Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
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Pullman parish church features new icon by Jesuit artist
Story and photo by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff
(From the Dec. 5, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)
This icon of the Sacred Heart of
Jesus was painted by Jesuit Father William Hart McNichols as a memorial gift to Sacred
Heart Parish, Pullman. (IR photo)
Visitors to Sacred Heart Church in Pullman will note something new. Hanging in a place of honor in the sanctuary is an icon of the Sacred Heart, a gift from the Louie Welter family in Pullman.
Louie Welter died Oct. 31, 2001. The icon was purchased with funds donated in his memory.
The icon was created by Jesuit Father William Hart Mc-Nichols in Albuquerque, N.M.
Before the icon, the Pullman parish did not have an image of its namesake. Father Edgar Bor-chardt, pastor at Sacred Heart, had seen Father McNichols’ work on some magazine covers. When the Welters came to him, asking for ideas for the memorials, he suggested an image of the Sacred Heart and that they contact Father McNichols.
According to Carmen Welter, Louie’s widow, the family talked it over and liked the idea of purchasing the artwork inhis memory. “We’re so pleased to be able to do it. Louie would be pleased, too,” she said.
The iconographer was happy to be asked; he had just been reading about St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, who started devotion to the Sacred Heart in the 17th century.
The icon measures 48 x 56 inches. Traditional colors and stylings are used: the blue outer garment suggests Christ’s divinity; the red inner garment, his humanity. On either side of the halo are the Greek words for Jesus Christ. Father McNichols painted the heart as a fiery bright light, “a furnace of love,” according to St. Margaret Mary.
Carmen and Louie Welter grew up in Colton and moved to Pullman when they were married over 30 years ago. They have been life-long members of Sacred Heart, involved in parish life in various ways. Carmen said her husband was an active member of the Knights of Columbus. The couple’s children are Tina Emmler, Mark Welter, Dan Welter, and Colleen Welter, all of whom live in Pullman.
The icon was blessed Nov. 24.
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