Meet Evan Michael Mary. A convert to the Faith from California. A tribute to grace at work.
He earned his BA degree at Thomas Aquinas College, his MA from the University of Dallas and his Licentiate in philosophy from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He is currently completing his doctoral studies in Rome.
I have never in all my travels met a pilgrim like Evan. His journeys and adventures make him an unparalleled pilgrim. A bit like a wandering wayfarer from the Middle Ages, playing his mandolin, he can be seen walking from one place to the next, in general silence. Sometimes reading authors such as Livy or Aristotle.
Evan once brought me to where Rome was born, at Lake Nemi and even to where Cicero is buried, at Formia. At Arpino he brought me to see the head of Thomas Aquinas. At Roccasecca we walked amid the ruins of the castle where Thomas Aquinas was born, and prayed in the room where he died at Fossanova Abbey. We walked the ruins of Via Appia Antica. Once he brought me to stay at the Byzantine Abbey of Grottaferrata. It was Evan who showed me Norcia before it was destroyed by earthquake. Once we walked the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican together. One day he led me to see the ruins of a fascinating ancient Roman fish-farm, still visible in the sea at Santa Marinella. Last October at dusk we swam in the dark in the "Mare Nostrum."
Evan lives on a very meager diet, he is frugal and carries his Byzantine prayer cord. Worshiping in Eastern and Western rites, his prayer is versatile. He has prayed and sung liturgical chants in Latin and Greek. One summer he saved me when I had no place to live in Rome, and his Italian girlfriend was gracious enough to allow me to stay at a Catholic house. the famed Casa Mamre.
Evan has done every walking pilgrimage imaginable. Holy Land, Greece, Mt. Athos, Ireland, the Chartres Pilgrimage, the Camino of St. James, the Camino of St. Benedict. He has lived and worked at Byzantine and Latin Rite monasteries, his appearance changing like a chameleon until he has a shave and a haircut.
Evan currently resides by the sea outside Rome. It has been five years since he has been back home. Some day he will make a fine professor of philosophy, teaching Aristotle to the next generation of thinker. May God continue to guide this pilgrim soul. And may he be led to teach where Providence calls him.
The Church and Modernistic Art, a book printed in the 1960s by the Wanderer Printing Company, is a fine read.
The author is Monsignor Rudolph G. Bandas, Ph.D, S.T.D., a distinguished peritus (expert) at Vatican Council II.
According to Msgr. Bandas, our age is witnessing a peculiar outbreak of ugliness in the domain of sacred art.
This ugliness has invaded not only churches, but is also found in Christmas cards, laymen's missals and even in the priests' altar missals.
In this type of sacred art, Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints are represented in sometimes grotesque, even repulsive forms with cretinous faces, and pictured as though they were suffering from elephantiasis, starvation or a deforming arthritis.
This modernistic art seems to concentrate especially on images of Christ. Contrary to the teaching of the liturgy that Christ "reigned triumphantly" from the cross, and that his glorified body reigns from heaven forever.
The new art often represents Christ, Mary and the saints in an attitude of despair or confusion or even stupidity. It completely distorts the human figure, ignoring the nobility and divine stature of Christ and all things holy.
In his book, Msgr. Bandas confronts this bogus new art with the age-long and unchanging legislation of the Church. He was inspired by Celso Cardinal Constantini, who frequently characterized the modernistic productions as "pictorial horrors" and even "visual blasphemies."
Msgr. Bandas delves into the pronouncements of the Church on sacred art as found in the decrees of Ecumenical Councils, of Sacred Congregations and of the Sovereign Pontiffs.
The book includes 75 photographs, illustrating true sacred art vs. ugly sacred art.
"Zeal for the promotion and restoration of the liturgy is rightly held to be a sign of the providential dispositions of God in our time, as a movement of the Holy Spirit in His Church." -Sacrosanctum Concilium, 43