Category Archives: The Arts

Misa Azteca

One of the several projects that I’m involved in is the incredible Misa Azteca!

Misa Azteca Logo

Misa Azteca is a staged, concert piece for orchestra, choir, soloists and pre-Columbian percussion ensemble. It is based on the “ordinary” and “proper” of the Roman Catholic High Mass and verses from the Cantares Mexicanos, a collection pre and post conquest verse of the Mexica (the Aztecs). Misa Azteca is sung in Latin, Spanish and Nahuatle.

It has already been performed at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, CECUT (Centro Cultural Tijuana), Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Apollo Theater (in Greece).

I first listened to parts of this concert piece three years ago and was so moved that I become obsessed with it and wanted to promote it so everyone could hear it! Now, I’m good friends with the composer and his wife and am honored to help them in sharing this beautiful piece of music that honors Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Mass.

Composer, Joseph Julian Gonzalez shares about the unity in Misa Azteca: “By blending Latin and Aztec texts, as well as the various rhythms, instrumentation, and tone unique to both, this concert piece resolves the tensions commonly associated with two seemingly irreconcilable cultures. The theme of complementarity that overrides the assumption that these two worlds must remain disparate, binds everyone in the mutual quest for unity and peace.”

Gonzalez explains the text: “As an example, I hand-picked verses from post-Columbian Aztec verse (once again, from the Cantares Mexicanos) that I believe have a similar theme relevant to the sections of the ordinary and proper of the Mass.  For example in the Gradual, the soprano implores in Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) “May I never die! May I never perish!  Let me go where one does not die.” This wail of grief is answered by the choir peacefully singing the prayer from the All Saints Day mass, “The souls of the just are in the hand of God…in the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, but they are in peace”.

This is a big week for Misa Azteca with 3-4 meetings within the next two days for international performances as well as working on a promo video.

Be sure to follow Misa Azteca on twitter for updates and information of upcoming performances. And check out the website to learn more about Misa Azteca!

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Feliz Navidad!

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us!

Prayer to the Most Loving Infant Jesus

O most loving and blessed Infant Jesus! Great God and Lord of Heaven and earth, Thou hath hidden Thy Divine Majesty under the lovable semblance of a child before Whom the powers of the heavens tremble, the mighty kings of the earth bow, and the evil spirits under the earth must bend. Though Thou art the Almighty God, for love of us Thou didst become a little Child, so that we might love Thee more ardently, serve Thee more faithfully, and humbly follow Thine example in childlike purity and love.

I, a poor sinner, bow down humbly before the great God concealed in this lovable Child and adore Thee. I love Thee as the highest and most loving God. I entrust myself to Thine infinite Goodness. Oh teach me after Thine example to love humility and crush pride, to desire to grow in virtue and childlike trust. Direct and rule me and make me virtuous, that I may please Thee and be little in this world and great in the next. Amen.

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A Live Nativity

This past Sunday I was honored to be Mary at a Live Nativity for “Instruments of Hope”.

The event began with a candlelight walk with the Three Kings through the St. Francis Sculpture Garden at Marywood to the manger scene where they came upon Mary, Joseph and the Infant Jesus surrounded by several live animals recreating that starry night in Bethlehem. After singing several Christmas Carols including Silent Night, Drummer Boy & Joy to The World the children had a chance to pet the animals and partake in donuts and warm beverages. It was truly a beautiful night and very honored & blessed to be a part of it!


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From Tragedy Springs Beauty

A good friend of my parents, Reyna Garcia, had a gallery at the Fiesta Mexicana this weekend in downtown Grand Rapids.  I met Reyna when I first came back to Michigan.  She had been deeply moved when she heard I had been shot.  Not only did Reyna pray for me, she also began working on a painting which she titled “Rose”.  When we met, the painting was a work-in-progress, and I was still very weak and could barely walk on my own.  I finally saw Reyna this weekend at the Fiesta.  It was wonderful to see her again and she was thrilled to see me more fully recovered.

For those in the West Michigan area, be sure to check out Reyna’s ArtPrize entry, located at Cathedral Square – 2nd Floor. You can see more of her artwork online here: Reyna Garcia’s Art

Reyna Garcia y Rosario Rodriguez - 'Rose'

Rose by Reyna Garcia

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“Point. Shoot. Oscar.”

Film Responsibly

 Presented by Angelus Student Film Festival

Enjoy these hilarious videos about Jon Cipiti who is the worlds most creatively confused filmmaker

Film Responsibly #1

Film Responsibly #2

Film Responsibly #3

Film Responsibly #4

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Fix You

I saw this dance last year on “So You Think You Can Dance”.  The powerful choreography and moving song ‘Fix You’ from Coldplay touched me the first day I saw it and it’s still remembered deep in my heart to this day. In this dance I see myself as Allison… sick & broken while Robert portrays my friends, family and all those praying for me as well as The Grace, Mercy & Love of Christ Jesus, the intercession of Our Blessed Mother & all the saints in heaven!

Thank you to all of you who are praying for me & carrying me… I wouldn’t be able to walk without you!

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Support Catholic Art at ArtPrize!

Artist Mic Carlson has created two life size, bronze statues for ArtPrize. The statues of Jesus and St. Francis of Assisi will be unveiled at the Opening Night Reception tonight at the Waters Building, Downtown Grand Rapids, MI from 6pm – 10pm.

Micasso Productions, Waters Building 161 Ottawa, NW (Downtown GR) Suite 100 (on main floor)

How you can support Catholic Art at ArtPrize: Please vote for Mic’s St. Francis & Jesus during the first week (Sept 22-29)  which is a crucial time for voting and help him make it to the top 10! Last year his Bronze statue of St. Francis of Assisi – brother of peace missed the top 10 by just a few votes. He was in the top 25 during the entire event.

There is buzz that Wood – TV8 may be at the Waters Building at 5:00pm for Mic’s opening night for ArtPrize. They stopped by to talk to Mic earlier today and are going around town capturing footage at events for the 6pm news. Come on down early if you want to be on tv!

Also, News/Talk Radio 1340 WJRWwill at the Waters Building interviewing Mic at 6:30pm

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ArtPrize Opening Night Reception for Mic Carlson’s Jesus & Francis

All are invited to join Mic Carlson for an Artprize opening night reception and the  unveiling of his life size sculpture’s of Jesus & St. Francis Assisi on Wednesday, September 22nd from 6 PM – 10 PM.  Food (by Tommy Fitzgerald) and beverage provided.

Micasso Productions
Waters Building
161 Ottawa, NW (downtown GR)
Suite 100 (main floor)

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Painting of St. Philomena Unveiled!

Painting of St. Philomena unveiled at St. John Vianney Parish

By Susan Evangelista

Artist Mic Carlson was commissioned to paint this lovely painting of Saint Philomena. Saint Philomena is a saint who has received extraordinary honor in the Church from popes, bishops, saints, and mystics. Pope Gregory XVI referred to her as the “wonder-worker” of the nineteenth century. Bl. Pope Pius IX declared her the “Patroness of the Children of Mary.” St. John Vianney attributed all of his miracles to her, stating, “I have never asked for anything through the intercession of my Little Saint without having been answered.”

In 1802, excavators working in the ancient Catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome discovered a tomb with three terra-cotta slabs reading PAXTE; CUMFI; LUMENA which means “Peace Be With You, Filumena.” The slabs were marked with a lily, arrows, an anchor and a palm, indicating virginity and martyrdom. Inside were the remains of a girl of about thirteen years of age, along with a vial of her dried blood which signified that this was indeed a Martyr who died for the love of Christ and Christianity.

The Relics were transferred to the Treasury of the Rare Collections of Christian Antiquity in the Vatican where they remained for three years. In 1805, a priest from Mugnano del Cardinale, Don Francesco De Lucia, traveling to Rome with his newly appointed Bishop, requested and eventually received the relics of this Martyr “Filumena” to enshrine in his village church in Mugnano del Cardinale, Av, Italy. To this day, miracles are numerous and brilliant.

Mic was given holy oil from St. Philomena’s Sanctuary in Mugnano, Italy and he mixed the holy oil with his oil paints used to paint her! Father Mike Alber cried as he unveiled Mic’s painting.

The wife of the man who commissioned Mic to paint this saint has been diagnosed with an incurable melanoma cancer on the inside of her body. After talking to his parish priest Fr. Mike Alber of St. John Vianney’s Church, the man decided to dedicate a painting to St. Philomena who has been known to heal tough causes. Since that day, his wife has amazingly been in somewhat of a remission…something that has not happened since she was diagnosed.

There was a private unveiling last evening, Wednesday, August 4th for the family that commissioned Mic…who wish to remain anonymous…followed by a mass and unveiling for the church. It was so touching.

There was a testimony by Rosario Rodriguez, a young lady who was shot a year ago in an armed robbery…the bullet just missed her heart by 1 cm..and after much time in surgery and many prayers to St. Philomena for intercession in her healing…she lives. She said St. Philomena, who is constantly by her side, helped intercede in saving and healing her.

Needless to say, it was an emotional, beautiful ceremony…St. John Vianney’s Church on Clyde Park in Grand Rapids, MI is the permanent home for Mic’s painting. I am so proud.

~Mass was beautiful and as for the painting of St. Philomena… she’s absolutely GORGEOUS!!!! Seriously stunning! It is truly her. Mic Carlson did an incredible job! ~Rosario Rodriguez

For more photo’s of the unveiling check out this photo gallery:

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