One of the largest collections of art, documents and historically significant objects from the Vatican ever to tour North America opens May 15 at the Missouri History Museum in Saint Louis for a limited engagement. “Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art” will present unique objects illustrating the Vatican’s impact on history and culture through 2,000 years.

The exhibition features approximately 170 rare works of art and historically significant objects, many of which have never left the Vatican. Taken together these works explore how the papacy has influenced – and been influenced by – the world throughout the centuries.

St. Louis is one of only three U.S. cities to host “Vatican Splendors.” Highlights of the exhibition include artwork by Michelangelo, personal objects, and tools used in work on the Sistine Chapel and Basilica of Saint Peter’s; works by masters including Bernini, Giotto and Guercino; artwork dating back to the third century; venerated relics (bone fragments) of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; storied frescoes and mosaics; works by well-known sculptors; intricately embroidered silk vestments; precious objects from the Papal Mass; historical maps and documents; objects discovered at the tombs of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; and historical objects from the modern and ancient basilicas of Saint Peter’s in Rome.

I would like to organize two parish outings to view the exhibit. I thought it best to plan a weekday morning outing for those whose job/life situation allows them that freedom and then a Sunday afternoon outing for those who cannot make other times. Though dates are flexible, I have randomly selected June 13, (Sun.) and June 16th (Wed.) for our group tours. Costs are $17.50 for adults, $15 for seniors and $11 for children. (If you want to go on a tour on your own, mention the code word: PARISH, and you can get these same prices for yourself as an individual. This offer ends June 30th.)

If you could call Pat Marstall and let her know of your interest in attending a “St. Ann” tour of the exhibit and your preference for the Wednesday morning or a Sunday afternoon tour. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of us. I hope you can join us on either June 13th or June 16th.

p.s. – Happy Mother’s Day…