Spiritual evenings devoted to spreading the Catholic culture
“There’s a world going on underground” -Tom Waits
In the 1960s there was a surge in the music industry. Bands were forming faster than the big-time record companies could record them, and many of the smaller, less traditional bands were overlooked. This created a need for a new place where musicians could experiment with new styles and showcase the next generation of music. Thus the “underground music” scene was born and gave us bands like The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, and later The Clash, U2, and The Police.
Since the inception of the internet, the underground music scene is not nearly as hard to find; it’s coming back in a big way, thanks in part to Catholic Underground. Catholic Underground offers a place for young people to gather to share their faith with Catholic art, and create lasting friendships. Operating out of the Our Lady of Good Counsel church in New York City, they describe themselves as:
“… a direct response to a call that began with Pope John Paul II, and is continued by Popes Benedict XVI and Francis. JPII said that because the Gospel lives in conversation with culture, we must be fearless in crossing the cultural threshold of the communication and information revolution now taking place.”
Their nights begin with Eucharistic Adoration and Vespers by candlelight. The Holy Hour is ended with Benediction and there is some time when confessions are heard, before the highly anticipated showcase of Catholic artists.
Catholic art spans every genre of every art form. Catholic Underground recognizes this, and their showcases feature music, poetry, visual art, dancers, film, drama, and really any other platform one can think of. They’ve had some truly gifted artists perform for them, including: Scott Mulvahill, Marie Miller, Audrey Assad, The Mark Howell Singers, and Brother Isaiah, to name a few.
These evenings of art and prayer have drawn thousands of visitors to the beautiful old church over the last several years, and each gathering ends with smiles and new friendships. New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan has hailed their success and encourages everyone to go see for themselves:
“One of the most successful gatherings we have in the archdiocese happens on Saturday evenings in a midtown parish, and attracts a thousand or more young adults who come for prayer before the Eucharist, confession, song, and, especially, good company with those who share deep Catholic values in a culture and city that can indeed be at times antagonistic. The name of their gathering is revealing: Catholic Underground! That’s the new minority who give their bishop so much hope! May their tribe increase!”
Their next performance will take place on Saturday, February 3, 2018, at Our Lady of Good Counsel. After Holy Hour and Benediction, the audience will be treated to the musical stylings of Sarah Kroger. Holy hour begins at 7:30 and Kroger goes on around 9 p.m.
Here you can watch the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal putting on a performance at Catholic Underground.