September 3, 2010

Cardinal’s gift now adorns Cathedral

SAGINAW – A nearly 18-foot tall ornately carved triptych that displays a painted image of the Holy Family now stands in the northwest corner of the worship space inside the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption after it was installed there this week.

The artwork, which once was housed in Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul, was gifted by Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, to the people of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw for display in the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption following the first anniversary of Bishop Joseph R. Cistone’s installation as the sixth Bishop of Saginaw.

Bishop Cistone, a native of Philadelphia, was ordained to the priesthood there in 1975. In 2004, he was appointed to serve as an Auxiliary Bishop to the Archbishop of Philadelphia by Pope John Paul II and consecrated as a bishop by Cardinal Rilgali. He was installed as the sixth Bishop of Saginaw on July 28, 2009.

The Holy Family Triptych was commissioned in Rome by Cardinal John O’Hara, CSC, Archbishop of Philadelphia from 1951-1960, during the 1958 consistory of his elevation by Pope John XXIII. He had it installed above a side altar within Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica where it remained until its removal earlier this year to make room for a new shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

A triptych, which is derived from Greek words for “three” and “fold,” is a work of art that is divided into three sections, or three carved panels, which are hinged together and can be folded. In the case of the Holy Family Triptych, the central painting is flanked by carved wooden doors made. The entire wood encasing is comprised of black walnut.

Cardinal O’Hara, a Michigan native, was born in Ann Arbor in 1888 and ordained as a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross in 1916. He served as the 13th president of the University of Notre Dame, during the 1930s. He then served as Bishop of the Military Ordinariate of the United States of America during World War II. In 1945, he was named as Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo and served six years there until his final appointment as Archbishop of Philadelphia in 1951. He died in 1960 and is entombed within the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

1 comment:

Nate Harburg said...

GORGEOUS! Praise God!