Eggs weren't the only things St. Teresa's parishioners had to color this Easter. The Buffalo parish has produced coloring books, with drawings of the 122-year-old church and its artwork, as a gift to its parishioners.
The idea came from Tim Hartigan, a member of the parish finance committee and a faculty coach at Bryant & Stratton College's Amherst campus, who wanted to celebrate the beauty of the church's stained glass and statuary with their youngest parishioners.
Hartigan worked with Bryant & Stratton's Career Services division to offer graphic arts students an internship opportunity by designing the contents of the book. Student Robert Larsh took photos of the stained glass windows, statuary and other gems in the church, then using Adobe InDesign traced the photos to make simple and more complicated drawings. A longtime favorite activity of children, coloring has been found to reduce stress in grown ups, thus creating a trend in adult coloring books.
"I outlined them and gave a coloring book feel to it," Larsh explained. "I went ahead and did an adult version of the pictures, and then went a head and thickened the lines and took out some of the detail, so that way the kids also have something to color."
The project was actually begun by another student, who had to bow out, passing the torch to Larsh.
"Once I found out it was for the children, I felt I needed to finish that for them," he said.
Once the drawings were done, Larsh's role was finished. He graduated last December. The parish then waited on a grant for publishing and printing. A $1,000 grant came in from the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, allowing St. Teresa's to print 1,500 copies through FedEx Office. Those books were given out at Divine Mercy Sunday. Another printing is planned for the parish's 125th anniversary in 2022.
Father James Cunningham wanted the book to "capture the beauty of the church" and feels Larsh did just that.
"The book is great. It is really very well done," he said.
In the introduction to the book, Father Cunningham wrote, "This coloring book richly depicts much of the glory of this church. I wish all who will be coloring these lovely drawings much happiness as they give 'life' through color to these pages."
The book is dedicated to Robert Kirschner, a fallen Korean War veteran from Erie County.