The Arts at Saint Jean's
In a November 1903 motu proprio on sacred music, Pope Pius X wrote that "the church has always recognized and honored progress in the arts, admitting to the service of religion everything good and beautiful discovered by genius in the course of ages."
Almost a century later, Pope John Paul II, in his 1999 Letter to Artists, said: "In order to communicate the message entrusted to it by Christ, the church needs art. Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God. It must therefore translate into meaningful terms that which is in itself ineffable. Art has a unique capacity to take one or other facet of the message and translate it into colors, shapes, and sounds which nourish the intuition of those who look or listen. It does so without emptying the message itself of its transcendent value and its aura of mystery."
Whatever in the arts lifts the spirit, ennobles the heart, and raises the mind to God in joy and beauty is worthy of support. Saint Jean Baptiste has a rich and vibrant artistic life.
Our outstanding music ministry is under the direction of Kyler Brown, our Director of Music Ministries and Organist.
Productions of Dicapo Opera Theatre, one of New York City's finest independent opera companies, draw appreciative crowds to The Kathryn Martin Theater in the lower level of the church building.
The Chamber Orchestra of New York, a new professional ensemble founded in 2006 by composer-conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio, performs some of its concert season at Saint Jean Baptiste. Here is a sample.
A new series of concerts, Music Under the Dome, debuted in January 2011, as part of the church's outreach to the wider community.
Since the late 1970s, The Saint Jean's Players have offered live theater in the warmth and intimacy of the Saint Jean Baptiste Auditorium. This is done in conjunction with Saint Jean Baptiste High School.