The renovations of the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas include this new crucifix.

‘Opening Spiritual Doors’ lecture will discuss St. Thomas chapels in St. Paul and Minneapolis

The theme of this year’s University of St. Thomas Heritage Week, "Opening Doors … of our minds, hearts and spirits," looks at various doors that we open that affect our lives and the lives of others, and celebrates the legacy of St. Thomas doors that already have been opened for past generations.   

The liturgical designer and artist who were involved with the renovation of the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas on the St. Paul campus, as well as the design and creation of the Chapel of St. Thomas More on the Minneapolis campus, will present a program on “Opening Spiritual Doors” at 1:30 p.m. Monday, March 3, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus.

Speaking will be liturgical designer Father James Notebaart and artist Alexander Tylevich.

The program, part of Heritage Week at St. Thomas, will be teleconferenced to Thornton Auditorium in Terrence Murphy Hall on the Minneapolis campus. The program is free and all are welcome.

According to Notebaart, the renovation of the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas provides the opportunity to address some of the deeper themes in the Christian tradition. 

The lecture will examine the idea and meaning of "doors" by studying a variety of artistic renderings.  Notebaart asks, "What do portals mean for us … passage and convergence points or entry into the mystery?"   The presentation will explore portals as a part of initiation, as works of mercy, as gates of death, and as gates of Paradise.  "This is the Christian journey," says Father Notebaart.

In addition to studying the portal elements of the renovation of the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, the speakers also will discuss the design of St. Thomas More Chapel.

Notebaart and Tylevich collaborated on the Chapel of St. Thomas More project in the School of Law building, an effort that resulted in four national awards.

Notebaart has served as a consultant on numerous Catholic church building projects and renovations and also serves as the archdiocesan director of Indian Ministry. Tylevich, a native of Belarus, is a sculptor and architect who has designed many public structures; much of his education and work has involved religious architecture. He uses a variety of materials, including bronze, steel, glass and granite in his architectural sculptures.

Click here for additional information on Notebaart and Tylevich.