In San Francisco archdiocese, new website promotes Catholic arts

Online venture of the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship based at St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park seeks more beautiful liturgies and to energize a Catholic culture of the arts

Expanding a recent San Francisco archdiocesan initiative to encourage reverent music and enrich liturgical life, a new website celebrates Catholic culture as a means to share and spread the faith. 

The online venture of the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship, founded in 2014 and based at St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park, offers information and inspiration in its wide-ranging content. 

From stage to screen, canvas to cinema, from ballet to biography, photography to poetry, creative enterprises of every genre find the spotlight at http://benedictinstitute.org

Mass at St. Patrick’s seminary in Menlo Park

Bemoaning the decline in “that noble, great and transcendent sense of art that the church has always given us,” Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone notes in a video welcoming site visitors: “Beauty is important because it’s one of the ways in which we can be in touch with the divine and draw others to be in touch with the divine.” 

The Benedict XVI Institute, he says, aims to ensure that “every liturgy, every Mass is a real encounter with the Lord and sets people on fire for their faith,” as envisioned by the Holy Father whose name graces the organization. 

The website, designed with the assistance of the Emmy Award-winning Catholic-oriented production firm Spirit Juice Studios and launched Jan. 23, carries those goals beyond church walls. 

“Our mission is to open the door of beauty to God by providing practical resources for more beautiful liturgies and by energizing a Catholic culture of the arts,” said Maggie Gallagher, the newly appointed executive director of the institute. 

A centerpiece of the electronic enterprise, the magazine Catholic Arts Today, provides a platform for Catholic artists and their sacred and secular work, featured in videos, articles, reviews, film clips, poetry readings and photographic displays. 

Each entry testifies to the force of faith. 

“Art is something that has come from God,” multimedia music composer Sean Beeson attests in the initial issue. “We have a responsibility to nurture … grow … and share it with other people.” 

Full story at Catholic San Francisco.

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  1. Who controls the art included [and thus excluded] in this? Some sources report Benedict favored a smaller, more orthodox Church.

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