GENEVA – The Catholic Corner, 4 S. Sixth St., Geneva, will offer religious art for sale and will partner with the Knights of Columbus to offer tours of the Grotto Sanctuary during the Geneva Arts Fair on 23 and July 24.
The shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature 70 to 75 pieces, including paintings, sculptures and woodcuts, as well as guided meditation sessions based on religious art.
“We’re going to have it here on the lawn of our house, three blocks west of Third Street,” said Judy Gay, co-owner of Catholic Corner.
The Knights of Columbus, who are restoring the cave shrine, will be hosting tours to see it, a shrine located on a walking trail behind the Kane County Government Center. The grotto sanctuary dates back to the 1930s, when the property was the Seminary of the Sacred Heart.
“The shrine was built by a German priest who was a Sacred Heart Father and it was built with stones and rocks from the area,” said Knights of Columbus member Bob McQuillan. “Over the past few years, the cave has been hit by graffiti and has also started to deteriorate due to its age. Last summer all the graffiti was removed and we are now in the process of restoring some of the stones that have fallen.
Sculptor Joseph Camaioni, who created the statue of Pope John Paul at St. Peter’s Church in Geneva, will exhibit some of his works, as will Russell Berringer of Elburn, who scrolls crosses, nativity scenes, puzzles and children’s toys. .
“Scroll work involves cutting inside a piece of wood to cut out shapes or pieces. It’s a more complex type of woodworking,” Berringer said. “It’s more of a hobby for me. It’s very relaxing. I’ve probably been doing this for almost 15 years.
Michael Murschel will lead two half-hour sessions of Visio Divina, Latin for “divine vision,” at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. both days, Murschel said.
“It is an experiential form of contemplative prayer and is related to the Lectio Divina form of prayer – divine reading – but instead of using scripture as a focal point, this form of prayer uses visuals,” Murschel said. in an email. “Pictures, sculptures, works of art of almost every kind, to help you focus on prayer and allow God to speak to your heart and soul through the picture.”
Participants will be seated in chairs as Murschel guides them through an artwork with a religious or spiritual component.
“I, as the facilitator, will be asking questions, leading people to further research the religious or spiritual aspect of this artwork,” Murschel said.
Murschel has offices in Geneva and Elgin, providing spiritual direction in the Catholic tradition.
The Catholic Corner was once located in the Berry House and was known as Pax Vobiscum – Latin for “peace be with you,” Gay said.
It changed its name to the Geneva Catholic Shop, then when the previous owners retired and Kim May came in as a partner, they reorganized during COVID to become The Catholic Corner, a non-profit organization , said Gay.
They found a larger space to rent, expanding what they could offer in the evenings, which they could not do by sharing space at Berry House.
“What we wanted to do was create a gathering place of hospitality and to be a place open to Catholic culture. We have five rooms for book clubs and studies and the Rosary Guild,” Gay said. “We have evening events, like the Jane Austin night with wine and cheese. We had a Hobbit party where everyone came in costume. There are no limits here.
The Catholic Corner isn’t just for Catholics, Gay said.
“We get people all the time shopping for someone Catholic, or for a Bible study or they’re just coming to talk,” Gay said.