I have often thought about the question, “What makes something Sacred?” As one matures through a career as a design professional or any other trade, one’s skills, processes and techniques get honed and refined. You become much better at what you do through your practice. Your work is heightened to a fine craft and a professional level. But, “What makes something Sacred? What makes something inspirational? What makes something stir the spirit within?”
Let me begin by describing the Artesanos Don Bosco. They are a group of Missionaries whose purpose is to “preserve the livelihood of the skilled individuals who craft these masterworks of art.” They do this though the creation of beautiful liturgical art pieces. They train the poor local people of the Peruvian Andes in woodworking, stone carving, metal fabrication and glass making; providing them with a skill set to support their families. All of the proceeds from their work are reinvested into their apprenticeship and charity programs. The leadership of this organization is deeply spiritual, following the path of the 19th century missionary Saint John Bosco whose mission was to educate and better the lives of disadvantaged youth. http://sacred.artesanosdonbosco.com/
The collaboration in the design process on Our Lady of Mount Carmel was a rich and fulfilling experience. Our firm, with me as the Project Architect for the new Sanctuary, Deacon Holgren as the Parish’s voice, Mark Heying and Mike Bonetto with Anthem Sacred Furnishings, and Mirko Codenotti, the lead artist for Artesanos Don Bosco, would all lend our particular skills, vision and voice to the refinement of the artwork. The process that unfolded led to solutions that were not personal but collective, deeply spiritual and tailored to the Parish family. Ideas would build, be tested and refined. There was a melding of design, liturgy, tectonics and material that was inspirational and moving. There were many multi-day sessions where we immersed ourselves in the design of the liturgical art pieces. As I look back at these sessions, they were at the same time invigorating and exhausting. There was an unseen energy in the room that drove our team, guided our hands, and moved our hearts to create the pieces that will transform this Sanctuary into a Spiritual Space. Members of the team have spoken about those sessions and all share the common thought that the Holy Spirit was with us on those days to help us to do His works.
Through the process of working collaboratively with Artesanos Don Bosco and Deacon Robert Holgren on the new Sanctuary for Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I believe we all discovered that the difference between craftsmanship and art is the divine touch of God; inspiration delivered by the Holy Spirit. We were blessed to experience and share this Divine touch. We believe it has manifested itself in the art and detail of this new Worship space for Our Lady of Mount Carmel. We all believe and trust that those who see the art and the space will be stirred, inspired, and experience the Sacred.
The following images show the creation of these beautiful pieces, crafted with loving hands and inspired by Divine Intervention.
David Pfeifer, Principal