The visual spectacle on the ceiling of the Saints Peter and Paul Parish church tells the story of Creation, the Fall of Man, and Redemption. It also weaves the story of how the church, the local community, and a group of talented artists came together to undertake a momentous project.
Before it was painted, the church ceiling was plain and bare, said Fr. Brian Brigoli, chairman of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church.
It was painted in 2018 to 2019, during the administration of parish priest Fr. Joselito Danao, with the blessing of the commission.
Fr. Brigoli came up with the concept on the panels.
He said the painting gives churchgoers the connection between art and faith. Art, he said, expresses deep faith and feelings that sometimes words cannot. The project is meant to deploy art as a means of evangelization.
The visual liturgy, Fr. Danao told local newspaper Sun.Star Cebu, “is to remind (the Bantayan faithful” of the love and mercy of the lord.
Mary Frances Despi, a member of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, pointed out what she said were the significance of the ceiling painting.
“It is a comprehensive catechesis in visual religious art; a visual aid for the exaltation of the spirit for the search of the Divine; a tangible narrative of the Life of Christ and His Paschal Mystery as aid for the faith seeking understanding; an opportunity to instruct, to inspire and to evangelize the faithful; and a reminder of our being a Church in communion with all the saints and the elect,” Despi said.
The panels above the sanctuary, Fr. Brigoli said, all has to do with the eucharist. The images tell the story of who God is. The rest has to do with the parish as well as catechism on the seven sacraments.
Paris Avilino, who led the group of artists who painted the ceiling, said it was a monumental challenge that took months of hard work.
The parish raised funds from the community and benefactors both here and abroad. A finance committee was organized to oversee the funding of the project
The painted ceiling serves as “a visual catechism” to people who attend mass and the many visitors who drop by the church.