St. John Cantius turns steps into art for Corpus Christi

Volunteers from St. John Cantius Parish, 825 N. Carpenter St., paint a large image of angels and the Eucharist in a chalice on the steps of the church on June 13, 2020, for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi the next day. For several years, priests, brothers and parishioners have chalked or painted sacred images on the church steps to commemorate Corpus Christi. They are emulating a centuries-long tradition in European churches of creating outdoor carpets – usually of flowers or colored sawdust – along Eucharistic procession routes that are customary on the solemnity. Parish volunteers use tempera paint to create the image on the front steps. On the Monday following Corpus Christi, staff clean the steps and erase the image. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Helena Huelke paints part of the art on the stairs. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
A volunteer paints detail on the image. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Volunteers fill in the image on Saturday afternoon, June 13, (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
An volunteer paints part of an angel on the steps. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)