Tag Archives: Catholic

CoverMystic Chapel (Press Release) Our first album, Martyrs Prayers, asked the question, “What would you die for?” It was our small attempt of speaking musically to the issue of “cheap grace” as defined by one martyr in particular, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. From Ignatius of Antioch to Oscar Romero we considered those who had given their lives for the faith. Our second album, Mystic Chapel, asks another question, “What if we still believed?”. We came to faith in a time when something was happening. It wasn’t programmed, it wasn’t planned, but it was real. The theology was not deep or profound and there was much that we needed to learn, but we believed, and that belief was translated into a movement that changed the Church, changed the style and substance of ministry, changed worship and changed music. It was a time when it seemed nothing was impossible. As Martyrs Prayers garnered numerous favorable reviews and attracted a good deal of attention across an amazingly wide spectrum of both faith-based and secular media, we began connecting with all sorts of people from “back in the day”.   Some were old friends, others were simply people with similar experiences. Some had remained active in varied faith communities, while others had no apparent affiliation whatsoever. Still others retained a deep faith, but were simply “done” with the Church - too many scandals, fund drives, intolerance, traditional/contemporary arguments, and all the rest. As we worked on music and design with numerous talented friends, artists and musicians of a younger generation, we saw the same phenomena - some involved in a faith community, some with no affiliation and some, while retaining a very real faith, had simply given up on finding a community that expressed that faith. So, a lifetime later, we ask the question, “What if we still believed?” While we may not have known it at the time, the power of our belief was, essentially, the incarnation of the kerygmatic theology of the mid-twentieth century.   We encountered the “proclaimed word”, the kerygma, and by that word, encountered Christ and his saving work both in history and in the present moment. It was an encounter that changed lives... changed us... changed so many... but where are they now? We offer this album, Mystic Chapel, as a “love letter” of sorts.   We’re sending it out to the faithful, to the “nones”, to the “dones” and to all those in between. There’s no promo, no hype, just a journey, offered in music and story.   We recognize, however, that this is but our journey.   Travel with us, but find a journey to make your own, for the Mystic Chapel is not a place that you can find on a map, it is an encounter that takes place in the soul. It is an encounter that may, for each of us, bring an answer to the question, “What if we still believed?”.   MICHAEL GLEN BELL Bell has been known to say, “If it isn’t creative, I’m not interested”. Born in northwest Iowa, music has always been a part of Bell’s life. The son of a professional musician and band leader, Michael first played trumpet before turning to the guitar in his early teens and playing with numerous local bands. Leaving Iowa at the age of 18, he moved to Ohio to become part of a faith community and, eventually, became the prime mover in a community of Christian musicians who played across the American Midwest and Canada. During this time, Bell shared the stage with musicians as diverse as Larry Norman, John Michael Talbot, Paul Clark and the Jessy Dixon Singers. Returning to Iowa in his late twenties, Bell earned his undergraduate and seminary degrees while concurrently serving as a youth minister in numerous churches. For several years he was on staff in campus ministry at the University of Iowa. Involved with the visual arts as well as composition and performance, Bell settled in Indiana to work on musical projects with his long time friend, Duane Arnold. A guitarist from the “school” of Michael Hedges and David Crosby, Bell has become known through the years as more than simply a singer/songwriter. A deep contemplative note is always present in Bell’s concert appearances, combined with a keen cultural awareness that draws from his love of theology and history. DUANE W.H. ARNOLD Arnold has often said, “I’ve been able to live several lives in one”. Born in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Arnold spent his childhood and teenage years outside of Cleveland, Ohio. In his mid-teens he left home and roamed Canada and the United States, eventually joining a Christian commune in Oregon. Returning to the mid-west at the age of 20, he embarked on a path of higher education. In all, he has earned seven degrees and diplomas, including a PhD in church history. In the course of his career, Arnold has held numerous academic positions both in the United State and abroad. As a writer, Arnold has authored nine books and numerous articles for scholarly journals. Certain of his works in the study of church history have become standard references in their field. His volume, Prayers of the Martyrs, has been translated into nine languages. Although he was first a pastor among evangelicals, Arnold became a priest in the Anglican Communion in 1987. As pastor and priest, he has served churches and educational institutions from the American Midwest to New York City to Northern England. Arnold’s involvement with music dates from the earliest days of Contemporary Christian Music, promoting numerous Solid Rock artists, organizing concerts in the midwest and managing solo artists and groups from within his own faith community. His friendship with Michael Glen Bell stretches over three decades. Together, they were recently received into the Roman Catholic Church. THE PROJECT The Project is the joint musical endeavor of Michael Glen Bell and Duane W.H. Arnold. Their first album, Martyrs Prayers, was released to great critical acclaim and utilized the gifts of guest artists such as Phil Keaggy, Jennifer Knapp, Randy Stonehill, Glenn Kaiser, The McCrary Sisters and numerous others. A single from the album, “Romero”, became the unofficial anthem for the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero in 2015. Their current album, Mystic Chapel, was released in December 2015. For more information go to TheMartyrsProject.com   CD available for purchase at: http://themartyrsproject.com

Our Lady, Morning Star by Suzanne Kent Debold
Our Lady, Morning Star by Suzanne Kent Debold
http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/mary-inspires-art-and-life/ The life size icon was commissioned by Dr. Clint Leonard and his wife Kathryn for Morning Star Obstetrics and Gynecology in Gilbert, Arizona. It was painted by Catholic Artist Suzanne Kent Debold. The icon was prayerfully painted for the clinic which is faithful to the magisterium. To me, this is a perfect example of Sacred Art which is good, true and beautiful; it calls the viewer to prayer. The Leonards have many artworks in their clinic and sets a beautiful example of prayer inspired by Catholic Art for clinicians and patrons. The theme of our Catholic Artists Conference on September 12-14, 2016 at St. Benedict Center in Schuyler, Nebraska is prayer. How does the conversation between the artist and God translate into a canvas and call the viewer to prayer. This is the goal of Sacred Art. Our conference features well known professional speakers in five areas of Catholic Art: fine art, sculpture, architecture, music and film. More at www.Catholic-Artists-Conference.com              

detail of Synagoga looking to Ecclesia, clay version by Joshua Koffman
detail of Synagoga looking to Ecclesia, clay version by Joshua Koffman
On his last day in the United States Pope Francis stopped at St Joseph's University to see a completed statue by Philadelphia artist Joshua Koffman. The statue depicts Jewish and Christian cultures sharing their scriptures. See this St. Joseph's website for history of Synagoga and Ecclesia and the development of the statue: http://www.sju.edu/int/academics/centers/ijcr/archives/Sculpture%20development.html http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/pope-francis-blesses-statue-celebrating-catholic-jewish-relations-on-us-tour/ http://www.timesofisrael.com/pope-francis-visits-catholic-jewish-statue-in-philadelphia/

Seed of a New World film
Seed of a New World film
I would like to share with you a Kickstarter campaign that a couple of the young men in the Schoenstatt Movement of Austin are running to fund their film project documenting the 100th anniversary of Schoenstatt's founding. This film that Alex Quintana and Mark Leatherman are working on has the potential to be a powerful tool for engaging the culture with a new vision and life that is founded in the Schoenstatt Marian spirituality through a professional and spiritual sensitivity to the visual and audio arts. The links to the trailer and the Kickstarter campaign video are at the bottom of this email. The link to the Kickstarter campaign also has detailed information about the project that elaborates on what the project is about. I invite you to prayerfully consider contributing to this creative project through your prayers and through your financial support. They are so very close to their goal of $37,000 with only four days left to raise these funds. In case you are not aware, Kickstarter is a way for people to fund their projects (virtually any project) via electronic donations. No funds will be given toward the project if the goal is not made (this is how Kickstarter works...), so whatever you can give through your prayers and financial support will be greatly helpful in making this film a reality! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/882830440/seed-of-a-new-world-film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq8FgWfJ97k

Bauche-Gisele_ Gisele Bauche sees art and spirituality as walking hand and hand. She sees the creative process primarily as a spiritual dialogue with God and the world around her. Using bold colours, simplicity of style, form and shape in acrylic, egg tempra and metallic, her works elicits and reflect movement, inspiration and beauty, Through her paintings Gisele seeks to reveal the richness of scripture and the Christian tradition and to nurture and enrich the way people look at the world. Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI write's in the forward of Gisele's book, Giving Glory to God: An Artist Reflection, "Some of us write our theology on paper Gisele writes hers on church walls, on large canvases and on icons. Gisele does not use a word processor or a pen, but a paint brush and a canvas. But her goal is the same: to imprint God's word into the human soul". This is exactly what our Catholic Artists Conference on September 12-14, 2016 at St Benedict Center hopes to examine. The conversation with God in prayer before and during the creative process is what yields Sacred Art. The manifestation of that conversation is documented on canvas for the viewer and draws the viewer to prayer. Thus, the artist and the art are part of a connecting thread between God and the viewer (or listener in the case of Sacred Music). Gisele has several works in this Fine Art Gallery at http://www.catholic-artists.org/fine-art/ and her bio and contact info is in this Catholic Artists Directory at http://www.catholic-artists.org/artist-directory/  You can see more of Gisele's work on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/gbauche/gisele-bauches-art/ or at her website http://spiritualityandart.ca/

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Fr. Daniel McCarthy
Fr. Daniel McCarthy
Registration for Architecture for Liturgy is now open and limited to 30 participants. The course will be held at St. Benedict's Abbey and Mt. St. Scholastica Monastery, Atchison, Kansas on 26-29 May 2015. Information is available here: http://architectureforliturgy.com/liturgy-week-2015/ Register here: https://kansasmonks.wufoo.com/forms/architecture-for-liturgy/ The celebration of liturgy determines not only the functional aspects of church design and arrangement, but even more the dimensions inherent in liturgical celebration are expressed through art, architecture and the arrangement of churches. Much attention is given to architects who design transcendent buildings, but insufficient attention has been given to the ritual and liturgical theology inherent in the celebration of liturgy and how these are determinative of the dimensions of church buildings and their artistic narratives. Liturgy Week 2015 begins with a pictorial journey through the ancient basilicas of Rome and from these develops an understanding of the baptistery and font, the hall and ambo, the dais and altar-ciborium. The rich and classical chapels of Mount St Scholastica Monastery and St Benedict parish church give examples to illustrate the liturgical principles presented, or they present a canvas upon which to write a more developed artistic and architectural expression that allows for an ever more prolonged and synthetic celebration of liturgy.

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I went to the movies with my wife and we saw "Song of the Sea." It was a delightful story but what surprised me was the scenes with the definitely Catholic elements.  This made more sense when I read about the writer / producer Tomm Moore.  The story was based on his own family which included his mother's house. The children go to grandma's house and it contains pictures of Jesus and has a crucifix displayed prominently.  The second occasion is a Holy Well the children find along their journey and experience a "quiet moment" where they are surrounded by lit candles and statues of The Virgin Mary.
Holy Well
Holy Well
http://songoftheseamovie.blogspot.com/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomm_Moore http://www.ipnovels.com/blog/2015/03/great-films-for-kids-song-of-the-sea/

St. Anastasia
St. Anastasia
Comment from the artist Eve Palguta: The lilies represent purity (as does the white robe), the blue geometric background represents snowflakes (her feast day is celebrated on December 25th) and the blood stains are from her tortures suffered before death (legend has it her breasts were torn off before she was martyred). The painting was done to commemorate such heroic women who bore extreme suffering and attacks upon their feminine dignity for the sake of their beliefs, specifically in the Catholic faith. Here is a listing of web links which belong to artists featured in the 5th Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts Exhibition at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA http://gallery.stvincent.edu http://www.janetmckenzie.com/OriginalImages.html http://www.neilsoncarlin.com/portfolio.html http://gwynethholston.com/religious-paintings/ http://www.bernadettecarstensen.com/ http://www.zachbrownart.com/ http://www.christinefrechardgallery.com/#!pasquale-pristera/c1itj http://www.christopherruane.com/Set/Sacred-Art-Modern-World http://www.carrfineart.com/ http://matthewjamescollins.com/about/ http://www.religionnews.com/2014/11/04/exhibit-sacred-catholic-art-embraces-contemporary-vision/ (Fr Robert Keffer, Paul Jurgens nor Eileen Cunis do not have a web site that I can find) https://sites.google.com/site/carlsstudio/carl-g-fougerousse http://www.jordanhainsey.com/photography/ http://www.sljonsonstudios.com/ http://pixels.com/featured/madonna-of-children-beverly-klucher.html http://www.philaopenstudios.org/artist-profile/thomas-kohlmann http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/exhibit-of-sacred-catholic-art-embraces-a-contemporary-vision/2014/11/04/ba308af0-6445-11e4-ab86-46000e1d0035_story.html http://www.jamespatrickreid.com/scenes_from_history_and_lit/simon_of_cyrene_oil_on_canv.html http://www.kelly-schumacher.com/Portfolio_ManOfSorrows.html http://www.krooney.net/rsilasbr.html http://www.jdwelshfineart.com/

thestoryfinal_cover-300x300 I’ve been looking for popular Catholic artists and music which testifies to our Christian Faith. Tonight I found a collection of music we can all appreciate. It is (music inspired by) The Story written in 2011 by Nichole Nordeman http://www.cbn.com/cbnmusic/interviews/nichole-nordeman-the-story-interview-goodwyn.aspx and Bernie Herms featuring artists: Nichole Nordeman , Amy Grant (RUTH), Bart Millard (MOSES), Francesca Battistelli (MARY), Natalie Grant (MARY MAGDALENE), Steven Curtis Chapman (THIEF), Mark Hall & Megan Garrett (ABRAHAM AND SARAH). A comprehensive collection of talents and styles, this 18 song group of violin, piano, full orchestra, and vocals represents the Bible story in voices from Genesis to Jesus' Resurrection. There are many but most beautiful song on the album, in my opinion, is the the song “Be Born in Me” - the voice of Mary sung by Francesca Battistelli.  An instrumental section begins "Be Born in Me" reflecting the instrumental "I AM (Creation)" that begins the album:  this sounds to me like the Annunciation.  Then incorporating the beautiful vocals of Francesca Battistelli, Mary tells how she feels about her experience, her love for God, and she declares acceptance of her role in Salvation. I remember when Jesus Christ Superstar (the album) came out in the 70's.  "The Story" is as good and as impactful; such an accomplished work is set to inspire our Faith in Jesus and help us participate in the family of God. I recommend visiting http://www.thestorycd.com/ or iTunes to search for The Story to give a listen. Their last tour was in 2013.  Maybe 2015 is time again.

Picturing Mary
Picturing Mary
If you can't travel to Washington, DC to see the exhibit Picturing Mary, the National Museum of Women in the Arts has a digital collection of videos and images which cover a small part of the exhibit: http://nmwa.org/global-icon Here's the full site for the National Museum of Women in the Arts http://nmwa.org/exhibitions/picturing-mary-woman-mother-idea which also includes two other online previews.

Immaculate Conception (of Mary)
Immaculate Conception (of Mary)
Presentation of Mary by Titian, 1539 "Hail full of Grace" are the words the Angel uses at the Annunciation, for Mary was already blessed and pure since her conception.  The Immaculate Conception is not the conception of Jesus, rather it is of Mary, who conceived Jesus in an immaculate state with the Holy Spirit.  God's son was born of a holy woman, a consecrated virgin, who remained a perpetual virgin. Today, December 8th, includes a holy hour at 12 for Rosa Mystica, a series of visitations by Mary in Montachiari, Italy during 1947. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierina_Gilli

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Five discerning women
Five discerning women
http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/the-sisterhood-becoming-nuns See more photos of Christy Young (upper right) and her faith-filled-friends in her public figure Facebook account https://www.facebook.com/ChristieYoung07 My favorite is Christy because of her "flirty" relationship with Jesus and charismatic approach to her Catholic faith.  More Catholics should be as excited about their faith!

ad for John_light blue We’re working on a Catholic Artists Conference for October 2016 in Nebraska. The exact date or location aren’t set yet but we’re closing in on our second (more reasonable) prospect. I conducted a survey some time ago and costs for artists were among the chief factors; so we're keeping the costs down by choosing a less expensive venue. We may have an international collection debut to work into our conference which needs considerable hanging space. We want to include the five different areas of art because they depend upon each other to some degree but also work to bring people to the Catholic Faith. The new evangelization could be a part of what is discussed at the conference. Another important element will be prayer and that creative experience for the artist. Getting these artists together will create some interesting conversations. Having some committed patrons and clergy there will help reinforce the goal of creating sacred art – that which brings one to prayer. I would encourage you to “Enter your information” at http://Catholic-Artists.COM so we and others can find you. I will take the listing and post it in the directory http://Catholic-Artists.ORG which also contains a five galleries, one for each of the artist categories. I will ask for images / drawings / recordings of your works to show in the gallery once you register. God Bless, JohnM

Jill Rodts, founder of the Art of Faith Show is asking for Catholic artists to join her conference in Rock Island during the last weekend in February 2015.  I've participated in this show as an artist and had a wonderful time.  St. Pius X is a wonderful community and people come from all over the quad cities. Art of Faith Mission was founded in 2011 to support sacred art and faith. Capturing the beauty of the rich deposit of faith in sacred scriptures and in sacred tradition, artists are called to embrace Gospel values and proclaim them visually to the world promoting the culture of life.
Call for Artists
Art of Faith show announcement

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[Not a valid template]   Who is your favorite living Catholic artist?  This is a great big question because it includes the arts of fine art, sculpture, architecture, music, and film.  You don't need one for each category but just one or two artists you like very well. Prayer before and during painting is a major contributing factor in my choice of Ann Chapin.  Her style of iconography is not so stark and includes many figures and furnishings.  Although done in iconographic method, the faces, figures and clothing resemble reality; they have body and perspective. My second favorite Catholic artist is Audrey Assad.  Audrey is a very talented musician presently on tour in the U.S. http://www.audreyassad.com/  Her voice is beautiful and her very Catholic songs are remarkable for their lyrics and for their composition. Catholic art can take the range between traditional and contemporary.  Each calls us to prayer (sacred art).  Each stirs our feeling of faith and emotions we feel when close to God.  The Catholic Church is rich with beautiful imagery, both historically and contemporarily. It is a little hard to find living Catholic artists and that is why I need your help.  Please comment to this blog post with your favorite living Catholic artist and why.  God Bless you.

Marie Miller Silent NightFinding Catholic Artists is harder than I thought.  There are many Catholic Artists out there, especially if you include fine art, sculpture, architecture, music and film.  Here's a youtube by a Catholic artist that is just beautiful http://www.mariemillermusic.com/video/video-8-5/
9/30/2015 Guess who sang for Pope Francis?

Here's a wonderful article about Monica Welch art for moms and families http://www.wholeparentingfamily.com/2014/09/28/beautiful-art/ This piece is a Catholic wedding gift using scripture from the book of Tobit.  You can buy a copy here.  Incidentally, Monica created the stained glass logo for http://Catholic-Artists.com SONY DSC