“He would have been happy to know about the St. Paul Music Therapy Center,” she said referring to Fr. Reuter’s sentiment, “Anything for the children – especially the arts.”
In1966, Father Reuter directed THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Fleur-de-Lis Auditorium in St. Paul College of Manila. It was one of many Broadway musicals he directed which St. Paul produced in the 1960s at the landmark Fleur-de-Lis Auditorium in Manila. Tommy Abuel, June Keithley and Maniya Barredo graced the moors in BRIGADOON, Celeste Legaspi floated on Old Man River in SHOWBOAT and a bevy of Paulinians including Lily Gamboa O’Boyle and Cecile Santos made up the brood of 13 DAUGHTERS.
“Father Reuter was a great influence in my life and I am surely a better person because of him,” said Lily Gamboa O’Boyle. She joined Fr. Reuter’s Sta Zita and Mary Rose, a Sunday weekly show as well his radio shows. Lily is delighted to hear of the SPMA USA support of St. Paul Music Therapy Center. She is totally supportive of the efficacy of musical therapy in rehabilitation. “Thank you for spearheading such a worthy project! More power to you!”
Launched in September 2015 with the performance of the KING & I, the Father Reuter Theatre Series seeks to reinforce and honor Father Reuter’s legacy by supporting the SPUM’s Music Therapy Center through the Alumnae’s Fleur-de-Lis Fund. The FIRST in the Philippines, the Music Therapy Center in the St. Paul University Manila campus provides music therapy services to children and youth with disabilities. The use of music therapy can help people who are crippled by various cognitive and bio-psychosocial problems. It can also help to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities of various kinds.
“Father Reuter was more than a man or a priest. He was a father... He encouraged me to speak, and communicate, my thoughts,” said Lotis Key, “He pushed me to develop my voice. He made me understand that even if I didn’t fit in, I was valuable to him.”
“This awkward beginning at St. Paul College of Manila, still managed to set in ink the pattern of my personal design,” Lotis confessing self-consciousness and timidities at the time. “The subsequent decades saw me in venues across the globe, on life stages of various kinds, pulsing to the rhythm of audition, rehearsal, performance. The thrill of competition, the heightening of focus and self-control, the desire to be better than I thought I could be -- these seeds were planted and watered in the Fleur de Lis Auditorium.”
Father Reuter was an American Jesuit Catholic priest who lived in the Philippines since he was 22 and taught at Ateneo de Manila University as well as St. Paul University. He was a well-known public figure who was a writer, director and producer in theatre, radio, print and film. Father Reuter received awards and recognition for promoting the Catholic Church through mass media, , including the award for "Outstanding Service to the Catholic Church in the field of Mass Media", personally given to him in January 1981 by Pope John Paul II. For his work in the field of communication, and training prominent leaders and artists in Philippine society, he was made an “honorary citizen of the Republic of the Philippines" in 1984 by the Batasang Pambansa by a unanimous vote. In 1989, he was the Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts. He passed away at age 96 on Dec. 31, 2012. His remains were brought to the St. Paul University in Manila on New Year’s Day 2013 and laid in state until he was buried on Jan. 3, 2013.