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Eleanor Glenn crafted a play based on Jesus’ last days, taking it even to Ireland.
October 31, 2011
SHEILA DABU NONATO
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER
Retired Catholic school educator Eleanor Glenn is on a different stage now, but she still has a passion for teaching others about the Catholic faith.
Instead of a classroom, Glenn – who has a religious education specialist certificate – is now spreading the Word through drama in her one-woman play that connects the sacrifice of the Mass with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
The Servant at the Supper is about a fictitious servant girl who baked the bread and served the wine at the Last Supper. She is also present when the women bring the news of Christ’s resurrection to the disciples and at Pentecost.
It’s a 40-minute, Scripture-based play that uses more than 20 quotations taken directly from the Bible and takes the audience into the final days of Christ on earth.
The idea for The Servant at the Supper came to Smith when a tour of the Ark of the Covenant passed through her parish of St. Frances de Sales in Smiths Falls, Ont., in 2007 before the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City. Glenn was brought to tears and inspired to write a play about the Eucharist after reflecting on the icons on the ark that depicted Jesus’ public ministry.
“If I was going to write a play, then the play had to be about the Eucharist,” she said. “The Good News is timeless. The Good News doesn’t change.”
Though not a professional, Glenn cultivated a love of writing, performing and directing during her 30-plus years in Catholic education and also in community theatre productions.
Initially, Glenn’s purpose with the play was to encourage people to attend the 2008 Eucharistic Congress. She took The Servant at the Supper on the road to parishes throughout Ontario for that purpose.
Now she wants to encourage people to attend the eucharistic congress taking place next June in Dublin, Ireland, and has already toured Ireland with the play. She plans to take it there again leading up to the congress, culminating in a performance during the congress.
THOSE LEFT STANDING
As part of the play, Glenn recites her poem Those Left Standing, defending the innocent priests who chose to remain in the priesthood and their parishes after the fallout of the abuse scandal in the Irish Church. She said she hoped the play would help inspire others to contribute to rebuilding the Church.
As for her spiritual “awakening,” Glenn says it came upon her retirement in 2005.
“It occurred to me that I made a lot of decisions about key happenings in my life for which I didn’t consult God in the least,” she said.
Getting to know the Companions of the Cross in Ottawa, the order founded by the late Father Bob Bedard, and doing volunteer work helped deepen her faith, she said.
For more information on the play, visit www.servantatthesupper.com.
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