]Anne Picture

May 2021

Dear Patrons & Friends,

Last week, I was stuck in traffic driving back home. After a moment of frustration, I smiled realizing that this was my first time seeing traffic in more than a year. A change in perspective changed my outlook.

After we decided to organize Rosa Mystica in March 2020, we wondered if a virtual seminar restoring art might appear as disconnected from the chaos of the pandemic. Actually, it’s the opposite.

In addition to our material needs, we have a need to be connected to each other. Not just in the present moment, but over time. Art connects us to the human experience over time. Suffering and uncertainty has always been part of the human condition, but so has perseverance and creativity. Mary is an excellent representation of how we can navigate difficulties in our lives. But more importantly, knowing that her life experience as captured in Marian art has existed for thousands of years connects us to a durable source of comfort. It changes our perspective and hopefully gives us a new outlook as we go through our daily life.

Arguably more than any other institution, the Vatican Museums’ collection of art and artefacts reaches back into the human experience that came before us. It offers infinite combinations of visual examples for us to use in new ways to help us change our perspective and improve our outlook. Rosa Mystica was our first test of moving art as a carrier of faith into a virtual platform. We look forward to offering more programming to rediscover and reinterpret the Museum’s collections along different themes.

Thank you so much to our donors, consultants, seminar participants, and supporters for the Rosa Mystica initiative. Above all, I am very appreciative of the Patrons’ office in Rome whose support was invaluable. All of us working together make this initiative possible. I look forward to hearing your ideas and thoughts as we plan future programs.

With gratitude,

Anne Shea