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Concert by noted harpist/singer Therese Schroeder-Sheker

Devotion: A Path of the Heart

Chicago (Nov. 3, 2005) – With harp and voice, international recording artist Therese Schroeder-Sheker will perform at a concert on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m., in McDonough Chapel at Saint Xavier University, 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago. She will also conduct a one-day workshop on Thursday, Nov. 17, titled, “Music in the Care of the Sick and Dying: Pastoral Care and the Arts,” also at Saint Xavier University. 

Schroeder-Sheker will perform French, German, Spanish, Sephardic, Irish and Romanian love songs, prayers and lullabies from the late Middle Ages to the 20th Century. Since her debut at Carnegie Hall in 1980, Schroeder-Sheker has played concerts all over the world, has multiple recordings, and has been featured in documentaries for ABC, PBS and NBC. Her career has been distinguished with a gold record, a Christopher, a Gabriel, a shared Emmy, and a first place in the Palm Springs International Film Festival in the documentaries section for a film on the work of music-thanatology, the field of providing musical comfort using harp and voice at the bedside of patients near the end of life. 

She is founder and director of the Chalice of Repose Project, in Mt. Angel, Oregon, the first music-thanatology school and clinical practice in the country, and artist and clinician in residence at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Her concerts, recordings and more than 100 publications have reached American, European and Asian audiences.

She has been the academic dean of the Chalice of Repose Project School of Music Thanatology for more than a decade, and has delivered plenary and keynote addresses, concerts and medical grand rounds for 125 national and international conferences, universities, medical centers, and centers for performing arts.

The concert is open to the public and revolves around the theme of devotion expressed in several cultures, medieval to modern. Admission is $10. For more information, call the Pastoral Ministry Institute at 773-298-3900. 

In addition, Schroeder-Sheker will conduct a one-day workshop titled “Music in the Care of the Sick and Dying: Pastoral Care and the Arts,” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Butler Reception Room at Saint Xavier University. The seminar may be taken for one credit or on a non-credit basis. Cost is $60. For more information, call the Pastoral Ministry Institute.

Sister Cathleen Cahill, RSM, administrative director of the Pastoral Ministry Institute, said of the workshop, “Pastoral care ministers and caregivers are often prepared for their significant role in the life of the sick, suffering and dying with little attention to the sacred practice of the arts, especially music in the practice of their ministries. This is an outstanding opportunity to gain insight into the ways in which the arts and sacred music facilitate healing.”

The program will employ voice and harp, image and word, case study and story, theory and reflection. Participants will be introduced to the uses of prescriptive music in the work of palliative and pastoral care. Schroeder-Sheker’s work has been developed in response to the many levels of grief, loss, physiological pain and interior suffering that can occur throughout the entirety of the human biography, but especially at the end of life.