2014

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett Meet Pope Francis Pennsylvania gifts presented from Doylestown, Glenshaw, Philadelphia, Camp Hill

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In Rome for meetings on behalf of the World Meeting of Families, Governor and Mrs. Corbett today met with Pope Francis. 

"As a member of the Roman Catholic faith, and in seeing the remarkable impact Pope Francis has had throughout the world, meeting him was a moving and impressive experience," said Gov. Corbett.  "I was immediately humbled by his presence." 

During their meeting with the Holy Father, Governor and Mrs. Corbett presented Pope Francis with gifts from Pennsylvania.  The gifts include:

  • Four ceramic tiles representing the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The tiles were made at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown;
  • A first edition copy of Philadelphia artist Jerry Pinkney's children's book Noah's Ark.  Pinkney personally inscribed the book "For His Holiness Pope Francis." Instead of writing a personal message, Mr. Pinkney drew the dove of peace;
  • Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell, inscribed by Jane Golden.
    Golden is the founder and executive director of the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia. The book chronicles the humble origins of the program as an anti-graffiti effort and its growth into the largest mural program in the nation. Ms. Golden wrote a personal inscription inside the book: "To the Holy Father who understands the importance of giving a voice to the people. I hope you enjoy these stories of dignity and hope;"
  • Letters to Pope Francis from students of Good Shepherd Elementary School in Camp Hill. Gov. Corbett has had a prayer partner with a student from the school for nine years.

Also, a glass commemorative etching from the home parish of Governor and Mrs. Corbett, the St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Glenshaw, Pa was given to Archbishop Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, who will present the gift to Pope Francis.

Editor's Note:  A more detailed description of the gifts presented to Pope Francis by Gov. Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett is outlined below:

Ceramic Tiles from the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works, Doylestown, Pa

Four 5" X 5" ceramic tiles representing the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Moravian Pottery & Tile works is a National Historic Landmark maintained as a "working history" museum. The handmade tiles are produced in a manner similar to that developed by the pottery's founder and builder, Henry Chapman Mercer (1856–1930.)

Mercer was a major proponent of the Arts & Craft Movement in America which sought to improve standards of decorative design. The floor of Pennsylvania's capitol building is tiled with close to 400 Moravian tiles designed by Harry Chapman Mercer. They depict 254 scenes, artifacts, animals, birds, fish, insects, industries and workers from Pennsylvania's history.

Noah's Ark, inscribed by Jerry Pinkney

This first edition copy of the children's book, Noah's Ark was written, illustrated and personally inscribed Philadelphia artist Jerry Pinkney. Pinkney grew up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and studied at the Philadelphia Museum College of Arts (now known as the University of the Arts).

Pinkney wrote a personal inscription for the Pope inside this book: "For His Holiness Pope Francis." Instead of writing words, Mr. Pinkney drew the dove of peace.

Mr. Pinkney has earned five Caldecott Honor Medals, (including one for Noah's Ark), a Caldecott Medal, (the award for the most distinguished American picture book for children in the preceding year), and five The New York Times "Best Illustrated Books." He also has received five Coretta Scott King Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, and a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Illustrators in New York, in addition to other awards and honors.

His books have been translated into sixteen languages and published in fourteen countries. In 2013, the Philadelphia Museum of Art presented an exhibition of his work, "Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney." Also, in 2013, Governor Tom Corbett awarded Mr. Pinkney the prestigious Governor's Awards for the Arts Distinguished Arts Award.

Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell, inscribed by Jane Golden

Jane Golden is the founder and executive director of the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia. She co-authored this book, which chronicles the humble origins of the Mural Arts Program as an anti-graffiti effort and its growth into the largest mural program in the nation. The book contains many photographs of the beautiful murals that can be seen throughout Philadelphia.

Ms. Golden wrote a personal inscription inside this book: "To the Holy Father who understands the importance of giving a voice to the people ­– I hope you enjoy these stories of dignity and hope. Jane Golden, 3/14"

The Mural Arts Program has created over 3,600 landmark works of public art, most painted on the walls of buildings. The mural-making process gives neighborhood residents a voice to tell their individual and collective stories, a way to pass on culture and tradition, and a vehicle to develop and empower local leaders.

Mural Arts' also engages thousands of Philadelphia's at-risk children, youth, and adults. Ms. Golden is sought after nationally and internationally as an expert on urban transformation through art. Golden has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2012 Governor's Awards for the Arts Innovation in the Arts Award.

Letters to Pope Francis from Good Shepherd Elementary School in Camp Hill, Pa

The Governor and First Lady also presented letters to Pope Francis from students of Good Shepherd Elementary School in Camp Hill. Gov. Corbett has had a prayer partner with a student from the school for nine years. The content of the letters included the students inviting Pope Francis to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families.

Glass commemorative etching from the home parish of Governor and Mrs. Corbett, the St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Glenshaw, Pa

This decorative object depicts St. John Neumann, Bishop of Philadelphia from 1852 to 1860 and canonized a saint in 1977.  It also depicts the original log cabin church of the parish.

The inscription reads: "St. Mary of the Assumption Parish Family, Founded in 1834, Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, Presented to Pope Francis on the occasion of the The Family Synod 2014."

Media contact:    Lynn Lawson, Governor's Office, 717-783-1116

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor



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