On November 12, the Very Rev. Myles Sheehan, SJ, provincial, and the New England Province of Jesuits hosted a special performance in the McDavitt Center at the province offices in Watertown, Mass. The event featured Máiréad Loughnane Doherty, renowned Irish Harpist who was accompanied by Ryan Duns, SJ, a member of the Midwest Jesuits, on the Irish Tin-Whistle. The program, titled “A history of the Celtic people of Ireland through the strings of the harp” included a mix of live music, history and poetry.
A native of Ireland, Doherty grew up near Nenagh, County Tipperary and took up the Irish Harp at age 13. Her passion, discipline, and years of hard work won her recognition early on, as she received first class honors from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin. Following the completion of her studies, Doherty and her husband eventually settled in the Boston area where they raised their three children. Doherty became a well-known member in the Irish Music scene, and performed at a wide range of venues and institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts, New England Conservatory, the Boston Public Library, Boston College and Harvard University. In 2008, she relocated to Cape Cod, Mass.
Ryan Duns, SJ, picked up the tin whistle at age eight and his love for the instrument continues to endure. Ordained a deacon in October, Duns splits his time studying theology at Boston College, performing at Irish Dancing festivals throughout the country and ministering at St. Cecilia’s Parish in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Duns attended Canisius College for undergraduate studies and received his masters in Religion at John Carroll University before entering the Society. His spreads his musical passion and knowledge on his YouTube channel, which has received more than four million page views.
The event was the first in a three part installment of the Jesuits and the Arts series, where friends and benefactors of the New England Province are invited to enjoy refreshments, fellowship and the long tradition of Jesuits in the arts. For more information on the next event, which is set to be held in late January, visit the Province website.