Thursday, January 10, 2013

Journeying with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

By Rhodora Quinn
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Ontario

Follow along as Rhodora Quinn, wife of Deacon Gary Quinn from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Ontario brings life to the parish statue as a Year of Faith project.

Dec. 19, 2012

I am embarking on a faith-filled journey making St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (statue) alive and vibrant in this YEAR of FAITH. I got 15 days to accomplish this task. Please pray that the Holy Spirit guide my hands as I courageously move along through the inspiration and intercession of St. Elizabeth Ann herself. I just finished sanding it. It took me 3 days.

Dec. 20, 2012

On this 4th day I spent sealing and sanding the statue of SEAS as I weave through my day preparing meals, cleaning, running errands, helping in Isabel's 5th grade class and reading about Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton. Amazing woman! She is the first American canonized saint---a wife and mother, a religious sister and educator, a woman who faced crises and setbacks and yet courageously embraced the challenges of life through love, devotion and openness to the grace of God! I'm getting ready for my Confirmation 2 class tonight---I'll start painting tomorrow. I appreciate all your prayers as we count down to SEAS Feast Day on January 4th!

Dec 22, 2012

I spent three hours working on SEAS statue this afternoon. It's Day 6! I wiped water based Onyx and Mahogany stain on the crevices of her garments and got carried away praying the rosary in her hands as I rubbed it with Titanium White and Titan Buff Acrylic. St. Elizabeth Ann's filial devotion to Mary contributed to the blossoming of her gift of the Catholic faith. She wondered, "How can we honor the mysteries of our Jesus without honoring Mary in them all?" The "Memorare" brought her so much consolation and peace.

Dec 23, 2012

Day 7 of my journey with SEAS. The Word of God was St. Elizabeth's "hidden treasure." Her familiarity with the Sacred Scripture prepared her for her life's mission. On the sideline I spent the morning with SEAS Youth rehearsing the Christmas Story Production for tomorrow, 7 PM Christmas Eve. Must see! It will nourish your FAITH and deepen your relationship with GOD!

Dec. 25, 2012

Day 8 of my journey with SEAS statue. Layer by layer. First with green washes, then sankir, now I'm on flesh tone. It's in the awkward stage. Patience. it's twelve midnight! Merry Christmas!

Can't sleep. Too much coffee. I'm reading 15 Days of Prayer with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton by Betty Ann McNeil, D.C. I just want to share Day 5: Hope Always Awake, page 29-30:
"Elizabeth's drive to do the will of God was rooted in her tremendous awareness of God's presence in her life. Her guiding principle was that "God is everywhere" and we should "remember that God sees us"...
Through meditation one's relationship with God develops and intensifies bearing the fruit of inner peace. How attentive am I to the many ways the loving mercy of God is present in my life? The picture below is an awkward transition from green (the color of life & hope) to flesh. I wonder how light is St. Elizabeth's skin?

Dec 27, 2012

Day 11 of my journey with SEAS. She's almost done. Seven more days to go before she goes back to her niche in our Church. What's left? Highlights, gold leaf, catchlight, iris, lash lines, a wash of yellow ochre and a wash of screaming orange! Right now I'm enjoying her company with a cup of tea. Two things I admire about her---her devotion to the Mass and the Eucharist; and her devotion to the Mother of God. As you know she was a convert to Catholicism. As she journeyed through life, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the longer she walked in the company of Jesus, the more she came to know Him in the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:30). "Behold the Lamb of God---blessed are you who are called to the Supper of the Lamb." She was awestruck by the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist! She also had a deeper understanding of the role of Mary in the Church. She said: "The glory and happiness of the Catholic Church is to sing praised of Mary." Did you know that she owned a large oil painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which hung in the small chapel at Emmitsburg where she spent time in daily prayer?

Dec. 29, 2012

Like any other journey, it's not always smooth sailing. This morning I re-sanded SEAS face because it bucked up, probably I'm not patient enough to wait before adding another wash. I need to seal it and paint over again layer by layer patiently. With God's grace and your prayers it will be well. We're on Day 13! Thanks for your encouragement!

Dec. 31, 2012

End of the Year and Day 15 of SEAS journey. I thought I'd finish today but I got so many distractions and obstacles. I'll stay home tomorrow all day to continue working on her flesh tones and eyes. Looking pretty good, I believe. Thanks for your continued prayers. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's days, like ours, were filled with busyness, distractions and interruptions. All did not go as she planned or even wished, yet she maintained an attitude of gracious openness for God to work in her life :) In the spirit of St Elizabeth, how do I see the work of God in my ordinary life, in my daily journey of faith?

Jan. 1

SEAS is in the garage right now drying from clear satin protective finish. I'll bring her back to Church tomorrow. It is an honor to spend our Christmas Season with her presence for 17 days! Her last word to us on our journey of faith:

"We are created in the image of God, and we should breathe and act but for His glory. Our destination is heaven, and there every thought and design of our mind should be sent. We are followers of Christ, and every action of our life should be done in union with him since from Him only they can draw either value or merit."

Her life as a wife, mother, widow, educator, and spiritual leader made her a SAINT.

"The tomorrows of our life are built on the foundation of today. Listening and responding to the small and great calls of God in our lives are the experiences by which we meet our grace and grow in the Christian life."

I just finished my journey with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton! Today is the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Jan. 7

SEAS back home! Missed her.

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