Catholic Performing Arts showcases gifts with prayer, song and dance
Choirs from St Paul’s Primary School, La Salle College, and Mercy College took turns to lead in the praise and worship session, for the Catholic Performing Arts Festival on 17 September at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
By Amanda Murthy
Catholic Performing Arts Festival participants and educators gathered on Thursday 17 September at St Mary’s Cathedral for a joyful celebration of the Liturgy of the Word.
Given the unsuspected nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival’s usual programme was altered, resulting in several postponements and cancellation of several events, including the closing Festival Concert, and instead, a new innovative way with the use of the internet to record and submit performance entries.
The Liturgy of the Word was one of the few physical celebrations held for the festival, providing a face to face opportunity for students and educators to gather, give thanks to God and network.
Bunbury Bishop Gerard Holohan said the Mass is a place that all the faithful can experience Jesus and bring our hurts as well as things that cripple us – to God. He celebrated a Liturgy of the Word for the Catholic Performing Arts Festival on 17 September at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
Bunbury Bishop Gerard Holohan celebrated the liturgy, which was by concelebrated by the Archdiocese of Perth Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation Father Vincent Glynn.
Choirs from St Paul’s Primary School, La Salle College, and Mercy College took turns to lead in the praise and worship session, accompanied by a liturgical movement group. Students also had the opportunity to listen to reflect and participate in the prayers of the faithful.
Upon greeting those gathered, Catholic Arts Chair Darryl Winsor thanked the students and educators for their participation and encouraged the young ones to use this time “to praise and worship God for the many gifts that He has given them”.
“During this, we will hear His invitation and challenge to go out into our everyday world, with the message of Jesus in our hearts, through the words of the music, the motions of dance – and the prayers and readings,” Mr Winsor said.
“How will you make a difference in your schools or your family environment after you leave the Cathedral today?”
Catholic Arts Chair Darryl Winsor spoke at the Catholic Performing Arts Festival celebration of the Liturgy of the Word – Praise and Worship session on 17 September at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
Delivering words of encouragement, Bishop Holohan reflected on the first reading and the day’s Gospel.
“When we read the Gospels, we see how people came to Jesus for various needs – some needed healing, Jesus also healed people’s hearts,” Bishop Holohan explained.
“If I could look into your hearts, would I see any hurts in your hearts that need healing? Would I see any hurts in your hearts that you don’t bring to Jesus?”
“Jesus also healed the physically crippled, and those who were crippled in mind and body.”
The Mass is a place that all the faithful can experience Jesus and bring our hurts as well as things that cripple us to God, he added.
“Before we continue this celebration, which is ultimately a gift from God, let us pause for a moment and ask ourselves, if there is anything in ‘my’ heart that ‘I’ am not giving up to Jesus.
“Let us always bring these things to the Lord, because in time, we will experience healing and inner freedom,” Bishop Holohan concluded.
The Liturgical Movement team from Mercy College at the Catholic Performing Arts Festival celebration of the Liturgy of the Word – Praise and Worship session on 17 September at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
Catholic Education WA Executive Director Dr Debra Sayce expressed her gratitude to all present and reflected on this year’s theme: “A year of celebration and participation”, which she cited came “under the most unusual circumstance but truly fitting” given the global crisis situation.
“It is wonderful to join you in this beautiful cathedral, to celebrate and to give thanks for the arts in our schools, for the creativity and talents of our students,” Dr Sayce stated.
“The pandemic has put up barriers and derailed plans in so many aspects of life in 2020, however, we have seen families, schools, individuals and parishes rise to the challenge of adapting, in order to celebrate and participate.
“Catholics Arts each year is a prime example of a celebration and participation that spans across school communities and across diocese of our state,” she added.
“Today, we celebrate the resilience of students and school staff who have made sure that they could still participate – whether it be virtually such as the Angelico Exhibition, but also rehearsing and recording their pieces for the Performing Arts Festival.”