The Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.

In the News: University of St. Thomas Chapel Arts Series Opens Second Year

Jacob Benda, DMA, and Father Chris Collins recently spoke with Anna Wilgenbusch at The Catholic Spirit about the upcoming season of the Chapel Arts Series, an initiative that uses music, performed by world-renowned artists, as a mode of transcendence accessible to anyone. Benda is the director of music and Collins is the vice president for mission at the University of St. Thomas.

From the story: Jesuit Father Chris Collins, who currently directs the Office of Mission, said he hopes the series will be a place of “interreligious dialogue and encounter.”

“As a Catholic university, we look for those ways to have ecumenical and religious engagement, and for people of no faith at all, the arts can be a place where the Church encounters culture most powerfully, in those who are seeking more in their lives,” he said.

The Chapel Arts series hopes to harness the power of beauty to draw people to contemplate the divine in a way that transcends cultural and doctrinal differences, he said. “When we encounter beauty in any way, we are always having a pathway to encounter God himself,” he said.

According to Benda, last year’s series met this goal: The performances were attended by a wide diversity of cultures and religions from the university community and beyond.