Via Pulchritudinis: The Beauty of the Arts, Specific Pastoral Proposals 4-7

Let’s look at the last four of seven Pastoral Proposals for section III-2 The Beauty of the Arts. Commentary follows each suggestion.

– Local publications in the guise of tourist guides, webpages, or specialized journals on patrimony, with the pedagogical aim of highlighting the soul, inspiration and message of works, scientific analysis is thereby put at the service of a deeper understanding of the work.

This would seem the province of the local diocese. Perhaps a listing of original works of art (not reproductions.!) in parishes and other institutions. I’d include listings of shrines– outdoor as well as interior, pipe organs of quality or note, and other important places of encounter. An annual calendar of significant events, as well as something monthly. An endeavor, perhaps, for a diocesan liturgy commission.

– Make pastoral agents, catechists, and religion teachers, seminarians and clergy aware of this issue through formation courses, seminars, thematic meetings, guided tours. Diocesan museums and Catholic Cultural Centers can play an important role, notably in proposing the reading of local and regional works of art and using them in catechesis.

Nearly every diocese trains catechists in some way. I’m aware of no component for art appreciation/history in these programs. I think musicians find challenging even the inclusion of voice lessons for prospective clergy. The formation of permanent deacons is another missed opportunity in places I’ve served.

– Formation of guides in the specificity of Christian-inspired art, creation of specialist groups to make the most of art and cultural Centers that share these same goals.

This reads unclear to me. Is the document referring to the formation of personnel or the compiling of pamphlets and booklets?

– Study and deeper awareness of the issues in schools and universities with Masters Degrees, seminars, laboratories, etc. Offering of bursaries to promote education in this area. Development at the regional and national levels of Institutes of Sacred Music, Liturgy, Archaeology, etc., and the constitution of specialized libraries in this domain.

I once attended a summer program that offered a “certificate” in liturgy. One of the required courses was a one-credit bit on church architecture. I took the course. It was fascinating. Not a first thought for training degreed church musicians, but a fruitful exploration for anyone.

The full document is here.

Image: the rose window at Notre Dame in Paris, By Zachi Evenor based on File:North rose window of Notre-Dame de Paris, Aug 2010.jpg by Julie Anne Workman – CC BY-SA 2.0,

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Art, evangelization, Via Pulchritudinis. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s