Another heartening example of parishioners and priest working together to commission sacred artThank you to Fr Riley Williams who recently contacted me to tell me of the commissioning of a triptych of the patron of his church in Attleboro, Massachusetts. This relief carving of St Vincent de Paul has just been installed. It is fine piece carved by Jonathan Pageau (who will very likely be known to NLM readers). Once again this is a great example of priest and congregation working together constructively to commission good quality sacred art. Fr Williams has written a detailed explanation of the contents on the parish newsletter which I encourage you to read, here. The work is the focal point of a shrine to St Vincent in the church itself.
When St Pope John Paul II called for a dialogue between artists and the Church in his Letter for Artists, in 1999, one could have interpreted that as a call for conferences in the Vatican attended by prominent clerics and world famous artists, from which policy statements and newspaper articles might ensue. Well, that may be so, but if those events have any value, it is to the degree that they inspire the sort of dialogue that really produce results: right down at the grassroots and comprising personal conversations between an artist, priest and people, all pulling together to a common goal.
When each works together to produce something worthwhile for themselves and future generations then I am heartened that we are starting to see the beginning of a cultural renewal.