Sister Anncarla Costello and Father Parker Sandoval, chancellor and vice chancellor (respectively) of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, have curated the cathedral’s new, sprawling “250 Years of Mission” exhibit.
The duo had much to choose from, between the archdiocese’s archives, artwork from Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, and the USC Digital Library.
The first gallery is dominated by a large tapestry of St. Junípero Serra, founder of the missions. The tapestry, which was present at St. Junípero’s canonization by Pope Francis in 2015, was created by artist John Nava and is in the same style as the cathedral’s most recognizable feature, also created by Nava: the tapestries of saints that adorn either side of its nave.
Along with Nava’s tapestry, the gallery has artwork and artifacts — baskets, bricks, a branding iron — from the founding and early years of the missions. Included is perhaps the exhibit’s most precious piece, a depiction of the 13th Station of the Cross, painted by a member or members of the Tongva tribe — its creator’s name(s) have been lost to history — that is one of the few existing examples of native Christian art.
Also included is a large oil painting by artist Aurelio G. D. Mendoza, depicting St. Junípero, Franciscan brothers, and the indigenous people who helped build, maintain, and grow the missions, something Father Sandoval found “wonderful since it shows [St. Junípero] alongside the natives in this common project.”
The exhibit offers observers an overview of what the archdiocese grew from. There is a spectacular, and huge, gold monstrance crafted for the founding of the archdiocese (previously a diocese) and installation of Archbishop John Cantwell, its first archbishop, as well as historic vestments, habits, and photographs of the wildly popular “Mary’s Hour” devotional event that, at one time, attracted 100,000 devotees to the Los Angeles Coliseum….
The above comes from a Sept. 28 story in Angelus News.