Local Indianapolis Artist Impacts Lives in More Ways than One

New Processional Cross Blessing will take place Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018 at Saint Louis de Montfort Church in Fishers, Indiana.

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Sacred artists communicate Christ’s message which is why artists are so important in the Catholic Church. While the names Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Donatello, Botticell, Berini or Rembrandt may
strike a chord, their art tells a much more prominent story.

Likewise, local Indianapolis artist, Ryan Feeney tells a story without using any words. Through the generosity of a parishioner, Feeney was
commissioned to design a bronze sculpture of Christ that will be used on a new processional cross at Saint Louis de Montfort Church (Fishers, Indiana).

Feeney’s task was to tell the story of pain and suffering that Jesus endured. We all know suffering be it physical, mental or emotional. No one likes it and we often wonder why it is that way. Scripture tell us “For Christ died for sins once and for all, a good man on behalf of sinners, in order to lead you to God. He was put to death physically, but made alive spiritually” (1 Peter 3:18).

Feeney, a full time firefighter for the Indianapolis Fire Department works daily in life threating situations. You may have heard his name being tossed around like a football as the Colt’s unveiled Feeney’s most notable half-ton bronze sculpture of Peyton Manning in October 2017. By sharing his God given talents, Feeney’s work continues to impact countless others for generations to come. Feeney said, “getting the job for the Colt’s was a bit of a Hail Mary”.

Feeney is a native of Indiana and has a growing list of accomplishments that include the Peace Dove sculpture at the Indianapolis Library; the Fallen Deputy memorial at the entrance of the Marion County Jail; the life size corpus of Jesus above the altar at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Indianapolis; a fireman at the Indianapolis Professional Firefighters Union represents duty, honor and sacrifice; and a bronze eagle is at the Indianapolis 9/11 Memorial.

In searching for a bronze sculptor, Saint Louis de Montfort started at Sincerus Bronze Art Center, a full-service foundry in Indianapolis where Feeney was finalizing the life size Peyton Manning bronze sculpture. Walking through the foundry step by step and seeing concept drawings turn into modern day clay molds is awe inspiring.

Saint Louis de Montfort Church is not new to the idea of commissioning artists in Indiana. Back in 2010, the church completed a renovation and expansion of the sacred space that included a new altar, presiders chair, ambo (pulpit), ambry (holder for sacred vessels) and the blown glass for sacred Chrism oils. It was an important aspect to find local artists to enhance the liturgical space because the Catholic Church prefers the integrity and energy of a piece of art produced individually by the labor of an artist above objects that are mass produced (BLS 147).

The bronze corpus bears the weight of mystery, awe, reverence and wonder. Parishioner, Adam Smith was an integral part of the process that began in 2015. Smith and Feeney talked about anatomy class and why every part of the body of Jesus is stretched the way it is. The triceps, ligaments and torso tell the story of suffering. The bronze corpus (Latin for body) compliments the fabricated cross that was created by Adam Smith. Smith incorporated a replica of the church stained-glass windows in the background of the cross which is meant to draw the People of God into a deeper awareness of their lives and into their role and responsibility in the wider world.

The central image of Christianity is a crucifix, calling to mind the passion, resurrection and Christ’s final coming in glory. Every work of Christian art shares in the image of suffering, death and resurrection, recognition that by his wounds we are healed (BLS 144). So, the next time you wear a cross around your neck or kneel before the cross, remember that it isn’t just a cross that tells the story, the crucifix is the most prominent symbol of Christianity.

(BLS) Built on Living Stones. Art, Architecture and Worship. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 

 

 

 

Kerin Buntin 12/1/17

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Holy ground at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

There is no such thing as coincidence, rather it can be defined as God’s providence.

My beautiful niece and God-daughter, Emma Grace Donovan was born on the feast day of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, January 4, 2001. That was thirty-five years to the day, after I was born.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!

Yesterday Emma was Confirmed by Bishop Adam Parker. I was truly blessed to help Emma discern a Confirmation name and to stand by her side as Sponsor. During the Mass, I tried to hold back tears but failed miserably when the canticle of the Saints was sung.

In his homily, Bishop Parker summarized my exact thoughts when he said there is no such thing as coincidence. Bishop Parker was called to be a Bishop by Pope Francis exactly thirty years to the day after he was Confirmed. He is also the youngest Bishop in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

I was truly blessed to go with my sister and her family to visit the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton located one hour from their home. While there, we watched a short movie on the incredible life of Seton and we walked in the footsteps of the home where Seton once lived. We learned it is the 200tg Anniversary of the Narional Shrine! We attended Mass and kneeled at the tomb of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in a defining moment of grace. We also received a Plenary Indulgence.

It was a day that I have been looking forward to for a very long time but the day was so extraordinary and reached far beyond my expectations. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit might help me to guide others to see the face of Christ more clearly through the Saints, the Sacraments and SoulCore.

You are invited! Visit our website at http://www.PeaceLovePilgrimage.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

 

IMG_2189.JPGA wonderful prayer in Saint Elizabeth’s name is:
Lord God, you blessed Elizabeth Seton with gifts of grace as wife and mother, educator and foundress, so that she might spend her life in service to your people. Through her example and prayers may we learn to express our love for you in love for our fellow men and women. We ask this through Christ our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.45BCC472-908E-4FCB-8A7B-D65C76ABCC48

Today is the 100 Year Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady said that the rosary can stop wars, and can bring world peace. We have to do what she said, and live good lives. There’s no other plan from heaven that’s so specific, for what we’re going through now. She [the Blessed Mother] spelled it out. Prayer, penance, the First Saturdays’ devotion—and live a good, holy life. That’s the answer.

–from the book Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions

Peace Love Pilgrimage will depart from Indianapolis for Fatima, Portugal in about one month. We are truly blessed to be led under the spiritual direction of Father Travis Stephens from the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.

Fr. Travis is a convert to the Catholic faith, and has (4) college degrees. This year he is celebrating 5 years in the Vocation of the Priesthood. Although he is an avid traveler, most recently visiting his brother in Korea this will be his first organized pilgrimage. A little unknown fact about Fr. Travis is that he is an iconographer and of course God wanted C301A4D9-9DE7-4569-BDB0-A4B126E37FC0his first icon to be of Mary.

We have 13 pilgrims going to Fatima, each one just like Fr. Travis was called by name and chosen by God.

Listen to the Catholic Radio Indianapolis link below to hear Fr Travis speak about the upcoming pilgrimage to honor the 100 Year Anniversary of the Apparitions.

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Please pray for us that we will be made Holy in the image and likeness of God and that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Coming soon to the Saint Shop is a sterling silver absolutely gorgeous pendant of Our beautiful blessed Mother, Mary with her child Jesus by Father Travis Stephens.

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There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Holy Thursday Altar of Repose Pilgrimage 2017

On Holy Thursday, after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at Saint John the Evangelist in Indianapolis, Indiana many pilgrims set out on a pilgrimage. Pastor, Fr. Rick Nagel led the 7th annual ancient practice of visiting seven churches. Each of the churches has an Altar of Repose of the Blessed Sacrament varying from simple to elaborate. Personally, I have a deep appreciation for the liturgy and sacred decorum of this holy night having led the preparations at my parish for many years.

While most of the world went to sleep as usual, many Catholic pilgrims ventured out by foot, car or bus to keep Jesus company on the eve of his Crucifixion. The Blessed Sacrament is usually taken on a procession through the Church after Mass and reposed in the tabernacle until midnight or until the Good Friday Communion service.

Our group was not small. We tried to enter each Church as reverently as any large group of pilgrims can, in order to pray. Ater a few minutes of kneeling, Fr. Rick began to sing in order to facilitate a smooth departure. Pilgrims joined in: “Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray.”

We visited the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul and the churches of Saint Mary, Saint Michael, Saint Patrick, Holy Rosary and Sacred Heart before returning to Saint John the Evangelist to pray. In between each stop, we prayed a decade of the rosary focusing on the virtues.

I was moved by the entire evening from start to finish. Being in the presence of Our Lord and kneeling seven times is profound. There is no denying it. It is a time for intense devotion for the Most Holy Sacrament, prayer and adoration as we enter into the Triduum.

One of the most moving moments was upon entering Saint Patrick’s Church. It is an enormous very old gothic church and seemingly run down. History has it that it was supposed to be torn down due to lack of funds and attendance but was saved when a Spanish congregation moved in. The Altar of Repose was adorned in beautifully depicted Spanish woven tapestries with Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego situated close by. A parishioner was singing lovely hymns in Spanish and instrumentalists accompanied her heartfelt lyrics. I could not understand a word she was singing but I felt the incredible presence of Our Lord in her tears. What was completly clear was the universal church of prayer at seemingly one place and at one moment in time.

The history of this ancient tradition dates back to the earliest days of Christianity. The annual Lenten pilgrimage to dozens of Rome’s most striking churches is a sacred tradition that still stands today. Each time I participate year in and year out, I understand more and more and feel called to share this beautiful tradition with others. Visiting the Altar of Repose originally stems from pilgrims visiting seven churches as a form of penance including Saint Peter’s Basilica, St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran, St. Laurence Outside the Walls, Holy Cross in Jerusalem and the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love.

There was one scripture that resonated within me last night. It kept coming back to me over and over again each time I kneeled down. Matthew 18:20-22. “For wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them.” Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Amen.

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When Our Lady of Fatima Spoke to Me

When Our Lady of Fatima Spoke to Me

Photo: Sacred Art by Religious Sculptor, Frederick Charles Shrady (obit: NY Times Jan. 22, 1990) of New York.

 

 

Pope Francis declared 2017 the Year of Fatima to coincide with the 100 Year Anniversary of the Apparitions. The Apparitions are when Our Lady appeared to 3 young children 100 years ago in Fatima, Portugal. The Fatima secrets are fascinating and there are many great books written about Fatima including one by Fr. Andrew Apostoli with a foreward by Raymond Cardinal Burke, that I am currently reading.

There is sequential history behind my personal faith journey that is relevant. My maternal grandmother, Ouida Noelle Bundschuh was baptized as an adult (after raising her seven children Catholic) she went through Sacramental preparation with Father Fulton Sheen at her home in order to receive the Sacraments at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. My grandmother carried gold filled rosary beads that day, that later were made into bracelets by her daughters, the crucifix was given to me!

In 1966, I was born Kerin Noelle on the feast day of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.

After years of prayer and reflection, God called me to create a timeline to form some semblance of order in my life.

In 1975, after my grandmothers came into the Catholic faith, my grandfather bequeathed the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton modern day bronze triptych sculpture altar with candles designed by Frederick Shrady (1907-1990) to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, in New York. The altar was the brainchild of Father Fulton Sheen and dedicated to the first American Saint in the United States, consecrated by Terrance Cardinal Cooke.

In 1982, Pope John Paul II commissioned the very same artist from New York, Frederick Shrady, who is the first American artist ever to be commissioned by a Pope to design religious inspired sacred art for the Vatican Gardens. Shrady designed Our Lady of Fatima in the Vatican Gardens for JPII.

In 1984, I received the Sacrament of Confirmation. It was through the power of the Holy Spirit that I choose my grandmothers name, Ouida, as the perfect role model and companion in my life. I was then that I was gifted my grandmothers gold rosary crucifix that she carried on her Baptism day, blessed by Father Fulton Sheen. I wear the crucifix today as a sign of my Catholic faith.

[Side note. From 2007-2012, God called me to an instrumental leadership role at St Louis de Montfort Parish in Fishers, Indinana. I had the great pleasure to oversee various Sacred Art projects initally the 1.8 Million dollar renovation and enhancement of the church. The project is summarized in Evangelization through Sacred Art and the Altar Dedication by Bishop Timothy Doherty. It was my Pastoral Project publication for completion of a Masters in Pastoral Theology at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 2012. “In every church building, art and architecture become the joint work of the Holy Spirit and the local community, in preparing a place to receive God’s Word and to enter more fully into communion with him. In these guidelines, approved in 2000, the bishops of the United States offer instruction on how to design places of worship that are dignified, beautiful, and “suited to sacred celebrations.” USCCB. Built of Living Stones-Art, Architecture and Worship.

Subsequently, I would oversee additional Sacred Art projects at Saint Louis de Montfort in 2013 for the renovation of the Youth Ministry Center; a new rectory in 2015; and a new processional cross in 2017. “Sacred art is true and beautiful when its form corresponds to its particular vocation: evoking and glorifying, in faith and adoration, the transcendent mystery of God—the surpassing invisible beauty of truth and love visible in Christ, who “reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature,” in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” This spiritual beauty of God is reflected in the most holy Virgin Mother of God, the angels, and saints. Genuine sacred art draws man to adoration, to prayer, and to the love of God, Creator and Savior, the Holy One and Sanctifier.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2502].

In 2016, my husband and I were fortunate enough to receive a 25th Wedding Anniversary blessing on our Anniversary and on the feast of Saint Faustina, by Pope Francis. The day before the audience with Pope Francis, we spent time walking and praying in the Vatican Gardens with fellow pilgrims. It is a spectacular sacred space, magnificent beyond words, breathtaking to say the least. I always wanted to see the Vatican Gardens, especially the sacred art bronze sculpture of Our Lady of Fatima created by Frederick Shrady commissioned by Saint Pope John Paul II.

It has been said, that Saint Pope John Paul II prayed the rosary daily at this particular Marian modern day Our Lady of Fatima sculpture. In fact, I learned over time that JPII dedicated his entire pontificate to Our Blessed Mother, Mary. The apostolic motto of  JPII was Totus Tuus a Latin phrase that means “totally thine” taken from the Mariology writing of Saint Louis de Montfort. JPII expressed his Total Consecration to Mary based on the spiritual works of Saint Louis de Montfort.

As providence would have it, God choose Saint Louis de Montfort School and Parish in Fishers, Indiana for our family for over 17 years. In that time I completed a Total Consecration to Mary and renewal annually (author Michael Gaitley) through Saint JPII and Saint Louis de Montfort.

The paradox is that while we were in Italy on the first inaugural Peace Love Pilgrimage International journey, I knew for certain Our Lady of Fatima was speaking to me. From the moment my eyes gazed upon her, my knees began to buckle, totally cognoscente that my feet were standing in the footsteps of Saint Pope John Paul II. It was an incredibly mystical experience. I don’t know why but I touched the gold crucifix that I was wearing to Our Lady of Fatima. I tried to share the prominence of my story with fellow pilgrims but could barely get the words out of my mouth as they continued to walk on the most beautiful path lined with stones and meticuously edged green grass. I knew for certain that my feet were unapologetically stuck like glue to the holy ground beneath me.

I keep going back to that monumental moment in my mind and in my heart. It was a feeling of complete oneness in communion with God. On that day, it was as clear to me as the sky is blue and the day is long that God was calling me to orchestrate a pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal. This was way before I ever knew anything about the 100 Year Anniversary of Fatima!

My hope remains steadfast that I will someday take as many Bishops and priests to Fatima as possible not only to kneel and to pray but to allow the Holy Spirit to affirm their vocation.

The real irony is that my beautiful seventy-seven year old mom and God-mother to her own Mom who was Baptised by Father Fulton Sheen was the very first pilgrim to register for the Fatima inaugural pilgrimage with me!

You see, God clearly interceded and granted our family more time with my mother through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother. My dear mother was robbed, beaten, strangled and left to die by an intruder in the home where we all grew up, located in the northern suburbs of Chicago. The intruder was caught many weeks later trying to flee the country and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole for attempted murder, burglary and one other count.

When I arrived at the hospital in the middle of the night, mom was unrecognizable, unresponsive and intubated. When I drove my car down I-65 for three hours, I don’t recall the actual drive because I imagined the road to be the aisle at church, never wavering from side to side, my eyes glared straight at the crucifix of Jesus on the cross.

Immediately, I held my mom’s hand and prayed a Hail Mary softly in her ear. She could not respond verbally but she did squeeze my hand! That response was miraculous to me and I attribute it only to Our Blessed Mother, Mary. By God’s Grace, Mom learned how to walk and talk again after many months of rehabilitation and moving in and out of my sisters homes and my brother’s home for a month at a time.

Miraculously, I learned more and more details from mom in her recovery that I had never know before. It became so clear to me that Our beautiful blessed Mother had a hand in weaving it all together so perfectly. There were details pertaining to my mom’s Mother’s conversion to Catholicism, conversations with Father Fulton Sheen over dinner regularly at their home, and the conversion of an incredibly Sacred and world renown artist that all came to the forefront like it never had before.

My own faith journey heightened to a whole new level as a result of the recovery that God granted my mom on this earthly pilgrimage. When our grown children traveled from Indiana to visit my mom after she was settled into her new condominium with full security, mom was quick to show a DVD of Fulton Sheen so they (born in 1998 and 2001) could learn more about a future Saint in the making. I told our kids that by the grace of God, someday we might be able to attend the canonization of Fulton Sheen in Rome!

So, the story lives on!

Guided by the Holy Spirit, I am excited to lead Peace Love Pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal on June 16-24, 2017 with Fr Travis Stephens. Fatima, Portugal will be followed by a student Pilgrimage to Washington DC that was inspired by the new Saint John Paul II National Shrine. The idea came from God, that a school trip to DC should be faitfilled especially with a Catholic School named St Louis de Montfort. So the journey will be a replica of past years only this trip will be on steroids for the faith with prayer, the Saints and the Sacraments first and foremost.

Many have found spiritual graces that come only through pilgrimages and coming into contact with holy sites. When we go to these holy sites where the Holy Spirit has worked so powerfully through the faith of people we open ourselves to God, and we can come to a profound encounter with Him that could not have otherwise been realized in another place or another kind of situation.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Saint John Paul II, pray for us.

Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us!

Holy Door Pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Lafayette, Indiana

imageThe Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana announced the Ordination of: Mr. John Nguyen, Mr. Cole Daily, Mr. Michael Bower and Mr. Coady Owens from St Louis de Montfort Parish, to the Sacred Order of Deacons on Saturday, May 28 at 11:00am.

The pilgrimage from Saint Louis de Montfort in Fishers, IN to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was two fold. Pilgrims experienced crossing the threshold of the Holy Door during the Extradorinary Jubilee of Mercy AND celebrated the Diaconal Ordination Mass.

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The ordination for deacons took place during the Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Lafayette IN, after the Gospel was proclaimed. The ceremony began with the presentation of the candidates. Each one was called forth by name, and he stood up and answer, “Present.”

After all the candidates were called, Bishop Timothy L Doherty ensured that the candidates were suitable for ordination. Then, the “election” took place: the bishop declared that he has chosen the candidates to be ordained. The congregation begins applauding to show that they agree with the decision. This is reminiscent of the first “election” by the early Christian community when they chose the first seven deacons. The bishop then preached a homily on the Gospel.

When he was finished, the candidates made their promise of celibacy. This was followed by the “examination”—a series of questions, which includes the promise of prayer.

Then, each candidate went individually to the bishop to make the promise of obedience. He kneeled before him and placeed his joined hands between the hands of the bishop while making the promise.

After all the diaconal candidates made the promise of obedience, the bishop invited the people to pray that the “Father will mercifully pour out his blessings on these servants whom, in his kindness, he raises to the sacred Order of the diaconate.” In one of the more dramatic moments in the liturgy, all the diaconal candidates lay prostrate on the floor, while everyone else joined them kneeling in prayer.

While everyone was kneeling, the litany of the saints was sung. This calls to mind the fact that not only those faithful on earth, but also the entire Church in heaven is praying during this important moment. We invoke Mary and Joseph, the saints from the Gospels and the heroic martyrs of the early Church, some of the humblest saints and some of the most influential teachers of the Church, as well as the founders of the great religious orders, and ask them for their prayers.

The bishop then extended his hands over the candidates. This begins the most important part of the ceremony—the ordination itself. At this point, he began the prayer of consecration. The prayer asks God to draw near and recalls the gift of the first deacons. The bishop continues, “Send forth upon them, Lord, we pray, the Holy Spirit, that they may be strengthened by the gift of your sevenfold grace for the faithful carrying out of the work of the ministry.” He then intercedes for them, asking the Lord to grant them growth in holiness.

After this, each candidate went to the bishop and knelt before him. The bishop laid his hands on the candidate’s head, in silence. This is the “laying on of hands” found in the first ordination. The man is ordained a deacon.

After the candidates have been ordained, assisting deacons or priests help the new deacons put on first a deacon’s stole and then a vestment called the dalmatic.

Each newly ordained deacon then goes to the bishop and kneels before him. The bishop places the Book of the Gospels in the hands of the newly ordained, saying, “Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.” Finally, the bishop stands and gives the kiss of peace to each new deacon. The Celebration of the Eucharist then continued as usual

Many parishioners from Saint Louis de Montfort Parish joined in prayer at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on May 28, 2016 for Coady Owens. The next day, Coady was warmly welcomed back home at the parish where he grew up, St. Louis de Montfort.  On the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ Coady preached his first homily at each of the Sunday liturgies. Fr. Pat and Fr. Janko presented Coady with a large pix from the Parish.

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St. Louis de Montfort, pray for us!

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