Artist and St. Peter Parishioner, Chas Fagan, Presents Saint Teresa Portrait to Fr. James Shea, SJ
Charlotte artist Chas Fagan, a
parishioner of St. Peter Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC, had only four
months to paint what became the official portrait of Mother Teresa for her
sainthood ceremony last September in Rome. His 22-inch by 28-inch
portrait was commissioned by the Knights of Columbus. Chas wanted the portrait to be as authentic as possible, so he visited the nuns in Mother Teresa’s religious order who live and work in
Charlotte to accurately depict the sari worn by the newly canonized saint.
vinyl reproduction of Fagan’s portrait was the central image in a large
tapestry which hung from the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica, above the square
where Pope Francis celebrated Mass. "The
Vatican and those promoting the cause of Mother Teresa’s sainthood liked
Fagan’s painting so much," said Knights of Columbus spokesman Joe Cullen, "that
they decided it should be the official canonization portrait." The group printed
over 1 million prayer cards bearing Fagan’s work.
On January 27, Chas
presented a framed copy of the portrait to Fr. Jim Shea, SJ, pastor at St Peter
Catholic Church along with prayer cards from the canonization
Shea is discerning the most appropriate placement of the portrait in order for
the entire community to appreciate the image.
Another St. Peter parishioner, Tim Funk, wrote an article in the Charlotte Observer a few days before the ceremony in Rome about Chas Fagan and the making of the portrait.
This summer, Fr. Charles Frederico, SJ, stepped down as director of vocations for the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces, having served for eight years. Fr. Philip Florio, SJ, will now assume the vocations director role for our two East Coast provinces.