Some of Patrick Fletcher’s earliest memories are of scouring his family’s home for blank pieces of paper to use for his drawings and sketches.
At 34 years old, Fletcher — now known as Father Peregrine, a Norbertine based at St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado Canyon — is a recognized multimedia artist who produces religious art displayed throughout the abbey.
Most recently, Fr. Peregrine worked for months to produce a detailed icon of St. Norbert for the Norbertine Fathers’ 900th anniversary jubilee in May 2021. The icon, created from a combination of acrylics, oils and colored pencils, remains displayed prominently in the sanctuary.
Now serving the Norbertine community as assistant novice master, he often works in the abbey’s art studio with other confreres, as the religious community members are called.
“When I first came to the abbey, I was so inspired by a number of seminarians who met once a week to paint together,” he said. “They really encouraged me to join them and I’m so glad I did. I learned a lot; we taught each other and shared the lessons we learned.”
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, as one of five children, Fr. Peregrine credits his accountant father and homemaker mother with encouraging their kids’ creativity.
These days, Fr. Peregrine combines his religious calling with the growing demand for his artistic talents. In his opinion, the two combine well to form a fulfilling, inspired life.
“There is something both natural and supernatural about art,” he observed. “There’s a natural desire to create and craft things. On a supernatural level, it’s a blessing to do it in service to the Lord, the saints, His Holy Mother, making the artistic process filled with meaning.”
Creating icons, he added, requires an immersion unique in the art world.
“The whole process is a prayer. Your soul is united to God and the image you are depicting, whether it’s Mary, a saint, or an angel. The whole process is, in a way, something very beautiful, supernatural, and divine.”
“I love any art that is true, honest, and beautiful,” he added. “But icons fulfill a uniquely prayerful purpose. In making an icon, the artist prays, fasts, and involves the entire self. For me, all that is a very compelling reason to create them.”
Full story at OC Catholic.