SotF 2017 – Heralds of the New Evangelization II: Becoming a Prophetic Voice (Sarah de Nordwall)
The world needs prophetic voices that speak the truth without fear, and yet with artistry, delight and imagination. Do you have artistic talents that have yet to be shared with those around you, in a way that could light up their path? Do you have words that need to be heard, but you aren’t sure how to begin?
Many of us have artistic talents (discovered and undiscovered) that could become like a healing gift to the world—“And the leaves of the trees thereof shall be for the healing of the nations” Rev. 22:2—But we need to be equipped and supported to bring those works to fruition.
Jesus told stories. How did He become the kind of storyteller that brought the wisdom and embrace of the Father into peoples’ everyday lives? How does one become an artist full of grace? How does one become a prophetic voice?
In St John Paul II’s letter to artists 1999 he said:
“You are invited to use your creative intuition to enter into the heart of the mystery of the Incarnate God and at the same time into the mystery of humanity…This is your task. Humanity in every age and even today looks to works of art to shed light upon its path and its destiny. ..may your art help to affirm that true beauty, which as a glimmer of the spirit of God, will transfigure matter, opening the human soul to the sense of the eternal.”
This is a wonderful calling, but where is the training for such a task? In 2006 Sarah de Nordwall, who trained in Theatre in London and California, and was living as a performance poet, set up a Bard School in London, England to help those with artistic talents to try to do just that; to become catholic versions of the Bards of 8th Century Ancient Ireland who were called to “Speak truth to the King without fear, entertain all from the peasant to the king, and to have the virtues of all classes and the vices of none!”
To become a prophetic presence in a culture desperate for the taste of truth and the warmth of grace.
The artists who came were dancers, opera singers, website designers and animators, poets and journalists, aspiring novelists, icon writers and pianists. They were seminarians and laypeople, professionals and beginners, but what they had in common was a desire that their art, their personal artistic voices would speak to the heart of their society and help people to meet the challenges of the age in a way envisaged by St John Paul II.
This conference is your chance to be part of the Bard School and to see your artistic inklings fanned into a flame. A seminarian who came to the Bard School in 2006 with a piece of music he’d taken 8 years to write (but who still dreamed of turning it into a score for a ballet about the redemption of the Cosmos), took only the next 4 years to finish the score, create 9 dances with a Christian Choreographer and fund and develop a full dance work that has toured cathedrals in Europe. Oh yes and he also became a priest and his ministry among students today also includes dance retreats.
What will God do with your talent if you bring it before Him in the light of His call?
Sarah de Nordwall recently attended a Pontifical Council of the laity (Women’s section) in Rome, where she met Pope Francis and was able to present him with her first CD Lipstick is a Spiritual Experience. She has performed her poetry in the House of Lords and the House of Commons and appears regularly on BBC TV and Radio as a Catholic Voice defending the teaching of the Church on key hot button issues. She tries to reach all sections of the community with her poetry shows and workshops and has performed for and worked with the homeless, the elderly, young people out of education, civil servants, teachers in Sweden, Occupational therapists, vicars, addicts in rehab and people turning 40 and 100. She has taught Bard school in Transylvania to lawyers keen to speak at the UN and was also blessed to be able to attend an International Development conference in Pakistan which was examining Art in Social Change.
Her teaching style is full of anecdotes and poetry, but there is also time for reflection and creativity. Participants will engage in the 5 frontier conversations that characterise the Bard School’s learning sessions – Why do artists need theology and philosophy? What is the mystery of the artistic process? What is the nature of the artistic vocation and its calling to society? How does our personal maturity and healing in Christ affect our capacities as artists? The arts business – do I have to become a professional in the way the world understands it? What is my next step?
On each day of the conference a different glorious mystery will run like a golden thread through the day taking us from Resurrection to Coronation. This is a conference to expand the horizon of your heart so that you can expand the horizons of those who meet you and who will be blessed by your future artistic work.
LINKS for more information:
|Event Date||Sun. May. 07, 2017 @ 5:30 pm|
|Event End Date||Fri. May. 12, 2017 @ 5:00 pm|
|Online Registration Cut-Off||Fri. May. 05, 2017 @ 4:00 am|
|Speaker||Sarah de Nordwall|
|Location||St. Therese Institute|
|Group Size (# of people)||Rate/Person($)|