April 18, 2011
Rev. Paul Fachet and STM Campus Ministry team member Madeline Oliver discuss the 'washing of the feet' painting by German Catholic priest and artist Sieger Köder

PM PHOTO | KIPLY LUKAN YAWORSKI

Rev. Paul Fachet and STM Campus Ministry team member Madeline Oliver discuss the 'washing of the feet' painting by German Catholic priest and artist Sieger Köder.

KIPLY LUKAN YAWORSKI
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

SASKATOON — When Jesus served the disciples by washing their feet at the Last Supper, he meant it as a sign for them to do likewise, says Oblate Father Paul Fachet.

As with the celebration of the Eucharist, Christ calls us "to do this in memory of me," said Fachet, a former long-time professor at Edmonton's Newman Theological College.

Fachet explored the liturgy of love and life expressed in Jesus' washing the feet of his disciples during a Theology on Tap session March 14 at a Saskatoon pub.

Fachet, who currently works at Queen's House of Retreats in Saskatoon, used an enlarged image of a painting by German Catholic priest Sieger Köder to spur discussion about John's account of the Last Supper.

Showing Christ kneeling before Peter to wash his feet, the colours and imagery of the painting help to illustrate the theology of John's Gospel account, suggested Fachet.

On his knees and wearing a prayer shawl, the figure of Christ demonstrates the connection between service and worship of God, he said. Balancing the figures in one corner of the painting are the eucharistic images of broken bread and the cup of wine, illustrating the connection between the sacrament and the service.

BEWILDERED ACCEPTANCE

The intimacy of the figures, the look of bewildered acceptance on the face of Peter and his consoling hand on Christ's shoulder were also noted. The colours of blue and brown suggest the encounter between heaven and earth, one participant suggested.

Fachet also pointed to the mysterious imagery of Christ's face, with eyes wide open, reflected in the dirty water containing both of Peter's feet:

"This is playing with the whole notion of the incarnation. Jesus entered not just into the nice parts of our world, but into the messy parts," he said.

CALL TO SERVICE

In discussion, young adults at the event were challenged to consider their response to this call to service.

Held at Lydia's Pub on Broadway Ave. in Saskatoon, Theology on Tap targets those aged 19 to 35 years, offering a relaxed setting to discuss faith and life.