September 28, 2017
BY TONI CASHNELLI
PHOTOS BY TONI CASHNELLIThe Annunciation in the Porziuncola was the inspiration for the mural at Pleasant Street Friary.
Not any more.
This week artists are putting the finishing touches on a mural that’s already attracting curious tourists taking selfies. They’re stopping to stare at a billboard-sized depiction of The Annunciation, executed with latex and spray paint, adapted from a scene in the apse of the Porziuncola. Nothing could be more Franciscan. And the friars are excited that their building is becoming an outdoor work of art.
The mural is one of eight new works created along Pleasant Street in Over-the-Rhine for BLINK, a four-day light and art event that will span 20 city blocks from Oct. 12-15. Friary residents Fr. Murray Bodo and Fr. John Quigley heard about BLINK from Painting Mary’s robesome of its reps at a neighborhood reception. With a mural in mind artist John volunteered, “We have a huge wall” that might be suitable for painting.
Luck and timing converged. “I know your wall well,” said a man from BLINK. “Why don’t we talk?” Once the building was approved for a mural, John met with Matthew Dayler of Xylene Projects to discuss the design. “I was insistent it would be spiritual/religious” and particularly Franciscan, John says. “He came back with a big book on Franciscans in Assisi”, full of artwork that did not suit the friary or the neighborhood.
The AnnunciationFinishing the face of an angel
Using the fresco in the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels as reference, Matthew and company photographed models sitting in the same positions as in the masterpiece by Ilario da Viterbo and went to work creating a scene that reflects the multiracial makeup of Over-the-Rhine. The painters expect to wrap things up in three or four days, in time for the Feast of St. Francis. But already, “People have been coming by and want to know about it,” says John, who’s having a metal plaque made that shows the original medieval Annunciation and explains the Franciscan connection.
It will also note that 2017 is the 50th anniversary of this friar community. And now Pleasant Street, a pioneering presence in inner-city ministry, will have another claim to fame.
(The BLINK event, 7:15 p.m.-midnight Oct. 12-15 in downtown Cincinnati, features more than 70 animated light shows projected onto buildings, murals, interactive art sculptures and “other light-based displays”. Visit Blink)
COMPILED BY MARILYN WILSON
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land
Saturday, Sept. 30: Pet blessings at 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 3: Transitus at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 4: Feast Day Masses at 6, 7 and 10:30 a.m.
Holy Family Parish, Oldenburg
Sunday, Oct. 1: Annual parish festival with pet blessings throughout the day, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 4: Feast Day Mass at 8 a.m.
St. Aloysius (St. Al’s), Detroit
Wednesday, Oct. 4: Feast Day Mass at 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 7: Pet Blessing and Prayer Service, 10 a.m.
Church of the Transfiguration, Southfield
Saturday, Sept. 30: Pet Blessing in prayer garden at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4: Feast Day Mass at 12 noon
St. Joseph Chapel & Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
400 South Blvd. West, Pontiac, MI
Wednesday, Oct. 4: Feast Day Mass and Pet blessing, 10 a.m.
St. Anthony Shrine, Mt. Airy
Tuesday night, Oct. 3: Transitus at 7 p.m. A reception with light refreshments follows. RSVP 513-541-2146
Thursday, Oct. 4: Feast Day Mass at 7:30 a.m.
St. Clement Church, St. Bernard
Wednesday, Oct. 4: Pet blessings at the elementary school, 9:30 a.m., and again from 6-7:30 p.m. on the church steps.
Thursday, Oct. 5: Feast Day Mass at 7:45 a.m.
A display of Franciscan artwork collected by Conrad Rebmann will be displayed in the church’s common area the weekends both before and after the Feast of St. Francis.
St. Francis Seraph Church, Over-the-Rhine
Sunday, Oct. 1: Pet blessing and free Pet Health clinic for the poor (noon-4 p.m.) after the 10 a.m. Mass
Thursday, Oct. 4: Feast Day Mass in the Chapel, 8 a.m.
Roger Bacon High School, St. Bernard
Wednesday, Oct. 4: Drop off your matching-grant donation to a friar from 7:15-9:30 a.m. at RB’s semi-circular driveway supporting their St. Francis Day of Giving to raise funds for a new St. Francis of Assisi Scholarship Fund.
St. Francis Retreat House, Easton
Wednesday, Oct. 4: Feast Day Mass at 8 a.m.
Friday-Sunday, Oct. 6 – 8: Annual Franciscan Retreat Sunday, Oct. 8: Pet Blessing, 2 p.m.
PHOTO BY FRANK JASPER, OFMThis time of year has some shifts happening. We alternate between warm days and cool to cold nights. The leaves begin to change – just a little on the edges, while others drop suddenly. It brings back the smell of autumn at Duns Scotus, walking with Larry Zurek and other candidate classmates among the flanked oaks, through a ball field toward the pines. The grass was tall and yellow. The skies brilliantly blue. Everything seemed possible.
It’s then I remember St. Francis and his dreams, how he had hoped to become a great knight, which led to a deeper dream, pulling him away from “serving the servant” and not the Lord. And how in caves, he fell in love with Jesus. Not that even that was so pretty. His friend said that Francis went in one way and came out like another man. There in the privacy of the cave, Jesus, the Wounded One, could touch his wounds, his sin, and try to convince him of God’s forgiveness. He emerged with enough strength to tell Pietro that he would have no other father than “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”. He wouldn’t sell his soul to commerce or the violence needed to protect it.
Fr. Ignatius Brady, OFMThis time of year things shift inside of me. It has to do with the Feast of St. Francis, the waxen smell at Duns Scotus, the colors of autumn blossoming, singing, “O Most Holy Soul” in a sorta-Peter-Ricke-kind-of-way, and the possibility of living out the dream that God implanted in me. This middle -aged me realizes that it is making room for God to do that in me, rather than me chasing windmills, or my own agenda.
Some of us begin this weekend anticipating the Feast of Francis with the Blessing of Animals. That’s because the feast can’t be contained in just a day. We delight in the multiplicity of Creation, God’s luxurious generosity, fecundity, in giving us animals. We will come to Tuesday night, the Transitus, to remember and regret and rejoice with that most holy soul, and to allow God to re-found the Order in our hearts. Do you remember that Ignatius Brady would say that this was the task of every novice during our novitiate? But it truly is the task of each of us—especially on this night, and the day of Feasting with Francis. Truly with God, everything is possible.
— Fr. Mark Soehner, OFM
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PHOTOS BY TONI CASHNELLIThe Annunciation in the Porziuncola was the inspiration for the mural at Pleasant Street Friary.Blank and boring, the north side of Pleasant Street Friary was an empty canvas facing Findlay Market.