Non-Commissioned Altarpieces for the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse Revelation

Sacred Rejects

These paintings, sculptures, and stained glass were displayed for ten months, ten years, or twenty years in different chapels. They were later “retired” and replaced (or, more typically, not replaced with anything) by newer, more commercially acceptable works which were “not controversial.”

1. The stained glass panels for the Maryland Province Infirmary chapel:

  • The Principle and Foundation,
  • The Take and Receive,
  • The uncompleted Two Standards

(Each of these works are based on the beginning (a), middle (c), and end (b) of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. It seemed fitting that these images be placed in a chapel for meditation for those men who had lived their lives based on the commitments made early in their lives inspired by these concepts from the “spiritual foundation” of the Society of Jesus. They were quite successful for twenty years. The renovation of the infirmary led to their being removed and replaced into another venue. The drawing was a submission for the window of the Two Standards to go between the Foundation and the Sume et Suscipe windows. The first would then represent the first main Ignatian theme–God is intimately involved in your life so that everything can be regarded as gift, and the final Ignatian theme from the Exercises–God deserves to be loved as much as we can love Him because He has loved you personally so much (this is the famous “Contemplation to Attain Divine Love.” Between them would have been the central theme embodied in the meditation on the Two Standards. Ignatius posits two earthly leaders to think about and contemplate. They are types for Satan and Jesus. Their standard bearers carry flags which represent the goals and values of those gathered under the aegis of the leader. Satan’s “standard” offers wealth, power, and prestige. Jesus’ offers poverty, powerlessness, and humiliation whereby we can join with Him in the struggle and finally join with Him in the “triumph of the cross.” I thought would be a great a great gift to offer my brothers, a series of colorful and abstracted windows for the contemplation of the most important motivations of their lives while they face the final victory just down the road.

2. The Crucifixion panel, after Cimabue, but incorporating some images of the San Damiano crucifix.

3.The SJU Polyptych.

4.The Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart panels,

5.The Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child, the “feminine…” and “earthly trinity,” after Massacio and Rublev,

6.The Trinity, after Rublev.
These pieces hung as an experiment in the St. Joseph’s Chapel. The polyptych hung in a “temporary chapel” for ten years. I worked on it, after the demolition of that temporary chapel, for another five years. Since its removal from the new chapel, I have been working on it continually, ever changing and being brought to completion. One day maybe it’ll be done! The Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart had been “commissioned” by the director of the Apostleship of Prayer so that “young people might have a more appropriate image” for their devotion. The leadership of the Apostleship did not follow through on using the pieces but they did hang for those ten months in the SJU chapel experiment. Many students particularly found them helpful. The Rublev Trinity and the Cimabue Rood Screen were done as “post modern” adaptations for the Post modern chapel which stands on campus. They too were very well received while the experiment lasted. The St. Anne with the Virgin and Child is similarly a post modern adaptation of the Renaissance theme, in both Italian and Russian iconography, of the Mother of Mary as the summing up of the prophecies of the Old Covenant and Mary being the institution of the fulfillment prophecy of her Son—she being the “first Christian,” archetype of the OT and prototype of the NT both seriously contemplating the path of the Messiah who is their little boy.