April 2, 2017

There are many ways to tell a story.  Words, art, music and movement are all used to convey a narrative, express emotion and evoke response.

In our liturgies, each of those elements comes together during the Mass.  The readings and the Gospel.  The songs.  The priest and deacon raising the chalice and the host at the Consecration.  Clearly, word, music and movement all contribute to the experience of the liturgy.

And then there is the art.  We are blessed to worship in a  beautiful Cathedral that tells stories everywhere you look. The stained glass windows depict the Apostle’s Creed.  The Stations of the Cross convey the Lord’s Passion.   And of course, our stunning Portuguese onyx Crucifix serves to    remind all who enter exactly why we are here. 

There’s another kind art in the Cathedral that isn’t made of marble, mosaic or glass.  Each liturgical season, we decorate with flowers, plants, trees and other displays that further tell the stories.  The creation of this art falls under the heading of  Art and Environment.

For the last seven years, the Art and Environment ministry has been done under the able leadership of Art and Joan Siegel.  I’ve written about Art and Joan before—they are quite a team.  Joan has the “eye” and designs each setting.  Art is a master carpenter who handles the practicalities of the displays. Together, they do beautiful work with a loyal and dedicated team of volunteers.

A few months ago, Art and Joan let Fr. Brad know that they are stepping away  from this ministry this summer.  Work and  family commitments (and a beautiful granddaughter) all factor into their decision. We are so grateful for all of their good works and know that they leave us with a great framework for the ministry.

So now we must find the person—or more likely persons—who want to share their talents with us. There’s no skirting the fact that this is a big job, but for the right  people, it is an incredible opportunity to put your talents to use for the greater Glory of God.

We’ll work with Art and Joan to put together a job description, and we’ll certainly share that.  But in the meantime, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity for anyone interested in being a part of our Art and Environment ministry to see Art and Joan and their team in action.

In the next two weeks, the art and environment in the Cathedral will change five times. It is amazing to see.  For Palm Sunday, the Chrism Mass, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter, there will be distinct and meaningful displays in the Cathedral. 

A schedule of when all the work happens is in this bulletin.  If you are considering being a part of this ministry, please consider helping out so you can get a real feel for this     incredibly rewarding service for the Church.  Know too, that Easter and  Christmas are the busy seasons.   For the balance of the year, it’s a much more manageable task.

At this point, it is unclear how this ministry will be led in the post-Siegel era.  It all depends on who answers the call.  Maybe an individual or a couple will step up for leadership.  Or maybe a committee is formed with different people taking the lead on  different seasons.   Fr. Brad is open to all options. 

Whenever we solicit volunteers for any job, people think “they don’t mean me.”  We do.  We mean you.  If you have talents that can help us advance our story through Art and Environment, please step up. 

The best way to get that process started is for you to send me an email stating your interest.  There’s no need for a formal resume, but just share why the Art and Environment ministry appeals to you and what talents you’ll bring forth.  I’ll pass along your to Father Brad and we’ll see where this takes us.

All the best,
Eileen Hooks Gutierrez
Director of Development and Project Liaison
815-722-6653, extension 242




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