“We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses!” said Carol Dindinger of St. James the Greater Parish in Charles Town. Her parish church is home to numerous beautiful mosaics gracing the interior of the main building, all of which are works of a parish program now in its fifth year. “The mosaic program was started in 2016 for an active way to learn about the saints, to honor family members and others, to raise funds to be applied to our building debt and to beautify our worship space,” said Dindinger, who is the director of the parish’s Sacred Art & Mosic Program. The mosaics themselves are in a golden, arched frame and measure approximately 36’ high and 30’ across at the base. The mosaic is first painted by an artist Angel Scorza, who paints for the St. Jude Shop in Havertown, Pa. Once the painting is approved by the donor, the painting is sent to the mosaicist Mateo Randi, who works at Rugo Stone in Lorton, Va. Every piece of colored, Venetian glass tessera is cut by hand and then placed on a clay bed. The cut pieces are of varying sizes. Each piece of glass is matched perfectly to the painting. Once all the pieces are put in place, they are then transferred to a pre-made frame. These are groutless mosaics. “Currently we have 28 saints’ mosaics that have been blessed and installed,” Dindinger said. “Additionally, there are 23 mosaics that are ‘somewhere’ in the process, with another eight waiting their turn.” The mosaics represent saints from the well-known such as SS. Peter and Paul to lesser known saints such as St. Chiara Bedano and St. Drogo. For more information about the program, contact Dindinger at (304) 725-5558.
Courtesy Photos Clockwise from top: The interior of St. James the Greater Church in Charles Town is shown with the many mosaics of saints that grace its walls.