July 6, 2018

Last Supper exhibit at All Saints Parish festivals evangelizes, inspires

Depictions of the Last Supper, similar to this olive wood piece made in the Holy Land, will be on display during the summer festivals held at three of the four campuses of All Saints Parish in Dearborn County this summer. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

Depictions of the Last Supper, similar to this olive wood piece made in the Holy Land, will be on display during the summer festivals held at three of the four campuses of All Saints Parish in Dearborn County this summer. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

By Natalie Hoefer

Father Jonathan Meyer is a lover of sacred art.

So when one of his parishioners at All Saints Parish in Dearborn County told him about the small Last Supper Museum in Greensburg, Father Meyer knew he had to see it.

“It was almost overwhelming,” he says.

He describes the collection of nearly 3,000 artistic depictions of the Last Supper as ranging “from traditional paintings, to plates, to sculptures. Really, it’s the Last Supper in every art medium you can think of. It’s quite remarkable.”

Father Meyer met the owners, Rev. Charles Floy and his wife Wilma, who have been collecting artistic Last Supper pieces for nearly 50 years. He pitched an idea, and the Floys agreed.

Now the summer festivals held at three of the four campuses of All Saints Parish this summer will feature a Last Supper exhibit. Visitors can see and learn about many of the museum’s items, as well as Last Supper pieces owned by All Saints parishioners.

“I brought [members of] our faith formation commission” to the museum, says Father Meyer. “They went around the exhibit and collectively selected items they thought our congregation would be interested in seeing.

“We probably borrowed around 75-100 of their images. And we’ve collected about 50 from our parishioners. There are some that are actually handmade sculptures, some crocheted, some [that] people have purchased on pilgrimages to the Holy Land or Rome. One of our young children, maybe 5 or 6 [years old], made a Last Supper out of Legos, which is pretty remarkable.”

Members of the parish have been trained as guides who can explain each image “to help visitors more deeply understand the theology or beauty or Scripture hidden in it,” says Father Meyer.

This Last Supper collection is not the first of such exhibits offered at the parish’s summer festivals. The first was on the Shroud of Turin during the 2015 festival, followed by Nativity crèches in 2016 and images of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 2017.

“The reason we started doing these exhibits was to create a non-threatening environment to create a conversation at our festivals,” Father Meyer explains. “We’ll serve thousands of chicken dinners in one day. How do you effectively evangelize and share the treasures of the Church [to those who attend the festivals]? Exhibits have proven to be a great way to do that. Sacred art is very moving.”

He says the exhibits are more than just art, “but experiences where [visitors] are all the more drawn into the mystery of whatever it is we’re exhibiting.”

For the Last Supper exhibit, Father Meyer hopes that those who see it will develop “a deeper understanding of what took place in the Upper Room 2,000 years ago … [as well as] a deeper appreciation for the Eucharist,” and its “transformative work in our lives and hearts.”

He also hopes visitors will feel “called to live that mystery through service,” noting that Jesus’ washing of the disciples feet are also depicted among the Last Supper pieces.

“When we look at how we can share our faith, these exhibits have been tremendous,” says Father Meyer. “People come for chicken and a beer, but they also walk away with Jesus. They walk away inspired.”

The exhibit is free and will be available as follows:
 

  • 5 p.m.-midnight, July 14; and 11 a.m.-9 p.m., July 15, St. John the Baptist Campus, 25743 State Rte. 1, Guilford. This is the only site where the exhibit is handicap-accessible.
  • 5:30 p.m.-midnight, July 28; and 11 a.m.-9 p.m., July 29, St. Martin Campus, 8044 Yorkridge Road, Guilford.
  • 5 p.m.-midnight, Aug. 11; 11 a.m.‑6 p.m., Aug. 12, St. Paul Campus, 9798 N. Dearborn Road, Guilford.

For more information, contact the parish office at 812-576-4302. †

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