On the celebration of the feast day of Saint Benedict the African, April 7, 2019, Bishop Perry dedicated the Ann and Arthur Eiland Art Gallery and Collection.
By God, the Church has been enriched by many people from the Black community.
Due to basic racism we are often called to celebrate the many wonderful non-Black people who have found a home in our community. The dedication of an art gallery in a Catholic Church in Englewood is a simple gesture to make the truth plain and clear for the sake of our future. We are here as fully grown, functioning adults willing and able to serve the Lord. It takes a church to reveal this truth in a world that works daily to not see human dignity. Spaces are named to help us remember and tell that truth.
Ann and Arthur Eiland represent an honorable group of people who pushed past the racist borders in order to accept the invitation of Jesus to be in the house and Family of God.
We must not fail to recognize that the faith of these children, whose faith was greater than the fear and hatred of people who challenge the heart of Jesus, carries us in this life and the next one. This gallery will continue to challenge us to walk by faith, not by fear, on our way to church, on our way to heaven.
Ann and Arthur Eiland Art Gallery and Collection will continue the long standing work of the church that promotes the arts and values the artists as a necessary part of the community. It honors the thirty-year history of St. Benedict the African Parish commissioning and collecting works of art.
Ann and Arthur Eiland Art Gallery and Collection will encourage the people, especially and hopefully the next generation of the parish, the church and the community to keep looking for the art of our community, to join the church as she continues to build beautiful spaces that honor God and welcomes His children home. This will challenge us, the people who come here to worship God, to add our own beauty to this church so her worship and work can be truly catholic.
In our art there is a record of our beauty and value. We bring and leave it here in order that our church may be assisted in her ministry by a fully grown, functioning, willing and able community who sees Jesus in the center of the circle we make whole and unbroken.