Culture Tuesday – The Saints

Written by on 01/11/2022

Culture Tuesday – The Saints

On Culture Tuesday, 1 November, Therese Vooght will be on the programme speaking about her love for the saints and graphic design.  Helena and Therese will be sharing some ways to keep the lives of the saints as part of your family storytelling as well as giving them a special place in your home.  The programme will be LIVE on Tuesday, 1 November, at 9:00am and rebroadcast at 1:30pm.  The podcast will be added to the blog after the broadcasts.

About Therese:  My background is in a mix of design and ministry. I studied illustration at art school and worked as a freelancer over the years. I also worked for years with Youth 2000 (volunteering many many hours- overseeing workshops, content and some of the latter initiatives within it, regarding creativity and design); I also worked at Worth Abbey as a forerunner, where we lived as a team on site at the monasteries boarding school and created programmes and sessions for the students and monks to engage in personal encounters with Jesus. I also spent years working with children that had been expelled across north London- which was a very big calling and passion of mine.

With regards to the shop: I started a free resources blog during lockdown for activities based on the Sunday liturgy, after my sister was looking for things for her 4 children. Around 4000 people viewed and downloaded these each week and it put me in touch with the needs of the domestic church and the need to encourage and equip parents in their responsibilities of faith formation. As this grew, new commissions grew alongside it and I started First Saturday shop, which was inspired by Saint Pope John Paul II’s  “respond to the problems in the world with your gifts” and the biblical themes of light, especially “let there be light” and “do not hide your light” which I hope the designs can help people do through this evangelism. Parishes have often remarked that the greeting cards are a tool for their mission to evangelise and I have received lots of feedback from individuals that have been able to give a Christian message for the first time to someone non-Christian or have the artwork present in their mixed faith home (for the first time).

I was raised with the stories of the saints and I take such strength and encouragement from my heavenly friends who intercede for me. I have 2 baby daughters and choosing their names was a real witness of how the saints choose us too- it was a discernment and often surprising what names came; it helped me to envisage a saintly family drawn together from our personal patrons. So I wanted a picture of this little family unit and wanted to share it with others. The saints are alive and rooting for us!

My favourite saint is Saint John Paul II. He instilled in me from childhood that the desire for greatness that we have is not a fantasy, but found in Jesus who will take us on the greatest adventure. He was a living witness of Gods constant message to ‘be not afraid’ and to ‘step out onto the waters’. The calling to be the saints of the new millenium did not die with him!

Photos of saints remind us of our inherent calling for greatness and for good. They remind us to stand back up, to journey on and to never fall into the lie that we are alone and we are not called. They remind us of their closeness. St Paul said about the great cloud of witnesses and in the book In Sinu Jesu, Jesus says to the priest he is appearing to that there has been saints interceding for his intentions for years before he even knew to ask for them. He also said that “[a saint] sees you as his spiritual son” and this reminds me that it is a LIVING and dynamic relationship: they choose us too! We cannot be like coals taken out of the fire and growing weaker in our flame just because we are not surrounded by supporting heat: we are called to live in community and esp at such a time when our earthly communities have been shaken (through covid etc) we have to seek strength and support in our heavenly ones. They are real and ready and waiting!



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