Sheen Center Celebrates Christmas With ‘A Season of Light’

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Christmas at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture is becoming a New York institution. This year, the tradition continues online with a “Sheen Center Christmas: A Season of Light” featuring inspired virtual programming, including Sheen talks, a Christmas music series titled “Twelve Days of Light,” with performances by celebrated musicians, and the anticipated encore presentation of “The Gospel of John,” conceived and performed by award-winning Broadway actor Ken Jennings.

While Sheen’s Loreto Theater in Lower Manhattan remains closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Spirit of the Season lives in a concert series titled “Twelve Days of Light,” featuring 12 international musical performances, which began Dec. 14.

The noontime concert series, in collaboration with ProMusicus, Gig Fest and The Mama Foundation for the Arts, includes performances by the United Kingdom’s Judy Bailey singing “Little Drummer Boy”; Ireland’s Two’s Harmony performing “The First Noel”; Christian musical artist Mike Mangione will perform “Lo, Ere a Rose is Blooming”; Argentinean-American mezzo soprano Solange Merdinian will sing verses of “Silent Night” in English, Spanish, German, French and Armenian; The Sheen Center’s Frank Shiner performs an unforgettable “Ave Maria”; Marie Miller will bring us “O Come All Ye Faithful”; New York’s own The Additive will do a rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High,” in English and in Spanish; world-class violinist Irina Muresanu from Romania will play “Joy to the World”; soprano Rachel Schutz will send hearts soaring with “O Holy Night”; Yahzi Guo, widely regarded as among the best Suona players in Asia, will perform; and finally, Vy Higginsen’s The Mama Foundation for the Arts delivers performances by the magnificent Sing Harlem choir on Christmas Day.

You can watch on The Sheen Center’s YouTube Channel @SheenCenter, Facebook @SheenCenter or sheencenter.org.

The Sheen Center also brings to the virtual stage encore performances of the critically acclaimed play, “The Gospel of John,” conceived and performed by award-winning Broadway actor Ken Jennings in a production that weds prayer and theater in a profoundly intimate retelling of the life of Christ. The masterful, one-man show is a breathtaking account of the life of Jesus, as beautiful in verse as it is profound in wisdom.

The 90-minute theatrical performance will be streaming at sheencenter.org from Monday, Dec. 21, through Sunday, Dec. 27.

On Wednesday, Dec. 22, at 3 p.m., Bishop William Byrne of Springfield, Mass., will join Kathryn Jean Lopez to discuss his new book, “Five Things with Fr. Bill: Hope, Humor, and Help for the Soul,” which offers practical encouragement for spiritual growth in these trying times. The talk can be found on YouTube@SheenTalks and Facebook@sheencenter.

The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture, a project of the Archdiocese of New York, presents a vibrant mix of theater, film, music, art and talk events. The Sheen Center serves all New Yorkers by presenting performances and artists that reflect the true, the good and the beautiful. Information: www.sheencenter.org

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