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Category: Art & Architecture

Shakespeare’s Nativity Scene
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Shakespeare’s Nativity Scene

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The works of William Shakespeare abound with the truths of the Catholic faith. Especially in his later plays (often called the “romances”), Shakespeare focuses his poetic imagination on the mysteries of grace, redemption, and resurrection. The results are surprising, strange, and wonderful stories that can do far more than entertain us. When he needed to […]

Saints, Sung and Unsung: Unique Art Exhibit
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Saints, Sung and Unsung: Unique Art Exhibit

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What does a saint look like? We have our preconceptions:   Saints are serene, eyes cast downward, hands folded in prayer. Saints flash joyful smiles while reaching out to help the poor and needy. Saints stand bravely against the enemies of the Gospel, praying as the bullets or the machete or the poison claims their bodies, […]

The Religious Art of Daniel Mitsui
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The Religious Art of Daniel Mitsui

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Intricate details and deep meaning characterize Daniel Mitsui’s religious art, which he renders by hand using ink on paper or vellum. Mitsui draws biblical subjects and saints according to the conventions of traditional iconography. More than being just representations of scenes and persons, Mitsui’s works are visual theological treatises. For example, his Pentecost shows not only tongues […]

Church Architecture 101, Part 5: Architecture and Second-Hand Heresy
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Church Architecture 101, Part 5: Architecture and Second-Hand Heresy

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Since the last installment, a gentleman who read these articles made the following observation about architecture. He said there are two “courts.” One that is ‘modern’ and the other that is ‘historical.’ He justified having a preference by saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” He also made the point that there are […]

Scrapbooking in a Digital Age
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Scrapbooking in a Digital Age

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Scrapbooking is one of my passions.   It’s no surprise; when I was a young child my father (a history teacher) dubbed me the “family historian”.  I have always been fascinated with family relationships and their history.   When I discovered scrapbooking twelve years ago, I jumped at the chance to document my family history while exercising […]

Searching For Paul Revere
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Searching For Paul Revere

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Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five; Hardly a man is now alive Who remembers that famous day and year. Other than recalling a fragment of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s wonderful, if historically inaccurate poem, many Americans, myself included, do not know much […]

Church Architecture 101, Part Four- Renaissance Reality Check
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Church Architecture 101, Part Four- Renaissance Reality Check

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It is impossible to discuss Renaissance architecture without discussing Leon Battista Alberti. He is hailed as the quintessential Renaissance man, and I suppose he is.  He was very worldly.  The illegitimate son of Lorenzo Alberti, it seems that he had a serious inferiority complex and set out early to prove his worth.  One could say […]

Church Architecture 101, Part Three
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Church Architecture 101, Part Three

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This article focuses on the meaning and uses of the term “tradition.” The next article will speak of the serious error of nostalgia as a motivation for design. I believe it was C.S. Lewis who coined the term “verbicide”. The meaning and significance of the words “tradition” and “nostalgia” have both suffered from this. Here […]

Church Architecture 101, Part Two
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Church Architecture 101, Part Two

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The first step in renewing architecture in the Catholic Church is to make a commitment to the truth. As the Church teaches, Truth is a person, not a concept. We know the “Truth will set us free,” and so it is our desire to be free from any and all erroneous beliefs that enslave us. […]

Church Architecture 101, Part One
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Church Architecture 101, Part One

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There are strong feelings being expressed about church architecture today.  It is my hope in writing these articles that the reader will feel empowered to think for himself and not feel obligated to follow directions established by art and architectural historians who intentionally and sometimes unintentionally use their ‘special’ language and terminology to make the […]

Profile of Catholic Artist, Andrea Maglio-Macullar
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Profile of Catholic Artist, Andrea Maglio-Macullar

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Andrea Maglio-Macullar is a Catholic artist whose religious art has appeared in many venues, including publications by Loyola Press and Our Sunday Visitor. Her art is bright, colorful, and eye-catching. Many of her pieces have a stained-glass quality to them which makes them very appealing. Maglio-Macullar has been drawing since she was a young child. […]

Can the World Survive Without Italians?
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Can the World Survive Without Italians?

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Still pining over our combined pilgrimage-vacation to Rome last year, my wife and I decided to participate in the Year of Italian Culture 2013 at the National Gallery here in Washington, D.C. There we were able to gaze upon Michelangelo’s David-Apollo, which is on loan to the Gallery from the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, through March 3. […]

The Sistine Chapel: A Liturgical Classroom
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The Sistine Chapel: A Liturgical Classroom

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On October 31, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI observed the 500th anniversary of the Sistine Chapel by offering a prayer—celebrating Vespers beneath Michelangelo’s famed frescoes of biblical stories including, most famously, the Creation of Adam. The Holy Father called the chapel a “liturgical classroom,” explaining that “It is as if during the liturgical action, the entire […]

God's Nanomachines
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God’s Nanomachines

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When that first soft cloud of pale green appears on the trees in Spring, I always try hard to comprehend the unimaginably high number of leaves there are budding into the world’s most sophisticated little nano-scale energy machines.  It is truly a miracle of nature, and one that is so common all around us, it’s easy […]

Roman Fever
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Roman Fever

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A city like no other, maybe even more so this time of year. What do you call a city with a jail named Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven)? For the last 3,000 years, you call it Rome. Forty years had passed since I had last visited Rome, broke and hitchhiking through Europe the summer after […]

Drawing the Sacred Heart
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Drawing the Sacred Heart

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Despite what other people think, Tracy Christianson insists that she is not a painter.  It’s not that she refuses to acknowledge her God-given talent, but that her portraits are pencil drawings, not paintings. “People are usually surprised to find out that my portraits are drawn with [Prismacolor brand] colored pencils,” says the Seattle artist. “Most […]