Beauty & Hope Celebration

Sunday, June 13
3:00 pm in the Cathedral

This promises to be an extraordinary event for all!!!

We will celebrate the 40th Beauty & Hope concert and recognize the collaborative ministry of the St. Vincent DePaul Society and the Knights of Columbus.

We are pleased to welcome new art works (this photograph and musical composition) inspired by the Cathedral's Singing windows. Come meet the artists!!

You will also get a close up look at the windows with some fabulous photos we have been given.

Bring your family and friends.

John Derry - Armor of Light

Introducing John Derry, photographer and graphic artist. You have noticed the very distinctive photograph of the inside of the Cathedral (left). Did you know it takes its name Armor of Light from a quote of our patroness, Saint Cecilia – ‘Armor Lucis’ that is embossed on the rim of the ceiling of the Cathedral, in which Cecilia declares that it is the light of Christ which serves the world. First shown on FaceBook, this image attracted lots of attention, and so with a little research, Dr. Marie Rubis Bauer was able to meet its creator, John Derry.

Not only is John a photographer, but his early career led him through the development of digital tools in the .com world in the 1980s that assisted visual artists to connect with computer engineers, resulting in the foundational technology that has led to the creation of now-common programs.

An art graduate of UNO, his life led him to many places in the US and abroad and he has intersected with many companies as an inventor of graphics tools that turn the artistic motions of the hand into computer. Now, generations of graphic design students and professionals develop programs that many of us use. Armor of Light is one of his many artistic ventures that ‘uses the technology that he had a part in developing.’

Click the picture to read more about John Derry.

Charles Callahan - Saint Cecilia Organbook

Art can lead us to faith. Faith can lead us to art. I'm always captivated by the stories of Medieval gothic churches and cathedrals, and the intentional way in which these grand, transcendent buildings lead our thoughts to God, and at the same time, plant God within us. The function of the stories in the windows of stained glass have always had the pastoral goal of serving as a doorway to faith. Stories can be told with or without word - maybe in gestures and dancing, maybe in colors and shapes, maybe in melodies and harmonies. All of these lead us directly, and sometimes subtly to God. 

Circle to the first half of the 20th Century on a hill in Omaha, Nebraska, I am moved to tears of the story of the very workers of the cathedral - locals who hoisted beams, carried bricks, installed lighting and pews, found it within themselves to give their money - all together - to tell stories  of  faith through beauty and light in the windows of our own Saint Cecilia Cathedral. The sacrifice of parishioners in the past mean current and future generations can treasure the 'singing windows'  today. Surrounding us each week, whether we notice or not, are eight great chants of the Church, leading us in radiant light through the stories of Mary's 'yes' and response to God (Magnificat), through the angels' songs at Jesus' cradle (Gloria), on Mary's grieving at the foot of the Cross (Stabat Mater), to witnessing Christ's resurrection from the Tomb (Victimae Paschali). These and four more in the south windows are stories we need to know because they teach us about our own faith, hope, and love.  We thank the cathedral builders for their humble work and their gifts which together will serve generations within the walls of the Mother Church.

We will be celebrating signs of Beauty and Hope, including the premier of a new work by this lauded American composer. Organbook, draws upon the windows and their chants  and is rooted in a lifetime of liturgical musical immersion in worship as a church musician and a composer of inspiring song. Charles Callahan's music is simple, direct, and profound - while  composer of large-scale works even for symphony and chorus, his life's passion has been the creation of music on the melodies of faith, much of which is accessible to players and listeners. This is the context of the Saint Cecilia Organbook, and we look forward to introducing 12 miniature movements, in order to bring us all closer to the great stories, and melodies of faith found in our windows. 

Cathedral's St. Vincent de Paul Outreach Ministry

When you ring the doorbell at the Cathedral Administration Office in the mornings each week, it is a guarantee that you will be met with a friendly face and welcome. On the day of this visit, Kevin Vaughan answered the door, and he led me to the office where in facing desks, he and Tim Peffer, (president of the parish’s Saint Vincent de Paul Society conference), share friendship with each other and offer it to all who come to the door. Though jovial conversation and laughter abounds, they share a serious and fervent mission of hospitality and care for neighbors in need. They are the face of Christ, distributing the donations of food and financial assistance on behalf of the Cathedral. Tim and Kevin are joined in their efforts by Joe Zaborowski, Ron Rubin, Nancy Gonzales, and Joe Wilcox.

Tim and Kevin have been involved in this ministry for over five years and began at the invitation and mentorship of Fr. Gutgsell. One first and best words of advice they got from him was, “Look each person that you meet in the eye, as you very well may be looking into the eyes of Christ.”

“We are working in the context of real-life situations, and each person’s story is unique. Ours is a ministry of ‘communication’ and we are trying to talk and walk with them and understand what they are going through,” said Kevin. He continued, “The Church has always received and served people who come with great needs, and in what we do it is important to have a ‘personal touch.’ And our ministry assists our priests who can then be more available for their sacramental ministries.”

Hunger is not a one-time issue. Many who come to the door have situations where something traumatic has happened in their life to cause serious and lasting problems over a long time. Some are clearly in immediate need of food. Some have physical needs – rent, utilities, job issues, medical situations. While we do not have the resources to address everything, the beauty of a large network of SVDP conferences throughout the city means that we can work together. There are 31 conferences, and they have different and complementary resources. When something very large is needed, resources can be gathered from multiple sources. The Knights of Columbus play a very special part in the ministry of the Food Pantry, with home deliveries of food to families in need on the weekends.