St. Julian’s International Juggling Troupe
The St. Julian’s International Juggling Troupe is based at Gregory the Great Academy where it is an important part of the life of the school as well as an expression of its spirit. The spirit of any institution is a difficult thing to capture in words, but certainly a central element of the spirit of Gregory the Great Academy is joy. This is understood in the fullness of its theological resonance, but also as that more limited sense that French call joie de vivre, joy in living. The Troupe’s motto, rejoicing always before him, synthesizes this Godward orientation and the delight in creating and the created that characterizes the jugglers. Taken from the Old Testament Book of Proverbs, it samples the words of Wisdom herself as she proclaims her delight in rejoicing before God and playing among the children of men.
Since joy must be shared, the jugglers travel throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and to New York City, performing for children’s groups, hospitals, old folk’s homes, and busking on street corners. They act as ambassadors for the Academy, performing skits, juggling rings, clubs, fire and fruit and singing songs, secular and sacred in a mini-extravaganza that entertains, slyly evangelizes and hopefully earns a few bucks. If all goes well, the fruit of a year’s worth of this controlled chaos will buy the Troupe’s way to Europe where, donning the pilgrim’s shell and renouncing all financial means save their rings, clubs and balls, they wend their way to Assisi or bike the Camino de Santiago.