None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands.
– Bl. John Paul II (Letter to Artists, April 4, 1999)
Since our move in February 11, 2011 to the new Juniorate House in Washington DC’s Brookland neighborhood, we have been so happy with the new convent and the warm welcome we have received here. On Thursday, April 12th (marking the fourteenth month and one day anniversary of our move), “Uncle Steve” installed the outdoor sign he designed, an indication of our lasting presence here.
Steve Miola first came to know our Religious Family as the uncle of two of our missionary sisters—Sr. Maria del Fiat (Washington, DC) and M. Maria Panagia (Athens, Greece). Beginning in 2005, he first experimented with carving the Cross of Matará in a shadow outline using his wood carving tools. Soon this hobby led Uncle Steve (as he is affectionately known by all his spiritual nieces) to more and more artistic renderings of the Cross of Matará as well as three-dimensional images of the shield of the Institute of the Incarnate Word. He also experimented with “catechetical” versions of the Cross of Matará, by making two-sided crosses (first 10” versions, then smaller “pocket versions”) which depicted the original carvings on one side and then contemporary images of those mysteries of Christ on the other side. This technique created small crosses which the sisters could keep in their pockets and use to explain both the history of the Cross of Matará as well as to give a catechesis of the faith using images—the original intention of the Cross of Matará.
To prepare for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Uncle Steve and his wife Aunt Paula undertook a special mission: laminated cards with a photo of the sisters and a list of website addresses. Working together, they created nearly 2,000 cards which our sisters from the US as well as other international missions could use during the WYD in Madrid as a way to connect with young women interested in our order. This is really supporting vocations!
We give a big thanks to Uncle Steve and Aunt Paula who have dedicated their work to honor the vocations of their nieces, Sr. Fiat and M. Panagia, and to give glory to God, the true Artist of All.