Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Christ Child Shrine: A Call for Artists

We've been working on wonderful project to design a shrine dedicated to the Christ Child at the Mount Claret Retreat Center. The shrine itself will be an outdoor, open air shrine, intended to create an enclosed garden space for contemplation as part of a much larger campus plan.

The shrine sits in a larger garden area as a separate place for prayer,  meditation, and quiet conversation for the retreat guests.
The heavy rubble masonry continues the same texture and mass found through out the existing site, and is respectful of the indigenous desert architecture of the ancient first people in the American Southwest. The rich blue interior is intended to create a cool and refreshing interior, in a subtle way alluding to the cloak of Our Lady in which we find consolation and intimacy with her Son. 
 The Shrine is also intended to be a sort of oasis in the desert, a place of refuge from the sun, with a canopy of trees and the element of water to create a microclimate despite the heat of the day.

The themes of the Christ Child shrine are related to life and the fundamental religious intuition: the oval shape recalling the womb and the egg, water and fire, the Tree of Life, the stone forms arising from the earth,as well as the encompassing womb like shrines of the earliest known sacred architecture such as at Göbekli Tepe and the hypogea at Malta.

Shrine is the first phase of a larger landscape and master planning project for Mount Claret, which will eventually include a desert garden for the Stations of the Cross as well.

The focal point of the shrine will be a sculptural image of the Christ Child, probably a bronze or stone carving, three dimensional, depicting Jesus in some appropriate posture and gesture, with the age and artistic details to be determined, but probably more of a pre-adolescent or adolescent rather than an infant or toddler.

The artistic details will be worked out with the selected artist.  The figure will be approximately 4' tall, on a 6" to 8" plinth.

Interested artists are encouraged to submit a portfolio and a proposal to us at:

Steven Schloeder AIA
Liturgical Environs PC
9402 South 47th Place
Phoenix AZ 85044

t. 480.783.8787

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Those Irish take penance at Lent a bit too seriously....

Parishioner scorched by ashes on Ash Wednesday...

A priest was forced to abandon an Ash Wednesday mass yesterday – after 30 of his parishioners had their foreheads burned by the blessed ashes.

Fr Eugene Baker had given out the ashes to everyone in the congregation when they started to complain about a burning sensation.
He was forced to stop the mass in St Joseph’s Church in Newtownshandrum in north Cork and advise the congregation to go into the church sacristy and wash the ashes off.
Fr Baker told that he is surprised by the anomaly and he apologised to his parishioners.
He has sent the ashes to the public health laboratory in St Finbarr’s Hospital in Cork for testing.

My only Lenten accident was a few years ago when the old fellow giving ashes need more practice at the target range...