The new Marian Chapel at All Saints Catholic Church was dedicated on Thursday evening. It features a beautiful wooden triptych. Scott DeWaard, who made the wooden altar furniture and the doors of the church, made the frame. He suggested artist Sabiha Mujtaba, who carved the images on the three scenes. She was not familiar with Mary and chose to study her before designing the images.
The chapel used to house the Blessed Sacrament before the tabernacle was moved to front and center of the sanctuary. The triptych is placed in such a way that you can see the tabernacle too. The large image of Jesus on the stained glass window is seen by countless passersby on Cedar Bluff Road.
In this month’s newsletter, Fr. Michael Woods describes the artwork:
The first scene on the left captures Mary as a young mother, outside her home in Nazareth, with a Son eager to explore the world and she more than a little hesitant to let Him go.
The second scene on the right finds Mary at the foot of the cross in profound grief while the pierced feet of her Son convey the reason for her deep sorrow and accepting faith.
The center panel depicts a triumphant Mary, rewarded for her fidelity to God and encouraging us to believe in her Son, coming as Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.
All three panels will be linked together with delicate wood creations, depicting the vine and the branches that flow from the large stained glass window in the chapel, showing Christ as the Vine, a theme that runs throughout the sanctuary in the smaller stained glass windows.
In the same issue, Fr. Michael explained how a large donation made it possible to commission the piece:
The gift of $75,000 was anonymous when it was donated to All Saints by a very dear parishioner who has since died, Elizabeth Siminario. Elizabeth really loved All Saints parish and was profoundly grateful for the care and faith-life she enjoyed with us. Her gift is a reflection of her gratitude.
When the prospect of a Marian Chapel began to come to fruition, with its brilliant art work soon to be unveiled, I approached Elizabeth’s family to see if I could apply her gift to this endeavor, as well as for much needed structural repairs to the chapel roof. Without question they were elated since Elizabeth shared a deep devotion for our Blessed Mother Mary. It was also the family’s desire that Elizabeth be given recognition for this great gift to All Saints. We will place a plaque in the Marian Chapel dedicated to Elizabeth and her family.
My wife wasn’t originally scheduled to be the cantor at Thursday’s Mass but when someone else couldn’t make it, my wife filled in. At the end of Mass, a member of Elizabeth Siminario’s family approached my wife to say how happy they were to see her step to the cantor stand. They remembered my wife from when she served as cantor for Elizabeth’s funeral.