"Hate is taught. It is color blind, gender neutral and not the province of any one religion. Love is learned. And, Well... Hope is eternal."
Upon an introduction by Tricia Crisafulli to Fr. Jarrett Kerbel, Mario Alberico was commissioned to do a Stations of the Cross Lenten exhibit for St Mary's Episcopal Church in Park Ridge, IL. He presented a series of drawings to Fr. Kerbel that were traditional in style. After a few moving experiences that touched the core of his soul, Mario Alberico took a dramatic turn not only in theme, but also in his approach to making artworks. Sight unseen, and only hearing of the new approach one week before the start of Lent, Fr. Jarrett Kerbel had a simple reply, "Awesome!"
This page is a representation of that exhibition which generated awareness of the topic and developed understaning between seemingly different people. Most importantly, the exhibit raised money to feed the poor. It was a Lenten Miracle and a great example of the mission of Gallery 119 and Foundation 119 in action.
To continue raising awareness and raising money for the cause of Foundation 119, the artist has dedicated this a traveling exhibition. If you are aware of any institution that is aligned with our goals and would like to install this exhibit, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good Friday Sermon Rockerfeller Chapel at the University of Chicago
On April 14, 2006, Mother Aimee Delevett of Saint Mary's Episcopal Church gave the Good Friday Sermon at Rockerfeller Chapel. Throughout the Lenten season she was Inspired by the responses of numerous people to the exhibit hung in the sanctuary just to the right of the pulpit. Mother Delevett was also moved by the haunting nature of the images within the Stations and saw them "as a gift." Please click on the link below to read the text of her sermon.
“For many, the Stations of the Cross are synonymous with Lent, Holy Week and, especially, Good Friday. This devotion is also known as the Way of the Cross, the Via Crucis, and the Via Dolorosa. It commemorates 14 key events on day of Christ's crucifixion. The majority concern His final walk through the streets of Jerusalem, carrying the Cross.
The Stations originated in medieval Europe when wars prevented Christian pilgrims from visiting the Holy Land. Oddly enough this was partly due to wars fought wrongly in the name of Christ. European artists made works depicting scenes of Christ's journey to Calvary. The faithful installed sculptures or paintings at intervals along a procession route, inside the parish church or outdoors. Performing the devotion meant walking the entire route, stopping to pray at each "station." Thus, they had a way to experience the Way of the Cross. This was also helpful because the clergy maintained a hold on the Bible and a great number of the people were illiterate. No one knows for sure, though it is believed that as many as 30 Stations were once used. In 1731, Pope Clement XII standardized the number to the 14 typically used today.
Recently, a 15th Station was added – the Resurrection. Call me old fashioned, call me a curmudgeon, but that does not sit right with me. I do not go for the need of a “feel good” Christianity. The Stations were meant to depict a disturbing day in the life of the Son of God. They were meant for us to somehow and someway witness and feel the humanity of His sacrificial love for us. It was disturbing, yes, and necessary. The Resurrection will come. It always comes. Not during Lent. Not on Good Friday.”
Stations Of The Cross Preliminary Sketches
“When I began to think about the exhibit at St Mary’s, I wanted to start with a base of sketches consistent with the style that I have been using for the Stations of the Cross over the last 25 years. An abstraction, a single view of Christ during the events depicted in each Station - the isolation of His soul in a very individual and cerebral manner. While working on the exhibit I read Mohandas Gandhi - Essential Writings and Oscar Romero - Reflections, His Life and Writings and viewed Ken Burns' groundbreaking PBS series Jazz. From that point I started to spend hours upon hours researching the history of lynchings in America, using as the primary source,Without Sanctuary,with brutal scenes and recollections of the worst in manking. All had a profound impact on me with their truth that ‘poverty is the worst type of violence'. I started to realize that we have been crucifying the poor and the oppressed, the afflicted, the widowed and the orphaned along with Christ for the past 2,000 years. The lynchings, oh my Lord and my God, the lynchings.”
St Mary's Church, Park Ridge, IL - Lent 2006
Who is this man and what is his purpose as he looks at you from inside each Station?
Stations Of The Cross Correspondence
Summing It Up
“So I was thinking, pondering, cogitating. What was I trying to come up with this exhibit? Provocation? Sure. Stir up emotions? Yep. Eliminate the feel good Christianity that needs to add a 15th Station, the Resurrection, just to make people feel good? Definitely.! The Stations are disturbing. They are real, especially nowadays. Was I looking for some answer? Not really. In this “Correspondence” I wanted to take all of those images in the 14 Stations and put them along side Christ’s lynching to honor them and all who have been lynched by hatred of any kind. Is there hope? Maybe. Yeah maybe a hope that human beings will always rise against the tyranny of hate and cause it to fall. Rise up in love and non-violent civil disobedience. Remember Good Friday; remember Amritsar; remember the EdmundPettisBridge in Selma, AL on March 7, 1965; remember Rwanda; remember Ramallah; remember Communists that have been replaced by Muslims for the projection of institutional hatred.
And, well... the hope. They may be subtle and hidden in the 14 Stations, but hope comes from the images (and living and dead examples) from Saint Mohandas Gandhi and Saint Oscar Romero. Hope also comes from the more recent examples of the image of Coretta Scott King lying in state at the State Capitol Rotunda in Georgia. That is a real miracle of hope when you think back 40 years ago. Yep, there’s hope. We must remember what Gandhi said, “that the devils are in our own hearts.” We must start there. We must begin with ourselves and no longer fear others we perceive are different from us. We must eliminate such a fear that dries out souls and replace it with a font of love that can only come from the God of Truth. Truth is God. Love is God. Then, and only then, will we see all people as brothers and sisters under the grace of God.”