It isn’t every day that Catholicism and pop culture meet at the same crossroads. That is what happened last Monday evening when Catholic art and fashion met some of the most influential designers and trendsetters at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Spring Gala. This museum fundraiser is considered the “Super Bowl” of fashion and is held to mark the opening of the year’s new exhibit in the museum’s Costume Institute.
Attendees at the ball were encouraged to wear outfits that reflect the intersection of fashion and the theme of the museum exhibit which this year was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” It was meant to highlight this year’s special exhibit at the institute which is a collection of vestments and art objects from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel Sacristy. The exhibit was arranged with cooperation of the Office of the Liturgical Celebration of the Supreme Pontiff.
Mixing Catholic artifacts with pop culture which so often is at odds with Catholic values was met with fear and trepidation by many Catholic observers because it was seen as an opportunity for secular individuals to take a cheap shot at the Church. To their credit Met curators consulted with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Jesuit priest Rev. James Martin, the editor of America Magazine. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican official who coordinated the loan of the Vatican objects was quoted, “It is our hope that the exhibition will promote an understanding of the symbiotic and sometimes mutually inspiring relationship between fashion and religion. Fashion’s engagement with Catholicism belongs to a lineage rooted in artistic tradition and continues the ever-evolving relationship between art and religion. It is a rare and exciting opportunity that we hope will engage a diverse and vast audience- Catholic and non-Catholic.”
The Catholic Church’s patronage of the arts has a long history going back to it’s earliest days but most significantly during the Middle Ages when the great cathedrals were built and during the Renaissance. That patronage has sometimes been criticized as being too opulent. In 2015, Pope Francis, known for being one who tends to like to keep things simple, was asked if he felt the Vatican should sell off its art works to meet the needs of the poor. He answered, “This is an easy question. They are not the treasures of the Church, [but] the treasures of humanity.”
One Catholic commentator remarking on the Met’s show said, “When it comes to Catholic understanding of fashion, you’re expressing through beauty the greatest act of creation, which is the creation of the human person…Everything expressed or rendered artistically is an attempt to render heaven.”
It’s good to remember that whenever we offer something to God whether it is a building, a chalice, vestment or our prayers they should always be our best. It should always reflect our desire to make whatever we offer to God something of lasting beauty and that reflect our love of God.
Catholic Charities Appeal Progresses
The 77th Annual Catholic Charities Appeal is currently being conducted through June 27. The Appeal is the only time each year our Church asks us all to support the remarkable charitable agencies and apostolates supported by the Appeal. These agencies and apostolates are amazingly diverse. They provide housing for vulnerable populations, care and support for the disabled and ill, and healthy programs such as scouting and youth ministry.
Thank you to parishioners of Holy Redeemer Parish who last year generously contributed $54,005 dollars to the CCA. This year we have set a parish goal to increase our donations by 5%. That is a parish goal of $56,705. Thank you to the —- generous parishioners who have already contributed $—— to this year’s appeal. We would also like to increase the number of parish household contributing to the 2018 Appeal to 100%. If you have never contributed to the Appeal please prayerfully consider doing so this year.
If you did not receive a Catholic Charities Appeal mailing from the parish there are extra packets that include a donation card and brochure in the pews. Please help yourself to one and return it to the parish office.
A gift of $50 is $1 a week, less than the price of a cup of coffee. A gift of $100 or $10 a month, is maybe the price of breakfast. A $300 donation is less than $1 a day, not the price of one lost golf ball. Prayerfully, consider your gift to the needy in the name of Jesus. You can charge your donation to a credit card. MasterCard, Visa, AMEX and Discover cards are all accepted by the Appeal. Some employers offer matching gifts for their employee or retirees charitable gifts. Maybe you can double your gift.
Let’s make the 2018 Catholic Charities Appeal the most successful ever!
Welcome Back Seasonal Parishioners!
We welcome back seasonal parishioners who have been spending the winter in warmer climates. A reminder that in September 2017 the parish did away with weekly Second Collections. Now a second collection is only taken up if it is for one of the annual special appeals. Taking up a second collection for parish needs every week felt too much like trying to squeeze a contribution out of parishioners.
Our contribution to our parish shouldn’t be the smallest bill we have in our wallet nor the loose change we have in our pockets. Our contribution to the budget collection should reflect the overwhelming goodness of God to us.
In the fall we began mailing our budget envelopes to parishioners on a bimonthly basis. Soon we will be instituting the opportunity for electronic giving. You will be able to have your donation to Holy Redeemer Parish made directly from your checking account or charge card. JUST SET IT AND FORGET IT! Together we can put Holy Redeemer on a sound financial footing.
Like Us on FACEBOOK
I know FACEBOOK has been controversial in recent months but face facts it is an important way to communicate in our world today. The parish has established a FACEBOOK page to communicate parish news. So, “like us on Facebook” today.
Praying the Novena to the Holy Spirit for Our Parish
Since Friday and continuing until next Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, every parishioner is being asked to faithfully pray the Novena to the Holy Spirit for the intension of all parishioners asking God to open our hearts to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We are praying with special fervor as we begin to study and plan for the development of a Parish Vision Statement. Gather all your family together young and old and pray together. The Novena will be prayed publicly every morning just before Morning Mass. This weekend we will ask everyone to pray the Novena after Mass. Copies of the Novena were distributed but if you didn’t get a copy of the Novena we have copies available at the back of the church.
Mark Your Calendars for the Parish Listening Session
Make plans today to attend our parish listening session on Thursday evening May 31, from 6:30-8:30pm in the church. This listening session is the first step in developing a strategic plan for our parish. The session will follow a format similar to the recent diocesan listening session conducted by Bishop DaCunha at St. Joan of Arc Church on April 18. Marilyn Blanchette who facilitated that session will be here at Holy Redeemer to help carry out the same role for us. We’re looking forward to the participation of all parishioners.