Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rev. George Mathis

Glenmarians
Early Sunday morning, Glenmarian, Rev. George Mathis, passed away. George was 84 years old and had been a member of Glenmary since 1951 when he professed his First Oath. He was ordained a priest four years later in 1955. Funeral arrangements are posted on Glenmary's website.

Fr. George served in missions from Claxton, Georgia to Vanceburg, Kentucky and many missions in between. In Claxton, George was willing to go against the mindset of the time and because of his bold steps, it allowed him to serve as the pastor of the first integrated church in the Diocese of Savannah. Over the years George also willingly served in various administrative positions in Glenmary. In every place he served, he was able to incorporate his love for art and design. His gifts and talents of liturgical design have been used in many Glenmary chapels, missions and beyond. After he became a Senior Member he pursued his passion for art and design with even more vigor.

In a recent interview on American Catholic Radio he noted that he always enjoyed his ministry which included pastoral care, being a spiritual leader but it was the liturgical art and design that was his true passion. For George this meant using his God given talents to "provide an appropriate and inspiring atmosphere for congregational worship and devotion." In his design work George also found ways to bring about the Kingdom of God. He noted that when he was asked to design the windows in a church he would spend time with parishioners. During their time together he would teach them the craft of the stain glass window making so that they could take ownership in the creation of something beautiful in their worship space. And as it turned out George noted, the windows were just a by-product of the time spent together. The true result was a building up and a coming together of the community in the parish though their time dedicated to working together. 

North American Martyrs
North American Martyrs window by Rev. George Mathis

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