James Matthew Wilson, Ph.D. – February 18

In the Areopagus: The Catholic Artist in a Pagan Age

On Tuesday, February 18, Dr. James Matthew Wilson presents “In the Areopagus: The Catholic Artist in a Pagan Age.”

One of the most remarkable chapters of our history consists of Saint Paul’s preaching in the Areopagus of Athens. The Jew came to preach Christ to the great pagan philosophers of the Hellenic world. Saint Paul provides us even now an example of how the Catholic must address the age, not simply engaging those outside the Church, but drawing together all that is best of any and every civilization to speak with power to the deepest yearnings of the human intellect. Modern conceptions of art as “secular” or “autonomous” perceive, but misunderstand, this principle. James Matthew Wilson will consider the example Saint Paul has set for his own work as a poet.

James Matthew Wilson is the author of nine books, including, most recently, The River of the Immaculate Conception (Wiseblood, 2019). Recipient of the 2017 Hiett Prize from the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, he serves as poetry editor of Modern Age magazine, director of the Colosseum Institute, and editor of Colosseum Books. He is associate professor of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University.

The lecture takes place at the Catholic Center at New York University (238 Thompson St., just south of Washington Square Park).

Reception: 6:00 PM
Lecture: 7:00 PM

Admission for Sustaining Members: FREE
Suggested donation for non-members: $10
DONATE by clicking here.

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Sir James MacMillan – November 8

The Catholic Artists Society is proud to present “Music, Modernity, and the Sacred: a Catholic Composer in Conversation,” with pre-eminent Scottish composer and conductor, Sir James MacMillan. 

Please note the time and location for this event: 
Reception at 4 PM. Archbishop Hughes Center, 32 Prince St. at Mott.
Lecture at 5 PM. Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old CathedralMott St. at Prince.

Sir James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers and is also internationally active as a conductor. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music.

MacMillan first became internationally recognised after the extraordinary success of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie at the BBC Proms in 1990. His prolific output has since been performed and broadcast around the world. His major works include percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, which has received close to 500 performances, a cello concerto for Mstislav Rostropovich and four symphonies. Recent major works include his Percussion Concerto No.2 for Colin Currie, co-commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra, Edinburgh International Festival, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and, most recently, his Trombone Concerto, written for Jörgen van Rijen, which was premiered by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Iván Fischer.

MacMillan enjoys a flourishing career as conductor of his own music alongside a range of contemporary and standard repertoire, praised for the composer’s insight he brings to each score. He has conducted orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony, Danish Radio Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra among others. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie until 2013 and Composer/Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic from 2000-09.

Highlights of the 2018/19 season include conducting the Belgian premiere of his Trombone Concerto with Antwerp Symphony Orchestra in November 2018, with UK, Swiss and Scottish premieres of the work throughout the season. Elsewhere this season MacMillan conducts the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Irish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Singers and London Philharmonic Orchestra, where he also continues to mentor the Young Composers Scheme. This season also sees the world premiere of All the Hills and Vales Along at Cumnock Tryst festival in October and by London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Noseda in November. 

In October 2014 MacMillan founded his music festival, The Cumnock Tryst, which takes place annually in his native Ayrshire. MacMillan was awarded a CBE in 2004 and a Knighthood in 2015.

MacMillan has directed many of his own works on disc for Chandos, BIS and BMG, most recently a series on Challenge Records including MacMillan’s violin concerto A Deep but Dazzling Darkness and percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel with Colin Currie and the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie. His recent release on Harmonia Mundi conducting Britten Sinfonia included his Oboe Concerto and won the 2016 BBC Music Magazine Award; in 2017 The Sixteen’s recording of MacMillan’s Stabat Mater was nominated for a Gramophone Award and won the Diapason d’Or Choral Award.

The works of Sir James MacMillan are published by Boosey & Hawkes.

Admission for Sustaining Members: FREE

Admission for non-members is also free, but a donation to help support our work would be most appreciated. Please donate by clicking here

2019 – 2020 Lecture Series

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The Art of the Beautiful

Understanding how the Catholic Faith informs the arts

Friday, September 27

T. J. Berden

Filmmaker and producer (PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST; FULL OF GRACE)

Friday, November 8*

Sir James MacMillan

Composer and conductor

*Note location and time.

Reception at 4 PM. Archbishop Hughes Center, 32 Prince St. at Mott.

Lecture at 5 PM. Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old CathedralMott St. at Prince.

Tuesday, February 18

James Matthew Wilson, Ph.D.

Poet, Critic, Associate Professor of Religion and Literature at Villanova University

Tuesday, March 31

Rev. Timothy Valentine, Ph.D.

Diocese of Rockville Center

Tuesday, April 21

Bronwen McShea, Ph.D.

Author, Artist, Associate Research Scholar with Princeton University’s James Madison Program

Reception at 6 PM

Lecture at 7 PM

Catholic Center at New York University, 238 Thompson St.

* MacMillan event: reception at 4 PM, and lecture at 5 PM, at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.


Filmmaker & Producer T. J. Berden – Sept. 27

Can a Movie Change Your Life?


The Art of the Beautiful series returns with Los Angeles-based filmmaker and producer T.J. Berden (PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST; FULL OF GRACE). Reception at 6 PM. Lecture at 7 PM.

T.J. Berden worked in grassroots marketing campaigns on films such as THE STONING OF SORAYA M and TREE OF LIFE before embarking as co-writer and producer on a series of films that portray biblical themes and characters in a deeply artistic, refreshing, and engaging manner, a genre he has referred to as “sacred-arthouse.”

Berden’s work has achieved critical and box office success, and the attention of Sony Pictures, which released his last film, PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST.

He is currently producing a new limited television series and a documentary on Brazil’s revolutionary APAC prison system. He is releasing RESTORED: STORIES OF ENCOUNTER, a documentary series with ODB Films, and assistant producing Frank Wildhorn’s Broadway musical adaptation of the film classic, THE SONG OF BERNADETTE.

T.J. will speak about the work of a film producer, the process of filmmaking, reaching new audiences, and hope for the future of cinema. We’ll screen scenes from his latest work.

Reception: 6 PM
Lecture: 7 PM

Location: Catholic Center at NYU (238 Thompson St.)

Admission for Sustaining Members: FREE
Suggested donation for non-members: $20

DONATE by clicking here.

Mass for Artists – May 13

The eighth annual Mass for Artists will be celebrated Monday, May 13, 7:00 PM, at the beautiful Church of St. Vincent Ferrer (869 Lexington Avenue at 66th St.)

In response to the tragic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Mass will be a Votive Mass of Our Lady in thanksgiving for its preservation.

A collection will be taken up to help fund the restoration of this priceless work of art and the sacred objects it contains. All proceeds will be donated to the Friends of Notre Dame de Paris. If you cannot attend the Mass in person, but would like to join us in spirit, you may mail us a check, or you may donate via Paypal before May 13.

The celebrant will be Fr. Sebastian White, O.P., Editor-in-Chief of Magnificat. The homilist will be Fr. Darren Pierre, O.P., Prior of Saint Vincent Ferrer and Vicar Provincial.

The Schola Cantorum of Saint Vincent Ferrer, directed by James D. Wetzel, will provide the music, including Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame, the earliest complete polyphonic setting of the Mass Ordinary which was composed for the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Rheims.  Organ music will include compositions by Louis Vierne, organist of Notre Dame from 1900-1937.

Completed in 1918 by renowned American architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer is one of the best examples in America of French Gothic-style architecture.

Bring a friend. Pray for Notre Dame at Mass. And toast her future health at the reception afterwards!

Fr. Robert Imbelli – April 13

The Catholic Artist as Custodian of Real Presence

Our final lecture of the season! Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 PM, Fr. Robert P. Imbelli, Associate Professor Emeritus of Theology at Boston College and author of Rekindling the Christic Imagination, presents “The Catholic Artist as Custodian of Real Presence.” The lecture will be followed by a reception.

The event takes place at the Catholic Center at New York University (238 Thompson St., just south of Washington Square Park). At 9:15 PM, after the reception, join us for Compline in the chapel.

RSVP by clicking here. Reservations will be kept until 7:20 PM.

Admission for Sustaining Members: FREE
Suggested donation for non-members: $10

DONATE by clicking here.

In his address to artists in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI said: “the experience of beauty does not remove us from reality, on the contrary, it leads to a direct encounter with the daily reality of our lives, liberating it from darkness, transfiguring it, making it radiant and beautiful.” And speaking directly to the artists present in the Sistine Chapel he added: “You are the custodians of beauty … you yourselves are to be heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity!”

One way to speak of the “darkness” that afflicts many is that of the absence of final meaning and thus of ultimate hope. The artist illuminates the darkness by offering signals of transcendence, intimations of presence and purpose, that nourish and sustain.

For the Catholic artist these “hints and guesses” (T.S. Eliot) find their foundation in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist who calls believers to embrace a Eucharistic way of life.

The Catholic artist whose imagination is kindled by the real presence of Christ is called, like Gerard Manley Hopkins, to be an advocate and custodian of real and transfiguring presence in the world.

Fr. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, studied in Rome during the years of the Second Vatican Council and was ordained there in 1965. He received his S.T.L. from the Gregorian University (Rome) and obtained his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Yale University in 1972.

He has taught theology at the New York Archdiocesan Seminary and at the Maryknoll School of Theology; and has been visiting lecturer at Princeton Theological Seminary and Fordham University.

From 1986 to 2015 Father Imbelli taught Systematic Theology at Boston College, and is currently Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus. He was “Visiting Scholar” at Seton Hall University in Spring 2017 and at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, in Spring 2018.

His numerous articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as Theological Studies, Communio, Worship, First Things, Commonweal, and America.

Father Imbelli contributed the article on “Holy Spirit” to The New Dictionary of Theology, wrote the “Foreword” to Cardinal Avery Dulles, Church and Society (Fordham: 2008), and edited the volume, Handing on the Faith: the Church’s Mission and Challenge (2nd printing: Crossroad: 2017).

His book, Rekindling the Christic Imagination: Theological Meditations on the New Evangelization, was published by Liturgical Press in 2014 and won a first place award from the Catholic Publishers’ Association. His lecture series, “Christic Imagination: How Christ Transforms Us,” was issued in 2018 by “Now You Know Media.”


Evening of Recollection – April 1, 6:30 PM

The Catholic Artists Society invites you to a Lenten Evening of Recollection April 1, 6:30 PM, at the beautiful Chapel of the Sacred Heart, Regis High School. Fr. J. Patrick Hough, S.J., will offer a reflection entitled “The Jesuit Examen: Practical and Timely Help for Lent.”

The evening will include opportunity for confession, Eucharistic Adoration, and Benediction. A reception will follow. The suggested donation is $10.

Fr. Patrick Hough, S.J. is a Jesuit priest currently assigned at Regis High School in New York City. A native of the U.K., Fr. Hough has lived in England, Australia, Italy and, since 2002, in the United States. He has graduate degrees from Leeds University, the Gregorian University in Rome, Fordham University, and the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California. Fr. Hough has been a consummate traveler all of his life and has worked in various Jesuit High Schools around the world, teaching history, theology, and music. In 2011 he was asked by National Geographic to be the presenter of a major documentary that investigated the authenticity of the Crown of Thorns. He enjoys rowing and has coached extensively. Fr. Hough is a pianist, organist, and conductor, and has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Barbican in London.



Raymond Arroyo – March 9

The Power of Stories

On Saturday, March 9, at 7:30 PM, bestselling author, journalist, and television producer Raymond Arroyo presents a lecture entitled “The Power of Stories.” It will be followed by a book signing of his new book Will Wilder 3: The Amulet of Power. The event takes place at the Catholic Center at New York University (238 Thompson St., just south of Washington Square Park). After the reception, join us for  Compline in the chapel.

RSVP by clicking here. Reservations will be kept until 7:20 PM.

Admission for Sustaining Members: FREE
Suggested donation for non-members: $20

DONATE by clicking here.

Raymond Arroyo is an internationally known, award-winning journalist, producer, and New York Times Bestselling author. As founding News Director, Managing Editor and Lead Anchor for EWTN News, he is seen in more than 350 million homes on six continents each week and heard on more than 500 AM/FM affiliates and a stand alone Sirius channel throughout the US. Mr. Arroyo established EWTN News and The World Over Live in 1996, which he hosts from Washington DC each week.

Known for his penetrating interviews, Mr. Arroyo has interrogated the leading figures of the day. Highlights include: The first exclusive, sit down interview with Mel Gibson about his film, “The Passion of the Christ”; Mother Teresa of Calcutta; Placido Domingo; Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump, a groundbreaking interview with comic legend, Jerry Lewis, and the first and only English interview with Pope Benedict XVI.

Mr. Arroyo has anchored coverage of more live papal events than anyone in the industry– including the passing of Pope John Paul the Second, as well as the election and major international travels of Pope Benedict. During the Conclave of 2013, Arroyo served as a CNN Contributor and was part of the team that covered Pope Francis’ first appearance, live.

Before coming to EWTN, Mr. Arroyo worked for the Associated Press, The New York Observer and the political columnist team of Evans and Novak.

Mr. Arroyo is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied with some of the finest acting instructors in the world, among them: Stella Adler, Bobby Lewis, Uta Hagen, and Beatrice Straight. He has acted and directed in New York and London.

In addition to his work at EWTN, Mr. Arroyo has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Access Hollywood, The O’Reilly Factor, Erin Burnett Outfront, and the Laura Ingraham Show. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Newsweek, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, and elsewhere.

Mr. Arroyo is producer and host of the PBS musical special, “Christmastime in New Orleans” featuring Wendell Pierce, Jim Caviezel and the city’s great chefs. He is also producer of the bestselling, all star, audio bibles, “The Word of Promise” (Thomas Nelson) and “The Truth and Life Audio Bible” (Zondervan) as well as a Billboard Chart topping PBS Christmas special and CD “The Birth of Christ” hosted by Liam Neeson (Sony Classics). Five of his adult books, including his biography of Mother Angelica, were all New York Times Bestsellers. His Will Wilder series for young readers is a multi-book collection. “Will Wilder 3: The Amulet of Power” (Random House) published in February of 2019. In 2015, Mr. Arroyo founded Storyented.com, a literacy initiative to inspire reading by connecting the world’s great authors and their readers.

He resides in Northern Virginia with his wife Rebecca and their three children.