St. Alfred parish hosts Shroud exhibit


St. Alfred Parish, St. Catharines, invites you to attend the Man of the Shroud exhibit being held March 2-8, 2016.

The exhibit was organized in 2002 by a group of clergy and laity in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is owned and operated by the Vancouver Shroud Association, with Carolyn Wharton, a founding member, as executive director. Wharton will be accompanying the exhibit to St. Catharines. The objectives of the association are both to inform people about the Shroud of Turin, and to encourage devotion to the man who it represents.

The Man of the Shroud exhibit is an extensive exhibition on the history, science and significance of the Shroud of Turin. Since medieval times, the Shroud of Turin has been venerated as the cloth in which Jesus’ body was wrapped in the tomb. The gospel of John (20:6-7) describes it as having been left behind in the tomb at the resurrection.

Secondo Pia was an Italian lawyer and amateur photographer, best known for taking the first photographs of the shroud on May 28, 1898. It was, while developing the photographs, he noticed that the photographic negatives showed a clearer rendition of the image.

One of the most dramatic elements of the exhibition will be the actual-size digital photograph of the shroud, printed on linen that bears the mysterious image of a scourged and crucified man. This reproduction will be placed in a worshipful setting conducive to prayer and observation, hanging, as it will, above the altar in St. Alfred Church.

To enrich the exhibition and to give visitors some idea of the suffering of Jesus Christ, many artifacts, reconstructed according to features found on the shroud are also on display—the scourge, the crown of thorns, nails, and the lance that pierced his side— each replica tells its own story.

Just as impressive are the wonderful panels that describe all the scientific and historic research on the shroud using text and highquality photographs. These professionally prepared documentary museum boards are designed to enlighten and educate visitors in the latest findings associated with the 14-foot linen cloth, believed to be the burial cloth of Christ, will be displayed in the church.

The exhibit in St. Mark Room will be complemented with informative and motivating presentations given by internationally renowned shroud scholars, Barrie Schwortz and John Iannone. Schwortz has been involved with documenting the shroud since 1978 and today plays an influencing role in shroud research and education. He was the official documenting photographer for the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STRP), the team that conducted the first in-depth scientific examination of the shroud in 1978. The STRP is credited with identifying some of the most compelling scientific proof that the shroud is indeed the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth.

Schwortz is the editor and founder of the internationally recognized Shroud of Turin website ( the oldest, largest and most extensive shroud resource on the Internet. His presentations will be March 3 and 4 (10 a.m., 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.) and on March 5 (1:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.).

John Iannone has studied the shroud for over 36 years and is a published author and lector on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. He is vice-chair of the Holy Shroud Task Force, an organization of scientists, scholars, writers and interested individuals working to preserve the shroud from modern environmental damage and to promote continued studies and testing of this precious relic.

“The shroud is truly ecumenical,” says Iannone. His presentations will be March 6 (1:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.), March 7 & 8 (10 a.m., 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.).

Indeed, people of all denominations—Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and even those of no particular faith— will be moved by the shroud. It speaks to the heart and soul of each of us. No one can explain the effect the shroud has on each visitor.

“It cannot be proved a forgery,” says Wharton. “Science has done all it can, and science cannot prove it is inauthentic. That’s what makes it super exciting” Visual representation of the Carbon 14 testing done on the shroud and the exhaustive search for scientific facts will be presented with several informative documentary DVD’s. Every effort will be made by the volunteers to ensure your visit is reverent and respectful.

Volunteers will be available to greet visitors to the exhibit and answer questions. Knights of Columbus will stand guard during the hours the exhibit is open. Completely accessible, St. Alfred will be a most welcoming host to all visitors. Please pray for the success of this unique and unprecedented event.

With no charge for admission, the parish is thankful for donations. Group bookings for the presentations can be arranged by contacting Anne 905-327-0062.

Exhibit hours: Wednesday March 2 – Friday March 4 and Monday March 7 – Tuesday March 8 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m. & 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.); Saturday March 5 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.); Sunday March 6 (1 p.m. – 4 p.m. & 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.).