Mike Aquilina

Conn. Men

Sunday April 22nd 2007, 10:32 pm

I have some big news to report this week, but no time to pull it together right now. I’m just getting back to town after delivering the More-Fisher lecture at St. John Fisher Seminary of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut. What an impressive place! The rector is a priest I much admire. The sems are a young bunch, and they have many virtues, not least hospitality, refinement, and culture. As I arrived, they were just returning from a private tour of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and they gave me an impressive report over appropriately strong coffee at breakfast.

Friday night I had an Italian dinner — just like Mama’s — on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. The food was outstanding, but the conversation was heavenly. I was joined by Judy DeFelice of the seminary staff and her husband, Felice DeFelice. “Phil” is one of the premiere liturgical artists in the United States. I’ve had the privilege of worshiping at several altars he carved — though I never knew they were his. Such is the work of such a man. His work is featured online by the Institute for Sacred Architecture and here, here, and here on the site of noted architect Henry Menzies. Beauty is making a strong comeback, thanks be to God — and thanks to artists like Phil.