WINTER PARK | You’re drawn to Him whether you’re coming or going. The new 12-foot-tall icon of Christ the Teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Winter Park inspires the faithful. This giant masterpiece came to life with a little teamwork and a generous donation from a parishioner who wanted to do something lasting for the church.
A team from the parish contacted Monastery Icons in the summer of 2018 with the special request. The company based in West Chester, Ohio normally makes these icons no larger than 5-feet tall, but the group from Sts. Peter and Paul wanted to double that size and then some. “I felt that the large blank canvas over the main entrance of the church always needed something to fill the void and complete the space,” said pastor, Father Derk Schudde.
Monastery Icons accepted the challenge. They took a high resolution photograph of the icon. Then printed three nine-and-a-half-foot wide segments. After each one was carefully inspected and laminated, they were mounted separately to be assembled at Sts. Peter and Paul.
“The round window over the main entrance, in an abstract manner, depicts creation, specifically the creation of light. Swirling from the center we see light, in all the colors of the spectrum, spreading outward,” explained Father Schudde. “Just as God created the sun in the sky to give light to our world, so too God sent His Son to be light for the world… thus the quote that He is displaying in the icon.” It reads “I am the light of the world: He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
The entire process took about 4 months from conception and creation to delivery and installation. Positioning a 12-foot-tall icon in a spot 36 feet off the ground is no small task. Crews brought in a hydraulic lift to get the job done. And compliments from parishioners keep flooding in. One of Father Schudde’s favorites – “the icon looks like it was meant to be there all along.” He prays people will admire the art and remember to be that light for all of our brothers and sisters, so they too may see the goodness of God.
By Jennifer Drow, Special to the Florida Catholic – February 25, 2019