St. Bernadette Institute of Sacred Art

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Pope John Paul II stated: "Artists have indeed a very noble contribution to make in building the civilization of man and promoting the Kingdom of God on earth.

"God's Kingdom has many paths; it is the duty and privilege of the Church's artists to design the maps which will direct the Faithful to the Almighty.

For centuries the Roman Catholic Church financially supported artists who followed the calling, the vocation to paint the spiritual - the unseen. This vocation was considered one of the highest forms of "priesthood" and the chosen flourished - especially during the Renaissance.

Today there too few artists who would be so daring as to create strictly sacred art. Commercial galleries simply refuse to handle the art of spirituality, swearing that such art is not marketable.

Still, the United States is extremely blessed with a healthy number of artists who are braving the tides of secularism, hoping to produce an entirely new wave of sacred imageries for today's people and world.

The documents of Vatican Council II state: "Very rightly, the fine arts are considered to rank among the noblest expressions of human genius."
  If we are not careful to encourage our religious artists to maintain reverence in their work, we place contemporary, spiritual artists at risk. We cannot afford to allow our traditional art forms to become strictly decorative. A vocation to the profession of sacred artistry is a direct invitation, a summons: one hears the voice of God beckoning to serve.

The St. Bernadette Institute is important in today's Church because of the vocations it will foster. The Institute's obligation, then, is to offer these artists spontaneous contemplation, to allow their spirits to soar high above the level of everyday worries, temptations and aggravations - pointing them in the direction of the true values of their important calling.

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