Category Archives for "Arts & Entertainment"

Aug 04

Worship the Lord in Holy Attire (Ps. 96:9)

By From the Heart | Arts & Entertainment

On May 3 of this year I spent almost an hour touring the vestment-making exhibit at the Haehn Museum. It was like savoring a refreshing drink, like sipping a fine red wine as rich as the beautiful works of art displayed there. It did my spiritual heart a lot of good.

It dawned on me that the talented and dedicated artists who designed and sewed these vestments and items for liturgical use were not merely “making pretty things.” They were zealous contributors to the pre-Vatican II liturgical movement in our country, as they took full opportunity to enhance the significance that vesture offers to liturgical services. I could feel the energy that they put into their creations as I surveyed their tools and admired their handiwork. These Benedictine women knew the importance of prayer and work in the monastic life, but they dedicated their work to deepening the liturgical prayer of parishes and religious communities through the sacred sign of vesture. They were generous servants in the work of renewing the worship offered by God’s holy people, and I am very grateful to them.

On December 9, 1925, the Congregation of Rites rejected the so-called Gothic Mass vestments that were becoming popular in some places and declared that manufacturers of such vestments were departing from the practice of the Roman Church. Gothic vestments were more ample and flowing than the “fiddle-back” chasubles that had been normative since the Baroque era. But the more worthy Gothic vestments continued to be worn in some countries, and the Sisters at St. Benedict’s Monastery continued to make them, as evidenced in the chasuble from the exquisite “Angel Set” on display in the exhibit. In this way they were looking to the future rather than the past and letting a sense of style evolve.

Sometimes I wonder what connection there can be between the liturgy and efforts to protect the natural environment. Thus I rejoice that the exquisite flowers, plants and animals portrayed on these vestments brought the world of nature right into the sanctuary, right into the heart of the sacred liturgy. I like to think that perhaps this insight was shared by the Mass celebrants who wore these vestments. I know that there are many men who grow and appreciate flowers (I’m one of them), but perhaps flowers have been not considered to be “manly.” These elegant vestments that were to be worn by men proclaim loud and clear that flowers — God’s best poetry — are for all women and men to enjoy.

It is true that post-Vatican II changes in the liturgy changed liturgical taste and reduced the desire for the kind of vestments displayed in this exhibit, as color, design and enveloping form replaced the symbols that are so prominent on the vestments made by the Sisters. But the “quality” and “appropriateness” that were promoted forty years ago in Environment and Art in Catholic Worship (nos. 19 -23) and in Built of Living Stones (2000), and that we have come to expect in ritual costume for contemporary liturgy were at the heart of the Art Needlework Department of St. Benedict’s Monastery for 101 years. For that I say: “Amen! Alleluia!”

Note: This year, the exhibit at the Haehn Museum will be open through Dec. 22. Regular hours are Tuesday-Friday noon to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and closed Sunday and Monday.

Rev. Michael Kwatera, O.S.B., serves as liturgy director for St. John’s Abbey.


Jun 23

“Power In My Hands”

By From the Heart | Arts & Entertainment

“Power In My Hands” is a brand new film that uncovers the beauty and power of the rosary. The Rosary Evangelization Apostolate, a non-profit organization, have answered the pleas of the Popes from St. John Paul II to Pope Benedict XVI to Pope Francis to call upon humanity to turn to Jesus through the rosary. Through various Mary apparition messages given at Fatima, Akita in Japan, Kibeho in Africa, and San Nicholas in Argentina (approved by the Church in 2016), Our Lady has encouraged the recitation of the rosary daily.

The production is 80-minutes in-length and intended to fill the viewer with hope. It also represents various ethnic cultures and is all about encountering Jesus Christ and Our Lady through the rosary.

The film, Power In My Hands, was launched at the World Premiere in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in April, 2018, and showings in area theaters are currently being shown. Additional showings will be available upon request for dioceses, parishes, schools, and organizations. After the premieres, DVD distribution will take place across the country and beyond.

The film portrays that America is in a spiritual crisis and the solution is Jesus Christ through Our Lady and her Rosary. The movie encourages one to “gaze on the Face of Jesus with Mary” to help bring about a spiritual transformation in the world.

Philip Rivers, quarterback for the NFL Los Angeles Chargers, Jeff Cavins, a Catholic convert and Biblical Scholar, Nancy Salerno, a wife and mother of four children in Wisconsin, Rebecca Roubion and Chris Czarka, young music recording artists and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers from Portland who gives a beautiful witness to being raised fatherless are well known individuals who share their testimony and individual stories in this very recent film.

This film will provide encouragement, hope with original music and a truthful message and also a much needed spiritual boost for families around the world! I am looking forward to seeing the movie and will promote it to be shown at St. Boniface Church in Cold Spring in the near future.

Guest blogger, Sheila Pulju, is pictured here with her husband Rich. They are members of St. Boniface Church in Cold Spring, Minnesota.