The Icon of Pentecost: The Acts of the Apostles presents the scene. Disciples who witnessed the passion as well as the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, are gathered in prayer. Mary, the mother of Jesus is with them – she whose presence stirred the child in the womb of Elizabeth, she who proclaimed, "My soul magnifies the Lord" is simply described as present. The Holy Spirit appears as tongues of fire and those gathered break into missionary discipleship. A frequent source of inspiration for Christian Brother artist Br. Kenneth Chapman, CFC, these transformational experiences are represented in many of his paintings. Three have been selected to accompany Pentecost 2023.
Brother Chapman offers a brief meditation on each.
Brother Chapman has returned many times in his long career to themes of Pentecost, the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. He illumines with color, shape and depth, moments on a journey toward enlightenment. His graduate fine arts thesis, completed in 1972 at the Catholic University of America, was a study of the days of creation. Having been introduced to the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and finding fascination in the images emanating from the exploration of outer space, he gave expression to what some now label as "the new cosmology." The other major source of inspiration for his prolific career, has been a meditative engagement in Jewish Scripture and the New Testament. Currently he resides at St. Joseph’s Community Residence in New Rochelle, NY.
Messages to or in recognition of Brother Chapman may be sent through this web site or to Br. P. Sean Moffett, CFC email@example.com.
The following are transcriptions of the video interviews:
Holy Spirit – The Realization that God is ALL In an interview the artist takes time studying the work. He points to the lower part of the painting and notes: That is the head looking up. And here are the arms on either side reaching up. And there at the top is the Spirit. He pauses a moment and then says excitedly, there are a million things going on... Just awareness, awareness of transformation , people becoming aware of beauty—and beauty is another word for God, I think. It is people becoming aware of God, aware of who made them, who made everything. And so, they throw up their hands and say "My goodness, this is what its all about, it’s everything. God is all things."
Red Pentecost Brother Chapman distinguished this painting from a similar one in blue. He noted: In this one they are much more caught up aren’t they? They’re on fire. That’s how they had to be. On fire... All of a sudden they realize how marvelous and sacred it was every moment they were with Jesus – just to be with him, to watch his movements, to hear his voice. And so, they throw up their hands as if the body loses all its weight and they are lifted above everything. And they all get martyred. Everyone is killed accept John, right?.
Holy Sprit - The Circle Brother explains: The whole thing is a circle, or it could be an egg. When they (the disciples) are together they form a circle, an egg. They become one with Jesus. "I and the Father are One." And they all have the same purpose. The purpose is to glorify God, to show the beauty of God. That is their sole purpose. No matter what happens. They are going to die. That’s OK. It doesn’t matter because we are one and we must show how beautiful God is -- and be thankful for everything because we would have nothing except that God has given us this. And so, we praise Him. We praise Him as one.
Taking in the whole of the painting Brother Chapman coments: That is what this is like – holding up a gift, giving a gift back to God.