Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI

Seeing Franciscan Values with greater appreciation

Project to make four mosaics more visible  results in sharp and colorful images at eye level

by Sister Laura Zelten

In living the Franciscan way of life we hold the values of poverty, minority (service), conversion and contemplation as important elements in how we relate to God, God’s people and creation. The values are at the core of our Franciscan Morning and Evening Prayer, and they -- along with St. Francis’ Canticle of Creation -- are expressed throughout our Convent through a collection of glass mosaics created by artist Kathryn Schnabel.

The four Franciscan values appear on the pedestal holding the Sister Water basin in our gathering space. Each side of the pedestal depicts a different Franciscan value. Because these mosaics are low they can be hard to see; so we asked local artist Randy Kostichka if he could photograph and frame the values for us to hang at eye level for greater appreciation.

Because the mosaics’ glass pieces produce a glare with flash photography, Randy surrounded the mosaics in black cloth and used a small light as he photographed each panel several times. We are so pleased with the results: The shapes are sharp and the colors are brilliant.

Each value will be hung one at a time outside our chapel with a description of the value and a passage from the Rule of St. Francis.

POVERTY:  Peeling away the layers of desire; being filled by God alone.

CONTEMPLATION:  Letting go of self; union with God.

MINORITY: An extending of self-action, bearing fruit.

CONVERSION OF HEART:  Turning daily towards God.

photos of mosaics by Randy Kostichka

ARTIST RANDY KOSTICHKA  and Sister Laura Zelten stand near the Minority mosaic with the photo of Contemplation behind them. (Renae Bauer photo)

Stay in touch -- This story originally appeared in the Sisters' newsletter. Subscribe to our FREE printed newsletter (issued five times a year) and our FREE e-spiritual reflections (weekly). We enjoy hearing from you so visit our “Send a Greeting to Sister” page and say hello. Thank you and God bless!

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