On the eve of the debut of the musical inspired by the life of Franciscan University, one cannot help but acknowledge the state of the artistic culture at the University.
Franciscan prides itself on reaching people in every aspect of their lives, mind, body and spirit. Something that reaches every corner of an individual’s life is art: music, dance, theater.
Throughout history, the Catholic Church has had the most beautiful heritage of art, music and beauty. From the dawn of the Church, the reflection of the splendor of the faith has been transmitted through the physical realm of our understanding through art. As a Church that has fostered art and beauty from its infancy, we should continue to cultivate this beauty with which so many of our students have been blessed.
Just thinking back to the talent show during Homecoming Weekend in October, we have so many incredibly gifted people here on our campus. With all these talented students, I do believe it is the University’s prerogative to provide more outlets for their creative abilities.
The value of these gifts can be seen in this past Sunday’s readings about Jesus’ parable concerning the servants and the talents their master entrusted to them. The servants were each given a certain number of talents; those who multiplied and cared for theirs were blessed, and the one who hoarded, hid and neglected his was cursed.
This parable is speaking to all people, whether they believe they have gifts and talents or not. God has endowed each person with skills and gifts to help him or her attain the goal that God has set for his or her life. These can range from interpersonal skills to the ability to learn languages to being able to sing like an angel. While each of these is a very different gift, none of them are better than the others or more insignificant than another.
One of the ways a Catholic institution helps to fully form a student is to help that person cultivate the skills God has given him or her to bring Him glory through every aspect of life.
As a University that nurtures the gifts and talents of its students, we have a need of more outlets for the artistically talented on campus: musical theater, dance, concerts, shows, and so on.
This should not just be a student club activity either. It should be something the University itself invests in as a way to foster a full growth of an individual’s being.
I think it would benefit the entire body of Franciscan University to have more outlets for the creative expression of its students. Not only is this a way for people to use their talents, but it is a way to praise and glorify God.