Peguy and the Cathedral of Chartes: A Love Story

An art presentation by Francis GREENE, art historian
With special guests: Tony HENDRA, writer and actor, reading Peguy, and THE CHOIR OF COMMUNION AND LIBERATION

Presented by Crossroads Cultural Center
In collaboration with The Department of Art History and Music and Radius FCLC

It is interesting to be in the company of Charles Peguy a few days before Christmas. Because it is impossible to approach the figure of Peguy without being immediately reminded in the most carnal, direct way of what Christmas is about: “this marvellous, unique, extraordinary, unbelievable, eternal temporal eternal, divine human divine story, that point of intersection, that unique, marvelous encounter of the temporal in the eternal, and reciprocally of the eternal in the temporal, of the divine in the human, and mutually of the human in the divine... Here is Christianity. Everything else, my friend...let's say that everything else is very good for the history of religions...” For Peguy truly Christianity was never an intellectual system or a moral code: it was a dramatic event, a new life breaking through into the fallen world. At Crossroads we have always looked at him as a witness and an example of how a Catholic should look at the world, and in particular at culture. Because this “involvement of the temporal in the eternal and of the eternal in the temporal” has taken place, it is possible to value and to save whatever is good in everything and in everybody. There is no need to be afraid. There is no need to be like those whom Peguy called the “clerics,” those who try to reverse this “involvement of the eternal in the temporal” by turning Christianity into a separate reality, uncontaminated by any contact with the sinful world. The Christian method , on the contrary is the one that Jesus used: “...Jesus came. He had to spend three years. He did his three years. But he did not waste his three years, he did not use them to whine and to denounce the evils of the age. Although the evils of the time were there, of his time.... He cut short. Oh, in a very simple way. By making Christianity. By inserting the Christian world in the middle of things. He did not indict, he did not accuse anybody. He saved. He did not indict the world. He saved the world.”

We will be accompanied in this event by Prof. Francis Greene, and our special guests Mr. Tony Hendra and the Choir of Communion and Liberation under the direction of Maestro Chris Vath.

Dr. Greene began teaching at St. Francis College in September, 1968 in the department of Fine Arts and Foreign Languages. Over the past 30 years he has taught courses in French language and literature, fine Arts, and International studies. Since 1980 he has served as Chair of the department which now includes a major in International Cultural Studies, which he has establish almost a decade ago. In Fall 1999, Dr. Greene was named outstanding professor in New York State by the Carnegie foundation. He is frequent speaker at academic conferences throughout the US and has published extensively in the areas of history, architecture, and French literature.

The choir of Communion and Liberation directed by Christopher Vath. The Choir is composed of high school and university students and adults. Their a cappella repertoire extends from Gregorian chant to the 20th century and spans countries and languages. Formed in 1994, the choir has performed both its Christmas Lessons and Carols and its Lenten choral meditation around the New York metropolitan area. They perform yearly at the Way of the Cross over the Brooklyn Bridge on Good Friday.

Christopher Vath was born in New Orleans. He attended North Texas State University, where he received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance with Joseph Banowetz. He has worked as composer, arranger, and pianist in the field of commercial music. Since 1996, he has been “Talking Music”, a lecture concert series, which attempts to lead the listener to the ultimate questions of humanity through great works of music. In 2005, in addition to his Weill Hall debut, he gave a private performance for Pope Benedict XVI at the papal summer residence.

Mr. Tony Hendra, born in England, was a member of the Cambridge University Footlights revue in 1962, alongside the likes of John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Tim Brooke-Taylor, and moved to America a few years later, where he became one of the founding editors of National Lampoon magazine in 1970. In the early 1980s Hendra helped create the British television puppet show Spitting Image. Hendra also edited Spy Magazine for a period in the 1990s. His most notable acting role was in This Is Spinal Tap, as the band's manager, Ian Faith. Hendra received acclaim for his 2004 memoir Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul.

About this Event

Date: Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Time: 7pm
Location: Pope Auditorium at Fordham University
60th St. & Columbus Avenue, New York

About the Speakers

Dr. Francis Greene
Dr. Greene began teaching at St. Francis College in September, 1968 in the department of Fine Arts and Foreign Languages...

Tony Hendra
Tony Hendra is a British-born actor and writer. Educated at St Albans School and Cambridge University, he appeared in the Cambridge University...


Download the Invitation here


Read the Transcript here


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