Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Recent art restoration and altar construction

Today marks the completion of a three and a half month project that should be categorized as a miracle on many levels.

Since the middle of September 2006, myself, Paul Swingle, John Traynor and Keith Whippie have been working on uncovering a 114 yr. old mural in St. Bernard's Catholic Church, Keene, N.H. We uncovered it, touched it up, repainted a border, added a border of moldings under it, and constructed an altar where the tabernacle now sits. There is much to say about the project, just the reality of such a project in today's world is quite unusual, but that it should be happening in the parish I grew up in, and that I was able to be one of the agents of restoring beauty to its rightful place is more than I can fathom.

I have only to reflect on the history of the church to see how truly amazing this is. I need only to look around myself at the culture to realize that we are in a time of black and white, a time to make things clear.

The artwork uncovered is the crucifiction, full scale. It depicts Christ, the Father invisible and humanity. It clearly shows the son and his relationship to the father and how Jesus, in his suffering, directs our attention to him at Our Lord's final hour.

Now when one enters St. Bernard's, one is drawn into the space of the sacrifice where God is present in the sacrament, the Eucharist, the altar of sacrifice and thanksgiving.

I am grateful.