USF commemorates 50 years of Vatican II

The University of St. Francis (USF) will commemorate 50 years of Vatican II with programs in art, lecture and music with the theme Celebrating a Pilgrim People: The Voices of Vatican II, featuring “The World of Vatican II: An Artist’s Report” by Franklin McMahon.

"Vatican Council Procession" - The University of St. Francis (USF) will commemorate 50 years of Vatican II with programs in art, lecture and music with the theme Celebrating a Pilgrim People: The Voices of Vatican II, featuring "The World of Vatican II: An Artist’s Report" by Franklin McMahon, whose art works will be exhibited Sept. 15 through Oct. 12 at the university’s downtown Joliet art gallery. McMahon’s "Vatican Council Procession" and "Bishops Crossing the Square" will be shown in the exhibit.

“Vatican Council Procession” – The University of St. Francis (USF) will commemorate 50 years of Vatican II with programs in art, lecture and music with the theme Celebrating a Pilgrim People: The Voices of Vatican II, featuring “The World of Vatican II: An Artist’s Report” by Franklin McMahon, whose art works will be exhibited Sept. 15 through Oct. 12 at the university’s downtown Joliet art gallery. McMahon’s “Vatican Council Procession” and “Bishops Crossing the Square” will be shown in the exhibit.

“The World of Vatican II: An Artist’s Report” by Franklin McMahon features the works of the artist-reporter from Lake Forest, Ill., who worked worldwide recording religious, cultural, and political events. His paintings and drawings have graced the covers of Chicago Tribune Magazine, and the pages of Life, Look, Jubilee, U.S. Catholic and Commonweal magazines. Highly recognized for his contributions to art and journalism, McMahon received three Emmys, a Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting and the Renaissance Prize from the Art Institute of Chicago. He is collected by the Chicago History Museum, Library of Congress, NASA and Lake County Discovery Museum.

McMahon’s was in Rome for opening day and all subsequent major events of the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965 – producing a book This Church These Times: The Roman Catholic Church since Vatican II, and an award-winning film documentary The World of Vatican II, An Artist’s Report.

McMahon’s works will be on display from Sept. 15 through Oct. 12 at the university’s art gallery at the Rialto, 5 Van Buren St. in downtown Joliet. For gallery hours or for special group showings, call 815-740-3367.

"Bishops Crossing the Square" - The University of St. Francis (USF) will commemorate 50 years of Vatican II with programs in art, lecture and music with the theme Celebrating a Pilgrim People: The Voices of Vatican II, featuring "The World of Vatican II: An Artist’s Report" by Franklin McMahon, whose art works will be exhibited Sept. 15 through Oct. 12 at the university’s downtown Joliet art gallery. McMahon’s "Vatican Council Procession" and "Bishops Crossing the Square" will be shown in the exhibit.

“Bishops Crossing the Square” – The University of St. Francis (USF) will commemorate 50 years of Vatican II with programs in art, lecture and music with the theme Celebrating a Pilgrim People: The Voices of Vatican II, featuring “The World of Vatican II: An Artist’s Report” by Franklin McMahon, whose art works will be exhibited Sept. 15 through Oct. 12 at the university’s downtown Joliet art gallery. McMahon’s “Vatican Council Procession” and “Bishops Crossing the Square” will be shown in the exhibit.

On Thursday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. McMahon’s works will be discussed by his son, Mark McMahon and the curator for the artist, Kathleen Van Ella. The presentation will be at the gallery.

An internationally known artist in his own right, Mark McMahon has adopted the on-location style of drawing and painting of his father, Franklin, “who influenced me as a child not only in style but in his search into art processes.” The Field Museum features Mark’s work, “Sue” of the famed dinosaur bone, in its permanent collection. McMahon is also represented by several private art galleries. He works in a variety of mediums, including painting, silk screens and tile murals. For more than 30 years, Mark McMahon has promoted family art through the McMahon Family Art Gallery in Lake Forest, Ill.

Kathleen Van Ella is founder of Portraits/Chicago Inc. and an art consultant with more than 25 years of experience working in close association with artists and placing artworks. She has participated in nine international art exhibitions.

The McMahon exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Patricia and Robert Wheeler. Mrs. Wheeler is a longtime member of the University of St. Francis Board of Trustees and previously served on the Alumni Association Board, of which she is a past president.

Robert Wheeler recently retired as associate director of Emmaus Formation for Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union and has served in various leadership roles in the Joliet Diocese, parish and greater community.

“We’re grateful that Pat and Bob Wheeler have made this art exhibit possible. Franklin McMahon’s works help bring to life this important time not only in the history of the Catholic Church but also in the history of our world. This is when the Church became more open to the people. The University’s patron, St. Francis, always went among the people, so the Second Vatican Council was an important time for Franciscans. We hope that everyone – of all ages and faiths – will want to see this important exhibit and learn more about Vatican II from the series,” said USF President Arvid Johnson.

The series also includes a presentation by an internationally acclaimed Catholic scholar Phyllis Zagano, senior research associate-in-residence and adjunct professor of Religion at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. Zagano, a widely published expert on women in ministry will present “Women Deacons: A Promise of Vatican II” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 in in the Sexton Auditorium, Moser Performing Arts Center on the university’s 500 Wilcox St. campus. This is a Bishop Joseph L. Imesch Women in the Church Lecture Series presentation. For information or to RSVP, call 815-740-2272.

“Touring the Vatican” by USF art professor Michael “Chester” Costello will be on Thursday, Oct. 2. Costello will present an introduction to the Vatican collection while contrasting a discussion on student trips he has led. The presentation will also look at seminal works by Michelangelo, Leonardo, Botticelli and other important masters. Costello has taught in the Art & Design Department for 15 years. In 2014, he received an Illinois Arts Council grant to translate a series of travel projects into a book. He has led student trips to Austria, Belgium, France, Holland, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. His presentation will be at 7 p.m. in St. Bonaventure Hall.

On Thursday, Oct. 9, “Voices of Vatican II” will be presented by USF music professor and Schola Cantorum director Patrick Brannon, who will examine music in the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II, and the following dramatic effects on liturgical music. Musical examples will be provided in this lecture-discussion. Brannon will discuss Gregorian Chant, Renaissance polyphony (Spanish composer Tomas Luis de Victoria’s “O Magnum Mysterium”) and current liturgical music, featuring a section on contemporary Jazz Mass.

Brannon has directed the USF Schola Cantorum since 1992. He earned a master’s in Choral Conducting from the University of Northern Iowa and his doctorate in Musicology from Washington University in St. Louis. His musicological research has focused on medieval Irish chant and liturgy. He is working on a social history of music in the industrial company town of Pullman on Chicago’s south side, entitled: “There’s a Band in the Factory? Music and Music-Making in Pullman, 1880-1907.”

“Voices of Vatican II” will be presented at 7 p.m. in St. Joseph Chapel, Motherhouse, 500 Wilcox St. campus.

A visit to the Art Gallery, 5 Van Buren St., to view the Frank McMahon Vatican II exhibit will follow both the Costello and Brannon presentations. Shuttle service will be provided from the Wilcox campus to the Art Gallery after the Oct. 9 presentation. For general information, call 815-740-5045.

The University of St. Francis serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing, health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit www.stfrancis.edu.


Media Inquiries:
Nancy Pohlman, Executive Director of Community Relations
(815) 740-3379 | npohlman@stfrancis.edu