Tuesday, September 17, 2013


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "The Church remains, as Cardinal Newman wrote, '…the poet of her children, full of music to soothe the sad and control the wayward; wonderful in story, rich in symbol and imagery. So that gentle and delicate feelings, which will not bear words, may in silence intimate their presence. The liturgy’s very being is poetry; every psalm, every petition, every prayer; the cross, the mitre, the incensor; each a fulfillment of some dream of childhood, or aspiration of youth.'” from Barbara Nicolosi's article, "Why Should Christianity Be "Patron of the Arts?"
QUOTE II:  "In most cases, what we are exposed to musically in our churches is bad compositions badly executed. Sometimes, it attains to bad composition well-executed, but as poor imitations of what is happening in secular music, generally, the stuff we are hearing in Church is inappropriate to the liturgy in style, excellence and lyricism."  Same source.
If you would like to read more of the above artice you may go here.  (Thanks Ellen)
St. Sebastian ended up in the paper this weekend.  Read the article here from the Beacon Journal site.
Mary sent this article in on "Will Beauty Save the World?"
Here's some exciting news coming soon for Chesterton fans:  "The staff of the American Chesterton Society has been busy at work redesigning and expanding our website. The new design includes a revamp of the local societies page where your groups are listed with your contact and meeting information.  The new format will allow us to designate a full page to each local society on our roster. In other words, it will be like having a webpage just for your group. Inquirers who search the web for local Chesterton societies will be directed to an interactive map, where push-pin icons will lead them to the page set up for your individual group."  You can visit their site here.
From the Diocese of Cleveland Enewsletter:  "Imagine Sisters, Lumen Vere Media and Altius Studies have produced a film titled, "Light of Love" which provides a personal look into the religious lives of Franciscan Sisters residing in Toronto, Ohio."  Read more and see the film here.
Here is the 2.5 minute trailer:


ellen said...

Fr. V,

You should have Barb Nicolosi come to St. S for a talk! You two seem to be on the same page.


MaryofSharon said...

Yikes... Barbara Nicolosi, in the article you reference, "Why Should Christianity Be 'Patron of the Arts'?", is hard-hitting in her critique of much that we find in the "modern" Church. I also took a look at the video of Barbara Nicolosi's talk, "Why Hollywood Matters," which you mentioned at the brunch on Sunday. She doesn't hold any punches, yet I'm grateful for a frank assessment...finally!

The soul longs for something so much more transcendent than what we find in most Catholic parishes and most liturgies; it longs for the kind of beauty described in Nicolosi's quotes of Pope Benedict in which he says that the sacred arts, by their sheer beauty should convict the beholder that "the Faith is true" and "wound" the soul in such a way that it summons "man to his final destiny". Might God bless the St. Sebastian Academy of Art and Culture such that those within and beyond the Church can be offered the kind of beauty that does those kind of things to our souls!

Anonymous said...

each person has his own opinion about what is beautiful . . . . pity the artists . . . they take such a beating


Maggi and Dave Blischak said...

Thanks for the plug for the Imagine Sisters! We are from Toronto, Ohio, and it is always a thrill to see our little town get mentioned.

MaryofSharon said...

I understand what you are saying, and I'll grant that Barbara Nicolosi might do better to tone down her rhetoric if she wants to be widely heard, particularly by those whose art she doesn't appreciate.

Still, while there will always be a wide variety of tastes, we can't be afraid to admit that there are things that are some things that are objectively more beautiful than others. Nicolosi gives a good example. If someone sincerely believes that Barney and Friends' dancing is of higher quality or more beautiful than that of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers it isn't merely a matter of taste. They are mistaken. Is it unkind to state the obvious for fear of hurting someone's feelings?

There is something great at stake in this difficult conversation. I, for one, had my breath taken away by the St. Sebastian choir's piece after Communion on Sunday - wasn't it Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus? If you understand the words in that piece, ( listen and see the Latin and English side by side here), as you hear it sung, it is hard not to be transported, by the sheer beauty of the music itself, to a fuller recognition of the fact that in the Eucharistic Body we have just received, we are privileged to have a "foretaste of heaven." That doesn't happen with most Catholic church music. And I wish it could happen more.

Fr. V said...

Woohoo Imagine Sisters!

I invited Barbara to give a talk and she agreed. Her speeking fee is 1.5k plus housing a air fair. I think that reasonable but we will have to find some funding.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you for the awe inspiring experience that we shared this past Sunday at St. Sebastian's Mass with the wonderful Bishop. It was magnificent. We also joined you for Mother Thomas's brilliant talk on her art. Honestly, this was one of the greatest back to back experiences of our lives.
People need to know what is happening right now at your Parish.

MaryofSharon said...

Here's an example of what can happen when a Catholic parish doesn't pay attention to beauty in worship. This story is written by a man who had been Protestant all his life and had become disillusioned with the superficiality and trendiness in the megachurches he had been attending. He was looking for more.

"Without being conscious of it, I felt that an encounter with God ought to be timeless....One evening my wife and I drove past a Catholic Church and I thought, if that church has been around for a couple of thousand years, maybe there’s something going on in there I should investigate. So we stopped in to look. A church meeting was going on. We saw beautiful statues and an altar and a small group of people playing acoustic guitars and singing songs most Protestant churches had abandoned in the early 1970s. We turned around and walked back out. It would be more than a decade before I’d engage with the Catholic Church again."

(You can read here about how he finally ended up becoming Catholic after a decade in the Anglican world, where liturgy is done with such beauty and attention to quality that they puts us Catholics to shame. While the author sees the Catholic Church as the having the fullness of truth, he doesn't understand why we set our standards so low. When it comes to aesthetics, his conversion has come at considerable cost. It shouldn't have to be so.)