Religious art breathes new life into flooded Louisiana church

.- One year after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, churches continue to offer hope and practical support for families recovering from the storm’s destruction.

The USCCB held a special nationwide collection two weeks ago and last week the Knights of Columbus announced that their relief fund has given over $10 million in aid to the region.

But one local priest is also inspiring hope in his parishioners through religious art. Fr. Joseph Tu Tran, associate pastor at St. Charles Borromeo Church, took the church’s reconstruction as an opportunity to paint three circular symbols on the floor, reported the Associated Press. The church had been under several feet of water.

The first image, which represents unity and the Holy Trinity, is at the front of the church. It includes two intertwining figures, drawn in deep red and gold, as well as a triangle and a three-part circle.

The second image, at the center of the church, is a sunflower. "The center of Christian life is Christ, the focus of faith," Fr. Tu Tran told the AP. "The sunflowers, they face to the sun. Wherever the sun moves, they move."

The largest, most intricate image is located in the church foyer. The image includes the two Greek letters, Alpha and Omega, representing the eternal nature of God, the name of the church’s patron, “St. Charles Borromeo, 1499-1565”, and two white doves.

The new floor is a version of the simple diamond pattern in a Roman cathedral built in the 16th century, when St. Charles Borromeo lived, explained the priest, who has been at has been at the Louisiana parish for four years. He came to the U.S. from his native Vietnam in 1986.


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