Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ade Bethune's work in St. Paul

This year marks the centennial of the birth of Ade Bethune, a world-renowned liturgical artist, writer, and social activist. During her long career, Bethune worked as a liturgical design consultant for almost 300 churches in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Philippines, two of which can be found in St. Paul.

In 1960 Bethune was hired as the liturgical consultant for the design of St. Leo's Church, now known as Lumen Christi Catholic Community. On display are original sketches, photographs, and a model of the church. Learn how she used two different models of the church to convince the architect to abandon his plan for “eyebrow windows” in favor of her own design.
Lumen Christi Catholic Community,
less than a mile away from St. Kate’s St. Paul campus
Ade Bethune standing beside the mosaic
she designed for the Cathedral of St. Paul
In 1988 Reverend Monsignor Ambrose V. Hayden wrote to Bethune to find out if she would be interested in creating a painting or mosaic for the baptistery of the Cathedral of St. Paul. He had remembered her from a speech she gave at St. Paul Seminary in 1939. It was unusual at the time for a woman to speak on a seminary campus. In fact, up to that point the only other women to speak at the seminary were Dorothy Day and the Baroness Von Trapp. Bethune accepted the commission and designed a mosaic which was then fabricated and installed by Rudolph Rohn Studios. On display are photographs of the mosaic under construction and a beautiful original drawing of the design.

This display will be up during the month of February on the main level of the St. Paul Library, in the case right before the video carrels.

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