How do the
artist and the Jesuit priest meet? In your life, is your priestly ministry
linked to your artistic activity?
In the past, the priest was the artist and, in turn,
the one who brought healing to the sick. The separation of these roles is a
modern problem that is not conducive to the full, harmonious growth of who we
are. For me, the greatest artwork happens in the confessional, when people open
themselves to the grace of a God who can recreate their lives from scratch,
turning sin into abundant life. Being a priest allows me to be a witness to God’s
healing power, where he recreates and I acknowledge and bless his work.
My artwork is imbued with this foundational experience
of God the Creator. At the altar, God gives himself to us and feeds us with his
life; he creates and recreates us from within as living images of his son. We
have a very poor understanding of art; we think that art is a beautiful object
of decoration or religious propaganda. Authentic art always happens on the
community altar, in the home kitchen and in the community canteen.
I cannot understand myself without art, that is,
without beauty. I cannot believe in a God who is not beautiful and who does not
believe in everything that is beautiful. It is through beauty that we find the
traces that lead us to the Creator.
teach art at Seattle University. Teaching art is no small task. It is to
introduce students to the existential drama of humanity, so that new
generations of artists can study their own questions using tradition. And of
course, in this tradition, there is always this question that never leaves us,
the question of this transcendent and marvellous being that we call God. Every
self-respecting artist, whether atheist or believer, is always confronted with
an experience of transcendence.