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A Sheen Center Christmas | A Season of Light

December 1 - December 31

Christmas at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture is quickly 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 two signature Sheen talks, a Christmas music series titled TWELVE DAYS OF LIGHT with performances by celebrated musicians from around the world, and the much-anticipated encore presentation of THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, conceived and performed by award-winning Broadway actor Ken Jennings.

A SEASON OF LIGHT opens this Wednesday, December 9 at 3pm with the ANNUAL SHEEN LECTURE, commemorating the inestimable contribution of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen to media and culture. This year’s lecture will feature speaker Fr. Roger J. Landry, Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to theUnited Nations and author, leading a talk titled “Life is Still Worth Living: Archbishop Sheen and Hope at the End of an Annus Horribilus.” He will be joined by moderator Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor-at-large for The National Review and Senior Fellow and Director of the Center of Religious, Culture, and Civil Society at the National Review Institute. They will be reflecting on the shadows cast by 2020 in light of the Gospel message and Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s theology of hope. This season’s talks will be streamed live on YouTube.com @SheenTalks and Facebook @sheencenter

While Sheen’s Loreto Theater remains closed due to the global pandemic, the Spirit of the Season lives on in this year’s concert series titled the TWELVE DAYS OF LIGHT featuring twelve international musical performances beginning December 14 at 12 Noon. The 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 sopranoSolange 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 very 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 our hearts soaring with “O Holy Night”; Yazhi Guo, widely regarded to be among the best Suona players in Asia; finally, Vy Higginsen’s The Mama Foundation for the Arts delivers performances by the magnificent Sing Harlem choir on Christmas Day. These gifted artists will score the final weeks of 2020 with songs of joy, hope, and renewal as we look forward to a new year. Tune in to The Sheen Center’s YouTube Channel @SheenCenter, Facebook @SheenCenter, or sheencenter.org to watch.

This Christmas, The Sheen Center 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 an incomparable production that weds prayer and theater in a profoundly intimate retelling of the life of Christ. This masterful one-man performance of THE GOSPEL OF JOHN is a breathtaking account of the life of Jesus, taken from what is widely regarded to be the most poetic and theologically transcendent of the four Gospels, as beautiful in verse as it is profound in wisdom – an artistic antidote to these precarious times. 

The 90-minute theatrical performance will begin streaming December 21 on The Sheen Center website sheencenter.org and run through December 27.

On Wednesday, December 22 at 3PM, Bishop-elect William Byrne of Springfield, Massachusetts, will join Kathryn Jean Lopez to discuss his new book Five Things with Fr. Bill: Hope, Humor, and Help for the Soul. The book offers practical encouragement for spiritual growth in these trying times.

Members of the press interested in covering The Sheen Center or any of its upcoming events are asked to please kindly email mercedes.anderson@archny.org for interviews. For complete listings, please refer below.

Event Listings:

THE ANNUAL SHEEN CENTER LECTURE “Life is Still Worth Living: Archbishop Sheen and Hope at the End of an Annus Horribilus.”

Wednesday, December 9 at 3pm on YouTube @SheenTalks and Facebook @sheencenter

Speaker: Fr. Roger J. Landry, Permanent Observer Missionof the Holy See to theUnited Nations and author

Moderator: Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor-at-large for The National Review


TWELVE DAYS OF LIGHT Sheen Center international concert series in collaboration with ProMusicus, Gig Fest,and The Mama Foundation for the Arts 

December 14 through December 25 at 12 Noon on YouTube @SheenCenter, Facebook @SheenCenter, or sheencenter.org

Featuring Performances:

Monday 12/14 Sing Harlem from The Mama Foundation for the Arts

Tuesday 12/ 15 Judy Bailey “The Little Drummer Boy”

Wednesday 12/16 Irina Muresanu  “Joy to the World” by G. F. Haendel, arranged by Paul Fehrenbach

Thursday 12/17 The Additive Band “Angels We Have Heard on High”

Friday 12/18 Two’s Harmony “The First Noel”

Saturday, 12/19 Frank Shiner “Ave Maria”, by Franz Schubert

Sunday, 12/20 Solange Merdinian, mezzo soprano, featuring Federico Diaz on guitar “Silent Night”

Monday 12/21 Mike Magione, featuring Patrick Hoctor “Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming”

Tuesday 12/ 22 Yazhi Guo “Amazing Grace”

Wednesday 12/23 Marie Miller “O Come, All Ye Faithful”

Thursday, 12/24 Rachel Schutz, soprano, featuring Mary Holzhauer on piano “O Holy Night”

Friday, 12/25 Sing Harlem from The Mama Foundation for the Arts “Joy to the World”


THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, Conceived and Performed by Ken Jennings 

The critically-acclaimed 90-minute theatrical performance will begin streaming December 21 on The Sheen Center website sheencenter.org and run through December 27.


Wednesday, December 22 at 3PM on YouTube @SheenTalks and Facebook @sheencenter

Speaker: Bishop-elect William Byrne of Springfield, Massachusetts,

Moderator: Kathryn Jean Lopez        


THE SHEEN CENTER FOR THOUGHT & CULTURE (www.sheencenter.org) is a New York City arts center located in NoHo that presents a vibrant mix of theater, film, music, art and talk events. A project of the Archdiocese of New York, The Sheen Center serves all New Yorkers by presenting performances and artists that reflect the true, the good, and the beautiful.  Named for the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best remembered as an inspirational author, radio host and two-time Emmy Award-winning television personality, The Sheen Center reflects his modern-day approach to contemporary topics. The Sheen Center is a state-of-the-art theater complex that includes the 270-seat off-Broadway Loreto Theater, equipped with five-camera high-definition TV and live-stream capability and a multi-track recording studio; the 80-seat off-off-Broadway Black Box Theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery.

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