I was in Toronto a recent Sunday afternoon and ended up visiting the Corpus Christi Church, which was open to the public as part of Door Open Toronto.
Opened in 1927 the church was famous for its stain glass windows by Guido Nincheri (1885-1973). The Last Supper, comprising of five panels hang over the alter .
Other stain glass windows flanked along both sides of the church illustrating significant biblical events related to Jesus, and a few other religious themes.
The church is also home to a side altar mural by artist William Kurelek (1927-1977). The artist cleverly utilized the architectural shape of the wall to produce an upper and the lower mural.
The upper mural depicts “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again”.
The lower mural shows Jesus standing in the midst of a crowd in the setting of Woodbine park and showing the Toronto skyline in a distance. This is one of the most interesting contemporary religious paintings I have seen. Its use of big wide spaces and graphic details of the people is chracteristic of many Kurelek’s works.
When I was in the church, there was a constant stream of visitors of different ages and ethnicity. I thought: if doors can open, so can our minds and our hearts. If people can be drawn out of curiosity to visit a place to find out more, so can they attempt to interact with other people face to face to learn more about one another. Open minds and open hearts nurture mutual respect, eliminate stereotypes and bigotry. Maybe one day we can end all the hatred and senseless killings in this world.