How To Build Up Catholic Arts and Culture in Your Community

Building Community Locally

Initiated by God’s call, this work begins in community engagement, following the “bottom up” approach. The community, while collaborating with local parish(es), should be able to manage these efforts organically without burdening parish resources. Opportunities should be created for all people to encounter first hand the beauty of God through social, educational and liturgical events, and engagement with the arts. This begins by recognizing what gifts, interests, and needs are already present:

  • Look for beauty in the churches, buildings, art schools, and museums around you that could be opportunities for tours or lectures.
  • Utilize the talents of your community, starting by asking what interests and abilities exist locally. If you have an interest in film or poetry, consider starting monthly discussion groups.
  • We should also respond to the specific needs of the local community such as hosting chant seminars for choirs or sewing groups that repair church linens.

These events are not detached programming but should continuously be integrated into parish and community life. Themes should relate to the liturgy calendar, homilies, family life, and classes locally. Cultural Opportunities》

Forming Sacred Artists

There is a great need and opportunity (increased understanding) for our artistic tradition to grow and flourish. Artist Formation》

There are many ways that local groups can advancing opportunities for artists through workshops, lectures, and professional networks connecting artists to mentors, patrons, and other artists.

  • Sacred Artists should be formed with the theological and compositional understanding, technical skills, professional and educational networks, and business insight needed to craft sacred art and build a career.
  • Attention should also be given to encouraging all people to explore making art through diverse opportunities such as church or outdoor drawing sessions and workshops accessible to all levels of experience.

Growing a Catholic Culture of Beauty

Finally, the local church should grow a Culture of Beauty that supports our prayer life and creates a pathway for dialogue and evangelization. This beauty radiates through the homes, churches and other spaces we build and even more so in the way we live within them. Commissions》

  • All Catholics can be patrons for new artistic commissions that contribute to the larger Sacred Art world. At the local level we should build a culture of beauty to live and pray within. We can counter the throwaway culture by purchasing quality, handmade items. Working with others around us we strive to beautify our parishes, homes, schools, ministries, and communities throughout the local region. Organizations can also build opportunities for new artistic commissions by working with patrons big and small by helping each of us see how we can work together to give.
  • Starting in the home and parish, the arts grow with the community, and an appreciation of these works of art is integrated into the liturgical life, such as in designing a prayer altar at home. attention to the goodness of Sacred Art This extends into the parish and greater community, beginning first with family life in the home. How we order our work and play, integrated with their respective spaces should beautifully show forth God’s goodness and truth.