The Catholic Art Guild: An Introduction

I have been meaning since the founding of this site to mention the Catholic Art Guild which is based out the St. John Cantius parish in Chicago -- home of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, which will need no introduction to many of you.

The Catholic Art Guild describes its purpose as follows:
We are a lay apostolate seeking the 'restoration of the Sacred' in the visual arts. Our mission is to support artists in offering their gifts for the greater glory of God. We recognize that Beauty flowing from the Church’s Liturgy helps many to encounter the person of Jesus Christ.


The Catholic Church has always seen art as an integral part of its liturgical worship and recognized the power of Beauty to evangelize. The visual arts flow from the wellspring of the Sacred Liturgy, and both the Church and her artists flourish when this is understood and embraced.

Father C. Frank Phillips, C.R., pastor of St. John Cantius, recognizes the power of the liturgy to evangelize through the sacred arts.

“We have had many organizations that enliven our vibrant parish, particularly in sacred music, liturgy, catechesis, youth and young adult ministry. It was time to establish a program for the visual arts and the training of artists,” says Fr. Phillips.

Kathleen Carr, an award-winning, classically trained painter, illustrator, and designer approached Fr. Phillips with her inspiration:

“We want to bring together artists and the Church as partners to proclaim the Gospel to all who enter our doors and hear our message. I was inspired by the Catholic vision that all art flows from the altar. It seemed natural to form an artist guild with the support of a religious community that lives and breathes the liturgy.”
This is most certainly a worthy and important initiative.

As part of their mission, the Catholic Art Guild hosts conferences and workshops. Their 2017 conference was on "Beauty and the Restoration of the Sacred" and included a keynote address by Roger Scruton, a well known and well respected philosopher who speaks and writes regularly on the subject of the importance of beauty; other speakers included architect Duncan Stroik, LAJ's own Anthony Visco, and Denis McNamara.

Appropriately the conference started with Solemn Mass in the usus antiquior at St. John Cantius -- appropriate because the Solemn Mass has been and is one of the central masterpieces and sources of Western Civilization these past two millennia.

For those interested, videos have been made available on the Catholic Art Guild website of the papers delivered by each of the speakers, as well as those from previous engagements, including LAJ's own Daniel Mitsui.

Please do see the Catholic Art Guild's Facebook page.

Organizations such as these are important and it is also important to give support to them.

Join in the conversation on our Facebook page.