The Gift of the Arts

In Their Own Words: Art Meets Life

Why are the arts such a comfort — and a challenge? Sister Joan Saalfeld and two other Holy Names Sisters talk share stories about the power of the arts to impact lives. We invite you to read the prayer below before viewing the video. Reflection questions follow the prayer. Download the prayer/questions.

4 minutes

Prayer: The Gift of the Arts

Sanctifying Holy Spirit, Thank you for the gifts of inspiration, art and creativity. We yearn for beauty so that our spirits are lifted, our hearts are full, and our souls are at peace. Art gently leads us to a sacred, quiet place of reflection and truth. It brings comfort to the broken. Art offers aesthetic nourishment to the hungry soul. It validates our authenticity and defines our existence. Art brings harmony, wholeness and unity. It lets us know that peace among all people is possible. Art gives us more hope, more empathy, more goodness. It allows us to be more fully human. Art never bridles the imagination nor mutes the voice.

It brings the human together with the Divine in perfect harmony.

For all this and more we bless the artist in every one of us. Please extend your hand in blessing:

May you find strength to release yourself to the Spirit, so you can freely develop your talent which comes from the God within you. May you gain confidence and strength to enter into a place of vulnerability. In your creativity may you find unity with the rhythms and patterns of life. May you feel fulfilled and whole.

In gratitude, Amen


  1. In the video we hear how the arts help us face life’s challenges: A student who read Anna Karenina didn’t repeat the same mistake. Creativity allows us to dance through another door. Music assisted a person in her last days.  How does art assist you as you maneuver through life?
  2. Sister Celine talks about the creativity of the Sisters: if one thing didn’t work they’d try another way. The arts help draw out creativity and develop in a person the ability to look at options, to dance around to another door. When do you offer your students the opportunity to develop the skill of creativity?
  3. What are the challenges when asking students to be creative? How can we alleviate those challenges?