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By Fr. Robert M. Hutmacher, OFM


This is a tiny church in Assisi, always one of my favorites. It has been recorded as a parish since 1166.  It seats perhaps fifty people, modest as it is with just four arches and a small campanile with two bells.  It’s presently cared for by the Diocese of Assisi and German women religious.  Like the entire town of Assisi, Santo Stefano is built of the pink marble that is Mt. Subasio. While living there in the early ‘90’s Santo Stefano became one of my hiding places, perfect for listening to God for musical inspiration.  According to Franciscan legend, the night Francis died down in the valley at the Porziuncola, the two bells in the campanile rang on their own to honor his entrance into Life.

Outside the walls of Assisi yet still on the mountainside is Abbazia di San Pietro, the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter.  It is a noble and large construction that housed a community since 1029.  The present monastery and church were consecrated in 1253, the year Clare died.  It is Romanesque in style and the façade bears three splendid rose windows that contain clear glass.  One striking attribute is that a 1954 revision removed the Baroque altars and almost all the plaster covering the walls.  A few 13th  century frescoes were preserved but the nave, apse and dome are bare stone. Benedictines hadingenious designers who built these splendid churches for spectacular aural experiences. I’ve  heard choral concerts by Cantori d’Assisi and other choirs; polyphony reverberates to the heights of the dome.  It is directly above the altar and is constructed of 31 layers of concentric stone circles.  When one sings under the dome the voice rises to the top of the dome then soars down throughout the entire nave and apse.  One of my pilgrimage groups sang in harmony under the dome and it was an extraordinary and holy experience!  Francis and Clare knew this holy place and the Benedictine presence is very much appreciated by the people of Assisi.

Read the entire article Assisi Treasures (download as pdf)


Sator Duo Returns to Chicago in 2017!


Tuesday, October 17, 7:30 p.m.
Prince of Peace Church
135 S Milwaukee Ave, Lake Villa
$25 cash or check at the door
Thursday, October 19, 7:30 p.m.
Ascension Church
808 S East Ave, Oak Park
$25 cash or check at the door
Friday, October 20, 7:30 p.m.
Sacred Heart Church
1077 Tower Rd, Winnetka
$25 cash or check at the door
Saturday, October 21, 6-8PM
La Taberna
1031 S Halsted, Chicago
Restaurant seating, reservations highly recommended 312-243-9980
Sator Duo plays selected works of Hutmacher, Castelanni, Colasanto, Guarina, and di Bonaventura, along with classics by Piazolla, Gardel, and Matos Rodriguez e Villoldo.


The Nature Suite by Fr. Bob


The Nature Suite’s sixteen movements are uplifting, joyful, tender and rooted in the realities of natural beauty all around us.  My years as a Franciscan have given me a deep sensitivity to human nature and to the splendors of life in its fullness.  I am grateful that I am a musician and have such a splendid manner to express the richness of life as I perceive it.

This collection has been a joy to produce with my friends, Orchestra da Camera di Perugia.   Each movement captures one place or element or creature in a particular style.  My background as a child of the Midwest U.S is apparent in the sounds captured in The Nature Suite. I believe this collection came from personal creativity and divine inspiration.  Without words the listener can experience what I have in the marvels of creation


Listen and buy it today. Available at:CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and 95+ outlets for digital download and streaming worldwide.


The Franciscan Legionnaire Articles by Fr. Bob

The Basilica of St. Clare (August 2017)

Chiesa Nuova (July 2017)

San Damiano (June 2017)

The Salutation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (May 2017)

This is Lent  (March 2017)

What Shall We Do? (January 2017)

Dreams of Peace (December 2016) 

Dreams (November 2016)

Embrace the Differences (September 2016)

It's Time to Talk Honestly (August 2016)

Church, State, and Election Year (July 2016)

New, New, New (January 2016)

A Composer's Conversion (February 2016)

Acknowledge God Above All Else (March 2016)

Archived Franciscan Legionnaire Articles












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