Relic collection visits Franciscan University

Photo by Kathleen Loesel
Hunter LeBlanc, sophomore, venerates the relic of St. Catherine of Bologna on Wednesday at the relic display.


Wednesday night, the Gentile Gallery was filled to the brim with anxious students waiting to see parts of their faith’s history on display – an assortment of relics, such as a part of the veil that belonged to our Blessed Mother to a nail from the crucifix, were on display.

“Relics are like a blast from the past, you know,” freshman Chris Figueroa said. “I like them because they’re like an affirmation that the history of our faith actually happened.”

These relics are a part of Dale and Carolyn Anderson’s own personal collection that they have continued to grow since 1996 when Dale Anderson received his first official relic from Rome. They have been on tour displaying these relics as they usually do around this season.

“I don’t really know why we do this,” Mr. Anderson said. “We’re just lay people, you know, and we have this collection that has grown over the years. We figured why not share what we have of the Saints to the faithful.”

The Andersons travel wherever they feel called to mainly during the months of September, October and November going to schools, parishes and other places where they can display their collection.

To begin their display, the Andersons introduced a majority of their pieces, and even some of their personal favorites. Through witty humor and Catholic history they explained what each relic was, and how each came to be.

The relics on display were first, second, or third-class relics, meaning they are parts of the Saints, things used by the Saints, or objects that have touched either of the earlier types of relics.

“I was really excited coming to see all these relics,” second year student Cathryn Steele said. “I mean to know that we have the original grail from the Last Supper astounded me. It affirmed my belief in what we have in our Church.”

Students waited in a lengthy line that at first spread around through the center of the Galley, onto the stairwell, to the second floor and even out into the Atrium of the J.C. Williams Center just to touch their sacramental items to the relics themselves.

“I got to touch a few of my favorite rosaries to a relic from my favorite saint, St. Jude,” student Jarek Sulak said. “I just think it’s pretty cool to be in the presence of great defenders of the faith, people that went out and did great things for our faith. Moreover, to be able to be in the presence of parts of who they are just adds to a great feeling. Now I have rosaries that have touched a part of St. Jude, so, it can’t get any better than that.”

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