Monday, September 10, 2007

Iconographer

Last week Sr. Mary Charles McGough, OSB, from Duluth, MN, a great artist of the US monastic world, died of cancer. Her contemporary and beautiful icons grace every monastery I've ever visited. Her Benedict & Scholastica, the second one you'll see if you click on this link, is one of the most popular images of the founders of Benedictine monastic life.

For the last 6-7 years, AIM USA used this icon as the front of its prayer card. Requests to have it reproduced with the prayer in English, Portuguese or Spanish came regularly. One monastery in Asia liked it so much that they set up a display to duplicate the icon, using similar statues and the same background. If you live near enough to visit Duluth, go to St. Scholastica Monastery on Kenwood Avenue and see some of the originals that hang there and pay silent homage to Sr. Mary Charles and all the women and men who gift us with such beauty for our spiritual journey.

At Mount St. Benedict the icons of Benedicta Riepp, the first Benedictine woman to come to the United States (1852) and Scholastica Burkhard, our first prioress (1856), hang in the hall outside our prioress's office. They were both done by Sr. Mary Charles.