The Ravenna Mosaic Company at St. Michael the Archangel in Frederickton, Missouri

A few months back I was quite struck by the beauty of the follow mosaic work, taken from St. Michael the Archangel in Fredricktown, Missouri. This particular mosaic work was executed by the Ravenna Mosaic Company of Madison, specifically Arno Heuduck whose work can also be found in the justly celebrated cathedral-basilica of St. Louis.

Detail showing God the Father and the Holy Spirit

Here is what the parish website has to say about the work:
In 1982, on the 55th anniversary of the present church's construction, renovation began with the installation of a spectacular mosaic located in the sanctuary. St. Michael's mosaic consists of more than 300,000 tiny pieces of glass, in over a hundred different colors. There is an average of 500 bits of glass in each square foot of the design. The brilliance of the mosaics, each placed to best reflect light, guide the eye of the viewer to the focal point of the church, the altar.

Fr. Quentin Hahn, pastor at the time, made notes on paper regarding what he wished to be contained in the mosaic. He wanted God the Father, God the Son, illustrated in the center of the mosaic, with the Annunciation of Mary, and St. Michael the Archangel, also depicted. Father Hahn submitted his ideas and rough sketches to arist Robert Harmon, who put those words into drawings, or cartoons. The cartoons were then submitted to Mr. Arno Heuduck of the Ravenna Mosaic Company in Madison County.

The late Mr. Heuduck, a renowned mosaic artist, was responsible for some of the mosaic work in the new Cathedral- Basilica in St. Louis. St Michael parishioners pledged funds to assist in paying for the mosaic work, which began in March 1982 and was completed in November of the same year. The dedication of the mosaic was held on Sunday, Devember 19, 1982. The church was crowded, not only with members of the congregation, but with many others interested in viewing a true work of religious art. People still come and marvel at the beauty of the mosaic.

The Symbolism of St. Michael's Mosaics

Within the alcove of the sanctuary is symbolized God the Father, with outstretched arms. In front of His chest is pictured a dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The Alpha and the Omega- the begginning and the end- appear in letters to the left and right. God the Son is portrayed underneath God the Father, standing nine feet tall with outstretched arms extended in welcome. The waves of the Jordan River in flowing curve appear behind the figure of Jesus.

In the mosaic to the left, Mary of the Annunciation is portrayed; to the right is the patron of the parish, Saint Michael the Archangel. Above the alcove, are the archangels Gabriel to the left, and Raphael to the right. Inscribed in the mosaic around the arch of the alcove are the words: "First Mass in this third structure December 25, 1927. St. Michael's Parish established 1827.

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