ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Father Thomas Loya, a Byzantine priest, iconographer and counselor, will give a presentation today (March 3) about his journey as artist, icon writer, the history of icons and the importance of sacred icons and images for prayerful devotions.
The presentation, from 7-9 p.m., will be held in Farrell Hall at St. Pius X Parish, located on the back side of Jordan Catholic School and St. Pius at 24th Street and 31st Avenue. The fifth annual Art of Faith event will follow, March 5-6 at the parish.
Fr. Loya earned a B.F. A. from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1977 where he studied industrial design, commercial and fine art. Prior to entering the seminary, he worked for a church design firm and as a freelance artist. As a seminarian in Rome he painted icon murals in the Byzantine chapel of the Casa Santa Maria. He later completed his studies for the priesthood in Pennsylvania and in Rome, where he attended the Pontifical North American College. Fr. Loya was ordained in 1982 and earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Human Services in 1993.
He has served the church in youth and young adult ministry, directed many retreats and spoken at conferences including World Youth Day in 2002. Fr. Loya serves as pastor of Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Parish in Homer Glen, Ill. He also hosts two radio programs: “Light of the East,” broadcast on several Catholic radio networks; and “A Body of Truth,” broadcast on an Internet radio site – catholicradiointernational.com.
During the Sacred Art and Sales event March 5-6, more than 20 artists from the Midwest, including several from the Diocese of Davenport, will display their art. Demonstrations, vocal and instrumental music will be featured. Food also will be available for purchase on Sunday.
Hours are Saturday from 2-7 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Farrell Hall.The events are free. Donations are accepted. Proceeds from sales benefit the Art of Faith programs.