In his most recent “Pastoral Trends” column on the PrepareTheWord.com website, Catholic sociologist Bryan Froehle says the church needs to reach out “to people’s aspirations and culture” in the same way social media does. Images of the Blessed Virgin Mary have always done such reaching out. From the most sublime icons to decals in the rear windows of pick-up trucks, people have used the material forms of their cultures to express their devotion to and trust in Mary.
In downtown Encinitas, California, Jack Quick owns art supply store near a railroad bridge between Vulcan Ave. and Hwy. 101. A little before Earth Day last April, which was also shortly before Easter, he noticed a group of men in hard hats installing something under the bridge. In broad daylight and in full view of the 18,000 cars that pass daily, they put up a nicely executed 10-by10-foot-square rock and stained-glass mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe—on a surfboard. On the nose of the board was the face of Saint Juan Diego, and the words “Save the Ocean” ran along the side. Quick estimates the mysterious workers put at least $1,000 in raw materials and 100 hours of labor into the project. The mosaic seemed to be fastened to 5-by-5-foot plaster boards which were then glued to the concrete wall.
|THE SURFING MADONNA of Encinitas, Calif.|
Give city government some credit though. Encinitas is historically art-friendly, and the city council wants the mosaic to be relocated to a place where the public can continue to view it and has already paid a Los Angeles sculpture conservation agency to test ways to safely remove the piece. Local businesses are raising funds to cover the city's expenses, and several people have offered to buy the artwork. Sources: and he Associated Press
Sources: Articles by Julie Watson for the Associated Press and Jonathan Horn for pyramidbeach.com
Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.