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Talent on Display

by Matthew Wagner

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An assortment of acts and foot-stomping fun highlight annual Coffeehouse.

The Louie's Loft common room at Sacred Heart was packed on the evening of April 2 for the annual Coffeehouse event. Seminarians and resident priests alike gathered together for an evening of music, comedy, food, and fun. Acts varied from karate demonstrations to science experiments, from musical trios to the Sacred Heart folk band and a jazz combo featuring Fr. Ryan Ford (Diocese of Marquette). The crowd was also treated to a biblical song performed by Fr. Daniel Jones and a humorous poem on the prodigal son recited by Fr. Peter Ryan SJ.

It's neat to be able to see the God-given talents and gifts that all of the brothers and fathers in the house have, said Diocese of Steubenville Theology III seminarian Joshua Erickson. You don't see it on a day-to-day basis, so having these kinds of events is always a lot of fun.

While the two-hour show mainly focused on the various acts on stage, attendees were treated to an array of various types of coffee, donuts, pastries, and other delicacies. Additionally, the loft was reorganized to accommodate the 100-plus seminarians and priests who attended the coffeehouse, including making room for a stage, special lighting, and a specially-made sign for the event.

Diocese of Madison seminarian William Van Wagner (Theology II) was accompanied by two other seminarians in performing the traditional Irish hymn,Be Thou My Vision. Van Wagner was just one of many examples of men who have entered the seminary prior to having experience and familiarity in the world of music.

I was in a band for a little while during high school, said Van Wagner. To be able to continue to play [music] is good. God has given us this gift of music, and we have a lot of guys who are able to come together to exemplify that in a lot of different ways. It's great to see.

The closing act featured a thundering performance by in-house seminary band Five Strings and a Mulligan. The folk band has been performing for the past two years and finished off the show with two songs that had the whole house clapping hands and stomping feet.

The final act was a lot of fun, said Five Strings vocalist and Theology III seminarian Clark Thompson, from the Diocese of Kalamazoo. The environment was great for the show. To have one hundred guys packed inside of Louie's Loft singing along and getting into the music was a great way to start wrapping up the year. After performing two songs to conclude the show, the audience beckoned for an encore, sending Five Strings and a Mulligan into an encore featuring the country/western crowd-favorite, Catfish John.

Matthew Wagner

Matthew Wagner is a second-year theology seminarian for the Diocese of Winona.

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.