Saint Louis de Montfort Church in Fishers, Indiana TABERNACLE

imageWritten as part of a published thesis: A Model for Evangelization through Sacred Art and The Rite of Dedication of an Altar by Kerin Buntin. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College library. 2012.

Saint Louis de Montfort Church in Fishers, Indiana commissioned Julie Ball, a sculptor and instructor from the Indianapolis Art Center. Church documents say, “The integrity and energy of a piece of art, produced individually by the labor of an artist, is always to be preferred above objects that are mass produced.” This sacred art sculpture showcases reverence to God by utilizing talents favoring mixed metals. The Pastor together with the liturgical art committee traveled far and wide to research sacred art in churches. Through theological reflections we aspired to give due reverence to the tabernacle when it was moved from the Adoration Chapel into the church. Together our faith revealed and deepened through the expressive language of art and creativity. Exploring and expanding creative ways in which we engage in our faith strengthened our connection to God, and to one another.

The Code of Canon Law states “the tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved is to be situated in some part of the church which is distinguished, conspicuous, beautifully decorated, and suitable for prayer.” The sacred sculpture is located directly behind the altar with a glass shelf positioned slightly higher than the altar to draw the People of God to mystery, awe and wonder. The sacred art sculpture reaches thirteen feet tall into the highest of the heavens, depicting earthly life. Church documents state “The tabernacle be immovable, solid and locked.” The tabernacle gives reverence to the Blessed Sacrament meant to bring the divine to the human world in profound beauty.

Saint Catherine of Bologna is the patron saint of artists and the feast day is March 9.  Pope Benedict said that she suffered great temptations of disbelief, of sensuality and of a difficult spiritual struggle. She felt forsaken by God and found herself in the darkness of faith yet she was always holding the Lord’s hand, she did not leave Him, she did not abandon Him.  Author of The Seven Spiritual Weapons, she says “to believe that alone we will never be able to do something truly good” is an inspiration for Catholic artists today.

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