Friday, November 23, 2018

ASA Saint Art Installed!

One in The Body of Christ 

Forming Saints to Serve All

1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ.”

Reflecting this unity in diversity, we at All Saints Academy are excited that we have installed a beautiful, new, one-of-a-kind painting by artist John McCoy in the entryway of our middle school campus. At All Saints Academy, “We Believe We Are One” community of unique learners developing our talents to serve God and others.  

At the center of the piece we see the Blessed Sacrament with St. Jude, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Isidore and St. Alphonsus on either side, a reference to the four parishes who established All Saints Academy (Blessed Sacrament, St. Isidore, St. Jude, and St. Alphonsus, where the Redemptorist community who ministers there is devoted to Our Mother of Perpetual Help).

Since we are All Saints Academy, we chose to include more saints to represent the entire body of Christ. Students and ASA staff helped identify eight additional saints who exemplify ASA’s core values, Faith, Learning, Loving and Serving: 

  • Cecilia - Patroness of musicians
  • Sebastian - Patron of athletes and soldiers 
  • Albert the Great - A doctor of the Church and “universal thinker” whose interests included science, ethics, logic, philosophy, psychology and theology, and who demonstrates the  pursuit of truth
  • Joan of Arc - Defender of faith, and an example of both contemplation and action 
  • Juan Diego - A native to Mexico and a convert; news of his encounters with Our Lady of Guadalupe caused thousands to convert to Christianity  
  • Kateri Tekakwitha- The first Native American to be canonized a saint; the patroness of ecology and the environment, she is also inspiration for missionaries, those in exile and those adopted
  • Elizabeth Ann Seton - First native-born U.S. saint and founder of the nation’s first Catholic girls’ schools. Elizabeth was a prolific reader, both a wife and mother, and also a religious sister and foundress of the Sisters of Charity 
  • Teresa of Calcutta - Foundress of the Missionaries of Charity and a modern exemplar of a life lived in loving service to others 

All of these saints, with their various gifts and missions, remind us that as All Saints Academy strives to “Form Saints to Serve All,” the saints we form will choose various professions focusing their talents and honoring God. This beautiful painting reflects the unity of the body of Christ and also demonstrates diversity among our gifts, all with the Eucharist at the center.

We were blessed to have Mr. John McCoy stay in Grand Rapids while he painted One in The Body of Christ. He worked in Thaddeus to stretch the 6 x 12 foot canvas, and then paint. As John began sketches for the piece he visited the 4 ASA parishes to seek inspiration from both community and art. During his stay John was able to meet and share a number of meals with ASA families.  

To both protect and also highlight our new Saint art a one of a kind frame was designed and assembled. Due to a generous donation from Mr. Jim Steffens we were able to reclaim wood from the old St Alphonsus bleachers for the frame. Shane Kamps, cousin of ASA alum Bianne Robach, and his assistant John Michael Lunt constructed the frame and installed the art. 

It was a blessing to welcome both John McCoy and Shane Kamps to Eaglefest 2018 to “unveil” One in The Body of Christ and thank the donors that helped make this project possible last year at Eaglefest 2017. 

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