of six of our own: Jim Ackerman, Michael Christiana, Mark Luedtke, Tom Neitzke, Paul O'Connor, and Richard Ross. Please join me in praying for these men as they begin their priestly ministry, and please remember to continue praying for vocations to the Society of Jesus and for Jesuit scholastics preparing for ordination.

All this week I'll be in Chicago, enjoying a visit to my home province and attempting to complete the syllabi for my fall courses. As it happens, my initial arrival here coincided with the Chicago Blackhawks' victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, which understandably led some Jesuits to ask me which of the two teams I'd been rooting for. (You're welcome to speculate about my answer, which I shall not reveal online; all that I'm willing to say is that I'm glad to have been away from Philly when the Flyers lost, as I'm sure that their defeat led to much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.)

It was also here in Chicago that I first read the welcome news that Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been named the eighth music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Long regarded as one of the finest classical ensembles in the United States, the Philadelphia Orchestra has lately suffered from financial woes and a serious leadership vacuum. For several years, the Philadelphians have been seeking a new music director who can provide credible artistic leadership as well as a dynamic public face for the ensemble. 35-year-old Montrealer Yannick Nézet-Séguin seems to be the right kind of maestro for Philadelphia, combining youthful energy and charisma with an impressive interpretive range and sensitivity to the orchestra's proud tradition. I heard the Philadelphia Orchestra under Nézet-Séguin's direction in a concert last December and came away very favorably impressed; I'm optimistic about this new artistic partnership, though I regret the fact that Nézet-Séguin won't officially take the reins until after I've finished regency.

I may or may not have the opportunity to post again before I return to Philadelphia on Saturday. Please pray for me (and my students!) as I seek to put the finishing touches on my fall courses, and please know of my prayers and best wishes for all readers. AMDG.


Post a Comment

<< Home