WATCH: How Catholic Art Catechized Generations

Watch “Catholic Art and the Eucharist,” the presentation Elizabeth Lev gave at the Benedictine College Symposium on Transforming Culture on March 25, 2023. The presentation above skips the introduction and goes straight into her slides sharing beautiful Eucharistic art.

Author and essayist Elizabeth Lev came to Kansas from Rome to share a message about how beauty can save the world, even when it comes to the crisis of Eucharistic belief.

“Artists led the Church out of a Eucharistic crisis before,” said the author  who teaches at the Angelicum in Rome.

And artists led us out of a worse Eucharistic crisis, too: The Protestant Reformation divided the Church along Eucharistic lines, along with other issues, she said. The Council of Trent led the Catechetics of the counter-reformation, but the new message found its biggest successes in the arts.

Church leaders such as St. Charles Borromeo and Pope Sixtus V brought a new spirit of imaginative catechesis to the project through architecture and art. “Art and the saints are the greatest apologetic for our faith,” Lev said, and illustrated the point with examples such as the papal chapel at St. Maria Maggiore and Caravaggio’s Entombment of Christ altarpiece painting.

Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, is helping lead a National Eucharistic Revival headed by alumnus Bishop Andrew Cozzens through its mission of: Community, by sponsoring the National Eucharistic Congress and serving as a stopping place on the national Eucharistic Procession; Faith, by perpetual Eucharistic adoration and prayer aids; and Scholarship teaching about the Real Presence with a national Symposium and providing important Eucharistic theological books to all students.

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.