It is indeed a time of threshold. With the turning of the seasons, on August 28th, we held our last Mass at our beloved St. Patrick Church in Seattle. Such beauty and depth we have shared through for 105 years, and now our doors have come to a close. In the midst of heartbreak, we are in awe of the heart-felt and conscientious process we have been through to honor our history and dance into new birthings.
We are so grateful that much grace is attending us as we are welcomed into our new home at St. Joseph Church, a Jesuit Parish up the hill. As you probably remember, I have had such a long journey with the Jesuits, including two Jesuit priest uncles, my young theatre experience at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, my years with Fr. Michael Sparough, SJ in the Fountain Square Fools, and my degrees from Georgetown University and Seattle University. That’s a lot of history! – and gives hope for new Jesuit collaborations!
Now it’s time to look to the future, and below, I share a number of opportunities for you to dance along with me in some upcoming adventures for the Fall and the year ahead. In the meantime, if you’d like to witness our Pilgrimage from St. Pat’s to St. Joe’s, here is a sweet video of our own journey with the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Stay tuned for new installments to come!
Pilgrimage from St. Pat’s to St. Joe’s | August 21st, 2022
Celebrating Hildegard of Bingen
Saturday, September 17th
At Abbey of the Arts, we are offering a monthly series of Zoom retreats on the mystics entitled The Mystical Heart: Love as a Creative Force.
Our first retreat of the season will honor Hildegard of Bingen, and will be held on her feast day! Christine Valters Paintner and I have led several pilgrimages to Hildegard’s hometown in Germany, and we will be imparting our love for Hildegard as our patron saint of the arts. Would be lovely to spend the morning with you! Hope you can join us.
SpiritPlay has become a staple of Seattle’s InterPlay offerings! Now in our 22nd year, we have developed a wonderful community of faith and foolishness. This monthly series is for those grounded in Christianity who long for the spontaneity of InterPlay to help us navigate these crazy times! We’ll be diving into the lectionary, exploring sacred stories, dancing through the cycle of seasons, loosening our tongues, singing our souls, and improvising in prayer. After 2.5 years on Zoom … we are returning to our live meetings, for our sanity & sanctity – whee! Calling all angels– let’s dance, play and pray!
Click here fore more information.
She Is Remembered
One of the pieces of completion with St. Pat’s that I helped to foster was a gorgeous CD of songs written by my close friend and colleague, Laura Ash who was our St. Patrick’s Music Director. I was able to produce this CD for Laura as a parting gift to our community. You can listen to this awesome CD here – She is Remembered.
I am so proud of Laura! The other piece of good news is that since the St. Joseph Music Director was retiring this summer, Laura is now the new Music Director at St. Joe’s and this will be such a wonderful bridge going forward!
Birthing the Holy: Singing with Mary and the Sacred Feminine
And now, a celebration of another CD release – our newest from Abbey of the Arts! I spent many hours midwifing such amazing songs for this new album! Each song explores a different title for Mary, and her embodiment of the sacred feminine. Besides assembling the album, the songs I helped to produce include:
Black Madonna (Soyinka Rahim)
O Viridissima Virga (Laura Ash)
Stella Maris (Gina Salá)
Mary, Queen of Angels (Lorraine Bayes)
Please check out this beautiful collection here!
Also, consider our Birthing the Holy Advent retreat, which will include many of these songs with new dance films being developed as we speak!
Spain Pilgrimage Next Year!
After rescheduling our Spain pilgrimage, I am super excited to walk (and dance!) in the footsteps of St. Ignatius! Our new dates are:
June 12 -23rd, 2023!
Added to our leader team is my good friend & spirited musician Bob McAffery-Lent (recently retired from being St. Joe’s Music Director.) More assurance for good prayer and good times on pilgrimage!
Irish poet, John O’Donohue writes “At any time, you can ask yourself: At which threshold am I now standing? At this time in my life, what am I leaving? Where am I about to enter? Indeed, it is a lovely testimony to the fullness and integrity of an experience or a stage of life that it intensifies toward the end into a real frontier that cannot be crossed without the heart being passionately engaged and woken up.”
For our final Mass at St. Pat’s, our hearts were truly woken up! With this stirring, our movement ministry danced a beautiful rendition of St. Patrick’s Breastplate entitled The Deer’s Cry. Since we have a large deaf community, we often incorporate American Sign Language into our movement ministry. Please pray with us this final prayer, a proclamation of faith, and the assurance that the Spirit of Christ dances with us into new places. As the Irish Blessing reminds us – “Until we meet again.”
Blessings on your thresholds, my friends!
Betsey Beckman, MM