Nun's Passion for Art on Display at St. Joseph's Hospital

By: Michael Oder & Andrew Bray Email
By: Michael Oder & Andrew Bray Email

BRYAN For over 30 years one nun has been making murals. It's a project she says faith led her to pursue. That passion for art is now on display at St. Joseph's Hospital in Bryan.

Sister Jane Mary Sorosiak is a nun who is as unique as the art she makes.

Sister Jean Mary moves with a purpose. It's sometimes hard to catch up. Especially when she's working.

"We ready to start?" she asks, walking into a sunny courtyard at St. Joe's.

The 83-year-old nun lives in community with the Sisters of St. Francis on the Campus of Lourdes University in Ohio. It's the sponsoring congregation for the hospital.

She came to the congregation later than most, at 24 years old. Other girls in her class were young, in their teens, right out of school. Sister Jane was a teacher. Something she's still doing.

She turns to workers surrounding a table. "Now, let me tell you what the problem sometimes is," she says, pointing to the colorful pieces laid out in order. She explains that the separations across the mural differ from top to bottom.

30 years she's been making murals. This one is of Mary of Guadalupe; an icon. She draws, cuts and bakes each of the pieces by hand.

"That's why, when you start out, leave a little bit more space in between," she explains. She softens out the faces on icons. She doesn't want them to be scary. Sister Jane Mary doesn't know how long each mural takes. She's never kept track of time.

With a Masters in Art from Bowling Green and an honorary doctorate from Lourdes University, Sister Jane Mary knows the lord put her where she is because of her love of art.

It's not an exact science, but it's close.

At 83, she has no plans on stopping. Although the murals take a little longer now.

She gives as much instruction as she can. The teacher in her never stopping. Her vision never fading.

"You ready to start?" she laughs. The workers laugh, too, and get to work.

Sister Jane Mary created the murals to honor Father John Malinowski, who is celebrating his 50th year in the priesthood. She previously created another mural at the hospital and the stained glass windows in the St. Joseph Chapel.

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