CASC Lumen Magazine_Winter 2021

‘On Eagle’s Wings’ Composer to Retire By  BRANT SKOGRAND ‘04 MBC

World-renowned composer Father Michael Joncas ’75, artist-in-residence at St. Thomas, is retiring from full-time ministry effective Jan. 1, 2022. As he contemplated his upcoming retirement from active ministry, many fond memories arose.

There was the time in 2003-04 when Joncas contracted Guillain- Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. “I arrived back to my house after a three-month sojourn at Mayo Clinic to find that the house the university had provided for my lodging had had a ramp built from my parking areas to my back door and railings installed to help me get from floor to floor,” Joncas says. “I was immediately struck at how thoughtful the administrators and Physical Plant members were to prepare my house for however long I would be living with a wheelchair.” Joncas, who became a faculty member in 1991, has worked in

both the Department of Catholic Studies and the Theology Department. “His artistic sensibilities and love for the liturgy over these 30 years has been a great blessing to St. Thomas’ liberal and Catholic mission,” says Michael Naughton, director of the

Center for Catholic Studies. Joncas says that he has made

lifelong friends across the university. “While I loved undergraduate and graduate teaching here and at other institutions of higher learning, I had the most fun teaching for the Selim Center for Lifelong Learning,” Joncas says. “Those who came to the courses came because they

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