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Shower of roses painting unveiled

Members of the Panther Valley community gathered Monday night at the Diocesan Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux to celebrate the centennial of New Columbus, showcased by the unveiling of the shrine’s newest addition, a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

Attendees stood in anticipation, awaiting the big reveal during the Mass at the shrine.

“The Shower of Roses” features Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Therese and an infant Jesus showering New Columbus with roses.

The 5-by-7-foot painting was created by artist Dana Van Horn and is a unique piece that cannot be found anywhere else.

“I want our parish to have a sustainable future,” said the Rev. Allen Hoffa, rector of the shrine and pastor of St. Joseph Parish of the Panther Valley. “One of the realities is broadening our scope so that we can welcome those both near and far to our parish.”

Part of moving forward is honoring the memory of those who came before. If you look closely, you can catch a glimpse of Monsignor Agnello Angelini, high up in the clouds, watching over the parish. Angelini was a fixture in the history of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, which is now the shrine, having been the driving force in starting the annual Shower of Roses celebration at the church in 1932.

“It’s a beautiful remembrance,” said Marge Antiga in regard to the painting.

Hoffa said the painting symbolizes how Angelini will forever watch over the community, while at the same time, it will always be under the heavenly presence of “Our Lord, Our Lady and St. Therese.”

“My goal with any commission is to provide a visual form to spiritual beliefs. I try to honor tradition and long-held beliefs while at the same time make them relevant to a contemporary audience,” Van Horn said.

Funds were raised by members of the parish to not only commission “The Shower of Roses,” but to update both the shrine’s sanctuary floor and to cover its walls with a new coat of paint.

Hoffa shared the importance of creating a welcoming worship environment throughout the ceremony and how the congregation did just that.

The Rev. Allen Hoffa, third from left, unveils the newly commissioned artwork “Shower of Roses” during a Mass celebrating the 100th anniversary of New Columbus and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, which is now the Diocesan Shrine of St. Therese, on Monday. JESSICA KNAPP/TIMES NEWS