We Did It!!!! This once dull institutional looking hallway is now a place of beauty in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Epiphany of the Lord parish in Oklahoma City!
Since this hallway is primarily used by the Religious Education department of the church, we wanted a place that would communicate who we are as Catholics, as Oklahomans, and as members of our parish. Scroll down to Part I and take a mini tour of the mural. See if you think we succeeded! And, please come by and see the mural in person when you have a chance.
The mural began with the ancient city of Jerusalem, and concludes with the new Jerusalem, our heavenly home! The Bible says that the Lamb of God is the center and the light of that city. The city has a golden glow and there is a tree there that bears 12 different fruits. The sign posts on the way are the symbols of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The Miracle at Cana: This is the third epiphany. In this icon, Mary is pointing us to Christ and saying, “Whatever He tells you to do, do it!” In the background there is the bride and groom. The groom has his hand raise in the sign of blessing. The man on the left is the father of the bride, who is distressed that he has run out of wine at this important moment in the life of his family. The servant is pouring water into the vessels and it is turning into wine. There will be plenty! Notice there seems to be an empty spot on the right—that is for you to come and join the festivities!
The chalice at the the top is copied from a beautiful silver chalice recently donated to our parish.
Oklahoma’s Servant of God Father Stanley Rother, a martyr.
Father Rother was killed in 1981 in his rectory in Guatamala. Father Stanley was devoted to the Tz’utujil people and translated the New Testament into their language. Father Rother knew he was risking his life to serve God, but his motto was, “A shepherd never runs.”
The Catholic Pastoral Center pictured in the far left background was the first meeting place for Epiphany of the Lord parish until their new church building was completed. The 3 saint statues from the left and moving right are St. Joseph, Our Lady of Lavang, and St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In the middle distance there is a procession that includes the Archbishop and representatives of the many religious orders that are so important to the work of the church in Oklahoma City. The people in the foreground procession represent members of the parish, with Father Bird and altar servers leading the procession.
In the center background present day Oklahoma City is depicted. The church on the left is Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Oklahoma City Archdiocese Cathedral. The statues are representative of the patron saints of many of the people groups who make up our parish. Left to right, there is St. Patrick, a group of Vietnamese martyrs, the weeping Jesus (in front of the Murrah Building Bombing Memorial), Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Infant Jesus of Prague. The people in this portion of the mural are representative of the members of our parish.
The Baptism of Christ: In this icon, John the Baptist is baptising Christ as a dove descends from heaven. In this icon, we can see the angels are witnesses. The axe in the tree is the traditional representation of John’s message of repentance.
The Spanish priests and nun represent the first Carmelites who began arriving in Oklahoma City in the 1910’s. They established a parish and a school for Spanish speaking Catholics. In the background is Little Flower church.
The Sister pushing a wheelchair represents the religious orders in Oklahoma with a focus on health care, such as the Sisters of Mercy who established Mercy Hospital, and the Franciscans who established St. Anthony’s hospital.
When Bishop Kelly was appointed in 1924, he faced the problem of how to get priests to the many rural churches in Oklahoma. He founded the Catholic Church Extension Society and established the traveling railroad “chapel car”.
As the Catholic population in Oklahoma grew, the Vatican (upper left) took notice and sent newly ordained Bishop Theodore Meershart (in Bishop’s robe). Standing next to him is Saint Katharine Drexel, who was responsible for founding a number of missions for the native American and freed black children. The Native American family and orphaned children in this scene represent the groups who were the primary focus of the Church during this time. On the far right is Msgr. Ketcham became the first priest ordained in Oklahoma. He served for 20 years as the Director of the Catholic Bureau of Indian Missions in Washington.
Also in the background Mount St. Mary’s school for girls and St. Gregory’s University are pictured, as they were some of the first Catholic institutions established in Oklahoma.
The first religious sisters arrived in the territory shortly after Father Robot. These are the first five Sisters of Mercy who arrived by covered wagon in 1880. The churches in the background represent the many small frontier churches that sprang up across Oklahoma during the early settlement years. Church members and priests usually had to travel great distances by horse and buggy or train to attend services.