The Gonzaga University Choir, directed by Timothy Westerhaus, performed in the Monastery chapel on Sunday, September 9, 2012 to over 200 people.
Spirituality and the Arts program at St. Gertrude presents dynamic performances and retreats that engage artistic expression as devotion and the deepening of spirituality through creativity.
The program began on September 26, 2010 with a performance by “The Sharp Five Jazztet” featuring Father Gary Uhlenkott , S.J. and an exhibit of Sister Carolyn Miguel’s icons. In October, vocalist/flutist Katherine Ramos Baker presented a retreat on Hildegard of Bingen and performed a candlelight concert of her music.
“All I’ve ever painted is my God experience, my prayer experience,” says artist Dr. John Jerry-Anthony Parente, leader of the recent watercolor retreat. Parente guided 18 retreatants into a deeper understanding of art as an expression of self that is created by God. He challenged participants “to be ecstatic, to flow and blend with the vastness.”
Other presenters include Father Damian Higgins, who led participants in learning the theology and techniques that relate to writing icons. “Icons are sacramental,” he explained, “something material that conveys a spiritual reality…a window of hope.” At the end of the week, Father Damian performed a blessing of both the icons and the artists.
The Gonzaga University Choir gave their second performance in the Monastery chapel on Sunday, September 9. Led by director Timothy Westerhaus, over 50 voices filled the chapel with a mix of sacred and secular, historical and contemporary music.
Palouse Choral Society Chamber Choir performed at the Monastery, March 18, 2012. Comprised of gifted and dedicated singers, this ensemble performed sacred classical music. Singers hailed from Pullman, Moscow, Lewiston, Clarkston and the surrounding communities.
Mission Statement of Spirituality and the Arts at St. Gertrude
“In the spirit of St. Benedict who encouraged expression of artistic gifts in the monastic community, the Benedictine Sisters of Cottonwood, Idaho seek to integrate spirituality and the arts. Since we believe art is the domain of every human being, we endeavor with artists, through dialogue and hospitality, to contemplate, to express and to explore the unity and mystery of all creation.
Working with others, we hope to foster an artistic environment and be present to the many manifestations of beauty in our world and to nurture new artistic possibilities. By embracing the profound mystery of artistic experience, we aspire to the transformation of individuals and the world.”
"The Sacred Art of Traditional Iconography" with Father Damian Higgins
Father Damian blesses the artists.
Father Damian blesses the icons.