The 400th Anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie SJ was celebrated by the UK’s 10 Jesuit Schools as they held two very special public events at St Aloysius School in Glasgow, the city where St John Ogilvie was martyred.
The weekend’s celebrations began on Saturday evening with a beautiful Mozart Vespers in which the St Aloysius’ College Senior Choir was joined by talented choristers from Stonyhurst, Mount St Mary’s, St Ignatius and Wimbledon Colleges, accompanied by a full professional orchestra.
On Sunday morning, 66 young choral singers from the UK’s six Jesuit Junior/Prep Schools, Donhead, St Mary’s Hall, St John’s Beaumont, Barlborough Hall, St Joseph’s School and St Aloysius Junior School sung a special Votive Mass for St John Ogilvie, celebrated by Fr Provincial Dermot Preston SJ. This included a brand new composition, written especially for the celebrations, by renowned Scottish composer, James MacMillan.
Conducting the 66 voices was the St Aloysius’ College Director of Music, Mr Paul Christie, who shared his thoughts on the James MacmIllan piece, saying “The Ave Verum is an example of what, in my opinion, James MacMillan does best which is combining very complex harmony and rhythmic features with a beautiful and very singable melody.”
Reflecting on the weekend as a whole, Mr Christie added “Something very special happened this weekend. It was great to welcome our friends from England to St. Aloysius’ and to have made a very memorable occasion. Everyone involved did themselves proud.”
James MacMillan was also kind enough to speak with Jesuits in Britain after Sunday’s Mass at which he praised the level of Jesuit education his own children received at St Aloysius’ College, stating: “I was delighted over the years that I was involved in the school to see our children grow in the Jesuit charism.Doing everything For the Greater Glory of God (AMDG) which so saturates the life of the school is extremely impressive and it leaves its mark in many unknown and unexpected ways.”
The weekend was a very fitting and successful celebration of St John Ogilvie who was Martyred at Glasgow Cross 400 years ago and who is now the patron Saint of St Aloysius’ College Junior School.