Saintly patron of the arts

Artists, Augustine Institute, to pay tribute to John Paul II

Nissa LaPoint
St. John Paul II by Elizabeth Zelasko

The Augustine Institute will acclaim the life and canonization of John Paul II through an artistic celebration April 26.

The day before the late pontiff is canonized in Rome, the community will gather for “The Making of Man,” an artistic salute at the Tolle Lege Coffee Bar next to the institute at 6160 S. Syracuse Way in Greenwood Village.

Andrew Whaley, who works at the coffee bar, organized the tribute that begins noon April 26 and continues through the early morning April 27 during the live canonization of the pope in Rome.

The celebration will begin with a small group discussion on Pope John Paul II’s “Letter to Artists.”

“All my friends who are artists love this letter so we’ll discuss it,” Whaley said.

Local artists including Devin Montagne, Elizabeth Zelasko, Justin Jensen and Mark and Nicole Thomason will display their art work of the pope. Montagne will also do a live performance of a painting of the late pope.

Later at 6:30 p.m., John Paul II’s thoughts and legacy will be discussed by a group of panelists, including St. John Vianney Seminary professor Joel Barstad, Augustine Institute associate professor Michel Therrien and Bishop Machebeuf High School theology teacher Marc Lenzini.

“We’re going to talk about the whole concept of the making of man,” said Whaley, who will moderate the discussion. “We’ll also talk about the similarities between art, and teaching, and art in the moral life and in the thoughts of John Paul II.”

Then at 8:30 p.m., Perry West and Elizabeth Wood will perform live music.

Attendees will also be able to watch a performance in the style of Rhapsodic Theatre, a style of theatre John Paul II had developed.

“We’re going to read some of Karol Wojtyła and have a staged reading from Our God’s Brother, which is one of his best plays,” Whaley said. “A few hours before this man is declared a saint, some people dedicated to the new evangelization of which he is architect of, will stand on a darkened stage as he once did and will proclaim the words he used to proclaim.”

At about midnight, the gathering will pray and wait until the live feed of the canonization starts from Rome, which they’ll watch on a large screen.

“We’ll keep vigil and pray until the live feed starts,” he said.

The event is free but donations will be accepted. Food and drink will be available.

An RSVP is requested by emailing or calling 303-937-4420.

COMING UP: Relics of St. Anthony of Padua to visit Denver Oct. 14-23

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For the first time, relics of St. Anthony of Padua, beloved as the “finder of lost things,” will travel from Italy to the Archdiocese of Denver for veneration at seven parishes, including the Cathedral Basilica.

The Messenger of Hope tour, set Oct. 14-23, includes two first class relics of the Franciscan friar who died in 1231 and was canonized just 11 months later by Pope Gregory IX, faster than any other saint. Franciscan Father Mario Conte, executive editor of Messenger of St. Anthony magazine, will accompany the relics.

“St. Anthony’s reputation as a finder of lost things dates to an incident in the saint’s life,” he explained. “A novice who had grown tired of religious life decided to leave the Franciscan community, but before leaving he took St. Anthony’s psalter.… Anthony prayed that the psalter would be found and returned to him.

“Anthony’s prayers were answered,” he continued. “The novice returned the psalter— and returned to the order.”

The Franciscans urge the faithful to ask for the saint’s intercession for more than the loss of material things, but also for those who have lost peace of mind or a sense of direction, and for a just society where no one is forgotten or lost.

Prayer petitions will be accepted by Father Conte, who will take them to St. Anthony’s Basilica in Padua, where the relics are housed, and place them at the saint’s tomb.

Box: St. Anthony Relics

The relics will be on display at the following churches; call for veneration and Mass times:

Oct. 14 – St. Rafka Maronite Church, Lakewood, 720-833-0354

Oct. 15 – St. Anthony of Padua, Denver, 303-935-2431

Oct. 16 – St. Michael the Archangel, Aurora, 303-690-6797

Oct. 17 – St. James, Denver, 303-322-7449

Oct. 18 – All Souls, Denver, 303-789-0007

Oct. 19-20 – St. Elizabeth of Hungary, 303-534-4014

Oct. 21-23 – Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Denver, 303-831-7010