I just came across a story on Catholic News Service on Domus Dei, a company owned by the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master. With more than 30 artisans and specialists in architecture, mosaics, stained glass, sculpture and liturgical objects and furnishings under one roof, “[Domus Dei] can do a complete church from the building itself to the chalice on the altar.”
The company is especially busy these days, as many churches and communities are wanting statues as well as chapels and monuments to honor the soon-to-be-beatified John Paul II. Before that, they created the bronze statues for this year’s Stations of the Cross with the Holy Father in Rome.
What struck me is the goodness of the community’s mission, given the importance of art and beauty as a captivating and authentic expression of the Christian faith. Therefore, I was especially interested in some of the comments by Sr. Mariella toward the end of the story:
“While they do hire some lay artisans, some of the sisters themselves are artists, artisans, and architects. The sisters’ vocation includes perpetual adoration, which inspires all of their artistic projects from creating a tiny candleholder to a soaring church tower, Sister Mariella said.
“‘You can tell the difference between an artistic work made by a big artist who doesn’t know who Jesus Christ is and tries to interpret Jesus in his masterpiece, and a person who really lives the word of God. There is a big difference,’ she said.
“Creating beauty in sacred art requires staying connected to Jesus through prayer, the Scriptures and the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, she said.
“By staying close to Christ, an artist receives ‘a little light every day and if we follow that light’ and not get distracted from the truth by flashy fashions and fads, the artist will find a way to create a work that connects people with God and others, she said.”
For the complete article, click here.
“That’s why when people pray in an environment that is really designed from prayer, they can find their spiritual connection with the Lord and with the world,” she said.
She said, “Everything that is beautiful helps the spirit find the Lord, which is beauty.”