Nadia Sharif, a senior at Hazelwood West High School, sketched during an evening of “art storming” at Good Shepherd Arts Center in Ferguson. The “art storming” was a way to come up with artistic ideas for a show set for August at multiple venues in and around Ferguson.

In one of those "God-cidental" moments, the woman who started the #ThisIsMyFerguson hashtag in August 2014 just happened to be at Good Shepherd Arts Center while director Sister Glynis Mary McManamon, RGS, was formulating an exhibit about Ferguson.

The working title was "My Ferguson," until that day in August 2017 when Stefannie Wheat dropped in.

"She kind of already had the idea," said Wheat, a parishioner at nearby Our Lady of Guadalupe. "She said, 'We're going to have a show called 'My Ferguson.' I asked, 'Do you mean, 'This is my Ferguson?" ... It took off from there."

School’s volunteer-led effort taps students’ creativity


The first-grade students listened patiently and watched as parent-volunteers used a Smartboard to explain the purpose and method of making prayer flags common in Tibet.

Next, they received a sample of symbols they could draw on their colorful square flag. Ella Torrez chose a fleur de lis "because I live in St. Louis and also because I like Mary because she's nice to the baby Jesus," she said.

Teachers use summer ‘vacation’ to hone their craft

Suzi Wilson, the art teacher at St. Simon the Apostle School, spent a week in professional development in the exclusive teacher's institute at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She prepared a lesson on self-portraits for one of her classes.

In 14 years as a teacher, St. Simon the Apostle art teacher Suzi Wilson has spent summer "vacation" with quote marks around that very word.

Yes, Wilson, husband Tom and daughters Betsy and Katy have enjoyed family trips in her summer hiatus from the classroom, but it's a misnomer to describe all of her time off in summer as a "vacation."

"Laudato Si'" art exhibit looks at beauty, abuse and care of creation

Shepherding Images Studio & Good Shepherd Gallery will host a “Laudato Si’” art exhibit commemorating the anniversary of the pope’s encyclical on care for creation. Sister Glynis Mary McManamon, of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, operates the art gallery and will have art in the exhibit, along with five religious sisters and a priest.

The upcoming art show celebrating the one-year anniversary of "Laudato Si'" was in the works even before Sister Glynis Mary McMamanon, RGS, opened Shepherding Images Studio & Good Shepherd Gallery in Ferguson this past November.

For one, when Pope Francis's encyclical came out June 18, she was in France at an international meeting of her community — Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. "There was such a build-up," she said recently at the gallery on South Florissant Road. "When it came out, there was such an excitement that, really, I think it was in my mind."

Truth, beauty, goodness come to life through sculptor’s work

Sculptor Cynthia Hitschler was commissioned to sculpt bronze statues for Holy Infant Parish in Ballwin. The full installation includes four life-sized bronze statues of children that demonstrate the theme “I Am the Pro-Life Generation.”

When Cynthia Hitschler reflects on the legacy of religious art, she is overwhelmed by the great faith of the people who created it and how it lives on to inspire future generations.

Hitschler, in her own right, has contributed to the world of art as a bronze sculptor for the past 20 years. Her work with religious sculptures — from crucifixes and statues of the saints to works that promote the sanctity of life — depicts truth, beauty and goodness.

Author: Sacred art is a medium towards a conversation with God

The cover of “Meditations on Vatican Art” includes the artwork entitled “The Deposition of Christ” by Caravaggio. The book contains numerous other works of art from the Vatican collections and is available online at

When writing, an author will inevitably have moments where there is a struggle for inspiration -- moments where they will search for inspiration in many different corners. Father Mark Haydu was no exception, but unlike other writers, he could write in the Sistine Chapel.

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