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Saint Monica Catholic Church

Mobile, Alabama, USA - Brilliant Mosaics

On the south side of Mobile, just off the interstate at 1131 Dauphin Island Parkway is a Italian style church with incredible mosaics on the exterior and interior.  I have taken some photos of the exterior. Look at the close-ups and large size photos that link from the photos on this page. I am just blown away by the amount of depth achieved with so few individual pieces of colored glass.  These mosaics are wonderful. The large photos are really big and show tons of detail. If your browser resizes them small, save the photo and open it in an image editing or viewing program so you can see the whole thing. The church was built in 1961.

According to an email I got from Sally Wall, the man who did the mosaics was Joe Lewicca (not sure of spelling) a stain glass artist. He told her about doing the mosaics before he died a few years back.

Saint Monica Catholic Church front exterior. Saint Monica Catholic Church exterior.

Starting with one of the smaller ones, over the double doors on the wing off the main sanctuary.

This is the mosaic overdoor on the wing off the right of the church main building. Click on the mosaics photo to see a big clear photo.

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Note the direction that the tessera are laid in to follow naturally occuring body lines. Be sure have a look at the full sized photo.

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The center doors of the sanctuary

Now for the close-ups, starting with the upper regions.

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Click to see the large image of St. Monica to see the tears on her cheek. The large image shows the placement of each tiny mosaic tile to achieve the smooth color depth of her face and neck. Look at how many very different colors of smalti were used. St. Monica herself. The words under the window also say "St. Monica". She has tears on her cheek because she is crying for her son, Augustine, later "St. Augustine" and a "Father of the Church". Augustine led a rather deviant lifestyle until he was converted to Christianity and, in church tradition, St. Monica's patient prayers for her son are credited for his conversion.

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See the large picture to see just how these wonderful fabric folds were created in this mosaic.

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Again, I find the folds in the fabric to be fascinating. Click photos to see big images. It is amazing how many different colors of mosaic smalti glass tiles are used.

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mosaic-ship-sm.jpg (35926 bytes)     mosaic-mary-pray-center-sm.jpg (38274 bytes)

 mosaic-emblem-sm.jpg (41365 bytes)    mosaic-sacred-heart-sm.jpg (38920 bytes)  

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I will try to find out who made these incredible church mosaics. I have made a few phone calls, but no one I have spoken to seems to know. I called an older church member, a gentleman who was a member when the church was built, but he doesn't know anything about the construction specifics. Seems that all the pastoral staff are no longer living or have moved on.

The smaller doors on either side of the double doors into the church sanctuary
have half round mosaic panels with gold mosaic backgrounds..

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Look at how many colors are used in this Roman Soldier's robe to create the folds
and lights and shadows.

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st-monica-church-sign.jpg (24012 bytes) st-monica-cornerstone.jpg (26806 bytes)

If in Mobile, Alabama, try to swing by for a look at these great mosaics.

Another chuch with wonderful mosaics in the Mobile Alabama area-Malbis Greek Orthodox Church at Malbis Plantation

 

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Copyright 2002-2014  Lundy Wilder
June 10, 2014
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