In a solemn and joyful ceremony at St. Joseph Church in Jim Thorpe Sunday, the Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown dedicated the "Emmaus Triptych" in a packed church at the 10:30 a.m. Mass which he celebrated there.
The new Bishop of Allentown, who was installed this past Summer as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Allentown, entered the church in a procession of school children and parishioners along with the church's Pastor, Father Francis J. Baransky and two other priests led by members of the Knights of Columbus.
Near the end of the Mass, after Communion, Lehigh Valley Artist Dana Van Horn, who painted this magnificent piece of religious artwork, had the opportunity to speak to all those present in the church and reflect on the symbolisms and meanings of the artwork and the figures included in it.
The figures are Jesus and two friends; Pope John Paul II; Mother Teresa of Calcutta; Sister Pauline Von Mallinckrodt; and Native-American Kateri Tekakwitha, all of whom, in some way, connect the painting specifically to the Church of St. Joseph and its community.
He noted that now, and in the years to come, the painting of The Emmaus Triptych will continue to provide spiritual meaning which may be personally different for each and every one who views it.
Following Artist Van Horn's comments, Bishop Barres moved to the right side of the church and proceeded to dedicate the painting.
Following the Mass and dedication ceremony, the Bishop , accompanied by Pastor Father Baransky, greeted parishioners and visitors at a reception in his honor at the St. Joseph Regional Academy cafeteria.