Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae of John B. Foley, S. J.



 1989-1993            Graduate Theological Union. Ph.D. in Theology with a specialty in Liturgy and Aesthetics.

 1984-1987            University in Minnesota. Advanced studies in composition under Paul Fetler and Dominick Argento.

 1979-1980            Private studies in composition under Reginald Smith Brindle at the University of Surrey.

 1976-1979            Royal Conservatory of Music of University of Toronto. Composition and Theory under Samuel Dolin.

 1969-1974            Saint Louis University. A. M. in Theology, with a specialty in Fundamental Theology  (5/11/74).

 1966-1967            Saint Louis University. Ph.L. in Philosophy (7/26/68).

 1966-1967            Washington University, St. Louis. Advanced studies in music. Candidate for MA.

 1964-1968            Saint Louis University. A.M. (R) in Philosophy, with a specialty in the early writings of Gabriel Marcel.

 1961-1962            University of Wichita (now Wichita State University). Studies in music.

 1957-1961            Regis College (now Regis University), Denver, CO.  A.B. Cum Laude, with a major in Philosophy.

 1945-1960            Piano studies under Earl Yust and Jacob Helmann. (Further studies in 1961, 1966-67, and 1976-79.)


                                    WRITINGS, PUBLICATIONS, PAPERS, INTERNET


            2011                    “Theism and Music,” chapter for for the Routledge Companion to Theism, ed. Charles Taliafero (Routledge, forthcoming).

            2010 ff                Contributor to PrayTellBlog of St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN.

            2002-present    Weekly “Spiritual Reflections on the Readings” on the Center for Liturgy Sunday Web Site.

            2006                  “The Church is Marked by Ritual,” chapter in The Many Marks of the Church, W. Madges and M. Daley editors, Twenty Third Publications, 2006, pp. 194-211.

             2004                “The Winds of Change: American Music of the Roman Catholic Church in the last 40 years.” Delivered at Yale University, Institute of Sacred Music [and Divinity].

             2004                “The Mothering Wing: Catholic Imagination in Liturgy, submitted August, 2004, as a chapter of book on aspects of liturgy, to be published by Xavier University.

             2004                "All at Once the Music Changed", article in Toward Ritual Transformation: Remembering Robert W. Hovda, The Liturgical Press, 2003.

             2002                 Review: Creative Spirituality by Robert Wuthnow. Theological Studies, December 2002.

             2002                “Why Are They Writing All This Music?” Postmodern Worship and the Arts (ed. D. Adams and M. Moynahan) Resource Publications.

             2000                30 diverse entries in Worship Music: A Concise Dictionary, ed. Edward Foley Capuchin (Collegeville MN: The Liturgical Press).

             2000                "The Mothering Wing: Catholic Imagination in Liturgy: awaiting publication

             1998                “Media And The Spirit Of God: Redefining The Human Person” (London: The Way Supplement: Spirituality and Religious Experience, Summer 1998).

            1997                “The Challenge of Composing for the Church,”  (Washington DC: The Pastoral Musician, 1997)

            1997                “I am not the Composer of Liturgical Music; The Assembly Is” (Pastoral Music, August-September, 1997).

            1996-97           Articles in Today’s Liturgy (Portland: Oregon Catholic Press):

                                                        “Liturgy as a Work of Art” (March 26, 1996)

                                                        “Liturgy as Narrative: the Church Enacts Who It Is” (June 21, 1996)

                                                        “Liturgy As Ritual: Why All the Repetition?” (February 27, 1997)

                                                        “Desire for God, the Engine for Personal and Communal Prayer” (December 21, 1997)

             1991-97           Five homilies in Homily Service (Washington DC: The Liturgical Conference)

             1994                Creativity and the Roots of Liturgy (Washington, DC: The Pastoral Press), an aesthetic philosophy of art, concentrating on Suzanne Langer and Jacques Maritain, applied to a theology of Roman Catholic ritual, concentrating on Rahner and Edward Kilmartin.

             1994                “Stepping into the River: Reflections on the Vows,” Vol. 26/4 of Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits (St. Louis: The Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality, September 1994)

             1992                “A Love Stronger than Death,” introduction to Liturgy: And at the Last, Liturgical Conference, Winter 1992.

             1989                Paper: “Liturgy as Aesthetic event,” response to a paper by Katherine Kanavy from Scranton University, delivered at Assembly 89, academic convocation of Jesuits in Higher Education held at Georgetown University.

                       1989                “Christ, Priest and Poet,” The Way 66.

                       1989-                Homilies in the periodical, Homily Service.

                       1982                “An Aural Basis for Oral Liturgical Prayer,” Worship 56.2.

                       1980                 “Guidelines for Composing (and Judging) Pastoral Music,” Part 3, Pastoral Music, 4.6, Aug-Sept., pp. 49-51.

                       1980                 “Guidelines for Composing (and Judging) Pastoral Music,” Part 2, Pastoral Music, 4:5, Jun-Jul, pp. 45-49.

                       1980                 “Guidelines for Composing (and Judging) Pastoral Music,” Part 1, Pastoral Music, 4:4, Apr-May, pp. 27-31.

                       1978                  First You Must Plan,” Pastoral Music, 2.6, Aug-Sept, pp. 18-22.

                       1976                 “How to Get Them to Sing,” Hosanna, Autumn.




2008-present            Eucharist: Theory and Practice, 300 level course.

2007-2008                The treasure of texts from the Patristics through the middle ages. Co-taught with Professor Eleonore Stump (Robert J. Henle Chair of Philosophy)

2004-2008                Undergraduate courses in Liturgy; and Knowledge of Persons, doctoral course.

2002-2004                Interdisciplinary course involving Philosophy Department and Department of Theological Studies: Beauty as a Road to God, A doctoral seminar developed with Professor Eleonore Stump. 

2002                          Member faculty of Saint Louis University Graduate School

2001                          Member Faculty of the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University as Distinguished Liturgical Theologian.

1994-                         Lecturer and speaker throughout the United States on topics of liturgy, spirituality, theology, music.

1994-                         Private tutor of classical composition, St. Louis MO.

1993-                         Founder and continuing Director of the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University.

1992                          Private tutor of classical composition, Berkeley CA.

1986-1987                 Lecturer in Spirituality at Jesuit Novitiate, St. Paul MN.

1987                          Lecturer in Music at Creighton University, Omaha.

1986                          Instructor in Music Composition at University of St. Thomas, St. Paul MN.

1985-1986                 Composer-in-Residence at College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN.

1984-1986                 Composer-in-Residence at College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN.

 1982                         Lecture on the qualities of sound in the English language, Seattle University.

 1980-1983                Composer-in-Residence at Seattle University.

 Summer 1979           Instructor in Liturgical Composition at the Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University, Chicago.

 1974-1979                Workshops on Liturgical Music in Chicago, Scranton PA, Kansas City, Baltimore, St. Louis and elsewhere.

 1969-1971                Instructor in Philosophy at St. Louis University.

 1967-1969                Instructor in Philosophy and Music at Regis College (now Regis University), Denver, CO.


                                    COMMISSIONS AND AWARDS

            2010                        Who's Who in America 2011 (65th Edition). 

            2006                        Honorary degree, Doctor of Music (as member of St. Louis Jesuits), Creighton University.             

            2005                        Two articles in America national magazine on John Foley’s career as one of the prime influences on American, Roman Catholic worship music (especially in his work with four other Jesuit composers). 

            2004                        Invited to apply for Directorship of Yale Institute for Sacred Music (and Divinity). 

            2002                        Musical Table Prayer selected from numerous entries. for use at the yearly convention of the North American Academy of Liturgy. Words by Professor Donald Saliers (Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship in Emory's Candler School of Theology and director of the school's master's program in sacred music.)

            2000                        Listed in Worship Music: A Concise Dictionary, ed. Edward Foley Capuchin (Collegeville MN: The Liturgical Press, 2000)

            1996                        “Lord by Your Cross and Resurrection” commissioned and performed for 200th anniversary of Passionist Fathers.

            1990                        Alumni Achievement Award from Regis University, Denver.

            1989                        Invited to be listed in the International Who’s Who in Music.

            1988                        Special Award from the St. Edwards Music Festival in Minneapolis “in recognition and appreciation of your musical ministry, and your contribution to American music.”

            1987                        As a River of Light, commissioned by Epoch Universal Publications in Phoenix. First performed at the 1988 convention in Minneapolis of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Recorded in 1989 by the Bach Society of Minnesota and released on CD and cassette, along with full score.

            1987                        Mass of Thanksgiving: to Christ Our Lord. Commissioned and performed by the University of Scranton, for the occasion of their Centenary. Performed April 24, 1988.

            1985                        “Hymn to St. Joseph” for the 100th anniversary of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Wichita. Performed, May 1, 1988.

            1983                        The Distinguished Alumnus award from Seattle University.

            1983                        “Let Justice Roll Down” and “The Carpenter” commissioned in honor of the Centenary of the Scalabrinian Order. Performed 1987. Published and recorded on the album When Every Gate.

            1982                         Liturgical music by the “St. Louis Jesuits” is subject of a doctoral dissertation by Patrick Carlin at New York University.[1]

            1981                         The Alumni Merit Award from St. Louis University.

            1980                         Book of Glory, commissioned by the Jesuit Community of Loyola University of Chicago, and performed by members of the Chicago Symphony and of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, with the Niles Symphony Choir and selected soloists, in 1981.

                      1980                          Honorary Ph.D. in Humane Letters from the University of Scranton.



            2001-2003               Board of Directors of the Sacred Heart Program.

            2000-                       Member Planning Committee of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

           1994-1998                Served on Advisory Board of the Centre for the Study of Communication and Culture, Saint Louis University.

           1991-                        Member North American Academy of Liturgy. Received as full-member rather than the associate membership usually required.

           1990-1993                Board of members, Jesuit Studies in Spirituality.

                              1984-1993                Board of Directors of the national Liturgical Conference, an ecumenical organization and publisher for liturgy. 

                                                                        Served as Vice-President and as Interim President.

           1990-                        Member, Hymn Society.



 2003-                      Appointed by the faculty of Saint Louis University as Distinguished Liturgical Theologian.

 2001                      Established and designed the “Sunday Web Site” to promote knowledge and savor of the readings for each Sunday of the Church year, for use by leaders of liturgy and by the entire assembly. Three million hits per year. Extensive new material each week. Sponsored and maintained by the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University.

1998-                      Founded the National Liturgical Composers Forum, with annual meetings organized by the Center for Liturgy. First organization of its kind for composers of Roman Catholic music. Membership grows each year.

1993-                      Founder and continuing Director of St. Louis University Center for Liturgy. [Please see accompanying brochure].

1992-1993              Acting President of the Board of Directors of the Liturgical Conference.

1990-1993              Leader of Liturgical music for the Newman Center, University of California, Berkeley CA.

1988-1992              Vice-President of Liturgical Conference Board of Directors.

1986-1988              Member-at-large, Executive Committee of the Liturgical Conference

1972-1984              Leadership position in the composer’s group known as the “St. Louis Jesuits.”

1972-1976              Spiritual Director and Sub-Superior at the Bellarmine House of Studies, St. Louis.

1966                       Student Assistant to the Rector, Bellarmine House of Studies, St. Louis.

1965                       Elected delegate to the Jesuit Conference on “The Training of Jesuit Priests,” held at Santa Clara University.

1960-1961              President of Regis College chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity.

1959-1960              President of Junior class at Regis College, Denver.

1958-1959              General Manager, CEO of KREG, campus radio station at Regis College, Denver.



                     2002            Table Prayer for the yearly convention of the North American Academy of Liturgy. (Words by Professor Donald Saliers).

                     2001            A Choral Symphony in four movements for full orchestra  (2223 422 perc SATB baritone, chorus, str). Poetry also by John Foley, S. J.

                     1999            Like Winter Waiting, a musical play or concert for performance in parishes during Advent. First performed in St. Louis under the direction of Thomas Kavanaugh and musical direction of Peter Hesed. Two initial productions, staged at Our Lady of the Snows Church and at St. Margaret of Scotland parish.

                     1999            Flutefire, a flute sonata in three movements for flute and piano, premiered in St. Louis in October by flutist Dr. Twila McDonell and pianist Mary Mottl, and again in Chicago by McDonell and pianist Patrick Sinovich.

                     1997            Mass of the Pilgrim Church premiered May 18 at St. Francis Xavier College Church by combined choirs of College Church and Holy Family Parish.

                     1990            Flutescape, a work in three movements for flute and piano; performed in Seattle December 8 by flutist Twila McDonell.

                      1989            Dies Irae, first movement performed in February by the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra in Colorado.

                      1987            As a River of Light, a one hour musical drama based on the gospel of Luke. Premiered at the national convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians in Minneapolis.

                       1988            Able-to-Fall, a classical song-cycle for soprano and piano, setting six poems by Michael Dennis Browne. Premiered in April by Catherine Vouk at Creighton University in Omaha.

                        1983            Dance of Life, a one movement work for orchestra and percussion. Premiered by members of the St. Louis Symphony in April of 1983.

                        1982            A Movement for Orchestra, premiered by the Louisville Orchestra under the direction of Robert Bernhardt in their 1982 orchestra season. Saturday night performance was featured nationwide on National Public Radio. Recorded and released by the Louisville Orchestra in 1988.

                        1981            The Book of Glory, a two hour and twenty minute passion oratorio, premiered in Chicago on October 10, with orchestra and chorus directed by Stanley Rudcki. (Composer wrote both libretto and music).

                        1979            Piano Sonata, performed at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

                        1961            Three Pieces for Piano, performed by Leo Kreter at Wichita State University.

                     MUSIC RECORDED AND /OR PUBLISHED:

       2005            God Among Us: new collection of liturgical music published in June in CD and cassette format, music book, C instrument manuscripts. 12 new liturgical pieces for organ, piano, choir, cantor, and/or guitar piano ensemble. From Oregon Catholic Press.

            2001            One Bread, One Body II: a Retrospective released as CD and cassette from Oregon Catholic Press.

            2000            Like Winter Waiting, an Advent concert/play for parish choirs. Released summer of 2000 in printed and CD/cassette, full score, choral edition, and audience program.

            1999            One Bread, One Body: a Retrospective released as CD and cassette from Oregon Catholic Press.

            1997            Mass of the Pilgrim Church, released as CD, cassette and printed music (book, choral edition, congregation edition, instrumental edition, Eucharistic Prayer for priest) from Oregon Catholic Press.

            1995            Psalms for the Church Year, Vol. Seven. New settings of sixteen psalms for use in Roman Catholic liturgy. Released in April, 1995 as sheet music, CD and cassette.

            1993            When Every Gate: fourteen new liturgical pieces published and recorded by GIA Publishers in Chicago.

            1987            As a River of Light. Recorded in 1988 by the Bach Society of Minnesota and released on CD and cassette along with full score.

            1982            A Movement for Orchestra. For full orchestra. Recorded by the Louisville Orchestra and released on their First Edition series. Conducted by Robert Bernhart.

            1977            Wood Hath Hope: Liturgical Music by John Foley, S. J. Eleven liturgical pieces, published and recorded by North American Liturgical Resources, Phoenix.

            1975-            Various liturgical pieces are published throughout the world in collections such as the Canadian Hymnal, The Methodist Hymnal, The Mennonite Hymnal, Irish Church Praise. A number of these have been translated into (at least) French, German, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin Chinese.

            1973            Ways to Get Through. Contributed fourteen pieces (words and music) to this collection of twenty two popular/meditative recordings.



            2006            Morning Light: Jubilee recording and collection of liturgical music from “The St. Louis Jesuits,” thirty years after they began their now internationally used liturgical writing. Foley was a co-founder and constant contributor to this music.

            1982 The Steadfast Love: contributed nine liturgical pieces to a collection of twenty-two.

All Shall Be Well                                     Shepherd Kind and Holy

Awake, Arise                                           A Song of Hope

Beatitudes                                               The Steadfast Love

The Christ of God                                    Who Are We, O Lord

God’s Poor Ones

            1980 Lord of Light: contributed three liturgical pieces to a collection of eleven.

Answer When I Call

May We Praise You

Redeemer Lord


            1978 Wood Hath Hope: Eleven liturgical pieces by John Foley

Come to the Water                                     One Bread, One Body

The Cry of the Poor                                     Our Help is from the Lord

Flowers Still Grow There                             Son of David

Glory to God                                                 This is the Day

I Rejoiced                                                    Wood Hath Hope

Mighty Lord


            1977 Gentle Night: contributed seven liturgical pieces to a collection of fifteen.

The Beautiful Mother

Come Weal, Come Woe

Just Begun

The Lord is Come

Patience, People

Who Has Known

Winter Cold Night

            1976 A Dwelling Place: contributed five liturgical pieces to a collection of fourteen.

Bless Our God

Dwelling Place

The Lord Is My Light

Only In God

Peace Prayer


            1974 Earthen Vessels: contributed five liturgical pieces to a collection of 12.

Earthen Vessels

Praise the Lord, My Soul

Take, Lord, Receive

Turn to Me


            1973 Neither Silver Nor Gold: contributed twenty one liturgical pieces to a collection of 57

Blessed Be the Lord


Deliver Us, O God of Israel

Never Shall a Soul

Father, May They All Be One

Rescue Me From My Enemies

For You Are My God

Rise Up, Jerusalem

Heed My Call For Help

Sing to the Lord


The Sparrow Finds a Home

I Will Sing of the Lord

This Is My Body

Lamb of God

To His Angels

Let All Who Fear the Lord

To Thee Be Glory Forever

Look Toward Me

Why, O Lord

The Lord is My Shepherd






            1975            Merlin and the Wart, performed at St. Louis University (lyrics and music by John Foley).

            1974            Westering, music by John Foley, book and lyrics by Thomas P. Kavanaugh, performed by the St. Louis Community College, and by St. Basil High School in St. Louis.

            1966            A Moment of Spring, performed in Waupaca WI and at St. Louis University.

            1965            Between the Rainbow and the Sunset, performed in Waupaca WI.