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The earliest Christian communities relied on the tangible proximity of those who had lived and died in the name of Christ. It has been the Church's most ancient inclination to venerate the living memory of those men, women and children who, inspired by the Holy Spirit and compelled by the words of Christ, lived and died in service to God's people. The "cult of relics" links the faithful, yesterday, today and tomorrow, within the "family tree" of the believing community and act as a stimulus to remember, a catalyst for devotion, and as the impetus for meditation. Images of both ancient and "modern" relics, and the attending lives of our blessed brothers and sisters in the faith, will be presented. This presentation will seek to discover resemblances, similarities, and overlapping truths between the various ways MEMORY and REMEMBRANCE is understood by orthodox Catholicism in the 21st century.
Fr. James Neilson, O. Praem. is a Norbertine priest of St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere, WI. Fr. Neilson has studied art at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Notre Dame University and The Vermont Studio School where he earned an MFA in three-dimensional mixed media sculpture. He is presently an assistant professor of art (History of Art, History of Modern Art, Christian Symbolism in Art, and Studio Oil Painting) at St. Norbert College and received the Leonard Levina Educator of the Year Award in 2005. Fr. Neilson lectures across the country on topics related to art and faith. Fr. Neilson was "Artist in Residence" at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, in spring, 2002 and was a visiting lecturer at Barry University in Miami, Florida in spring, 2006 and 2007. Fr. Neilson's own artwork was on view at the Neville Public Museum where he took the first place award at the 66nd Annual Art Exhibition (2010).
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