The Board of Directors of the Michigan Chapter met on May 12, 2016 to conduct business of the Chapter. Among the agenda items was the discussion of upcoming events including the Stratford Unveiling trip scheduled for September 10-11, and a strolling dinner with Dr. Liz Lev and Dr. Thomas Williams (who delightfully expound on the theological and artistic connections of food, wine, and soul) tentatively set for August 13 in Port Huron. Also discussed was the role the Michigan Patrons may play in the raising of the Galera ceremony honoring Edmund Cardinal Szoka. The Archdiocese of Detroit is to select the date for this event and suggest the role it would like the Patrons to assume. Among other business was the granting of Lifetime Memberships to Dr. Lourdes Andaya and Mr. Antonio Rugiero for their significant contributions to the Chapter. Following the election of the officers for the next term, the next Chapter Board meeting was scheduled for August 4, and the meeting adjourned.

Through our experiences with the Patrons of the Arts organization, we have been able to view amazing works by great artists throughout the centuries. Each work of art, in a unique way, may help people, walking through different sections of the Vatican on tours, to appreciate God and His work in creation. We selected the ‘Restoration of the Vatican Gardens: Madonna Della Guardia’ because it combines the work of God in creation through the plants, trees, and flowers along with the statuary work of great artists to complement the gardens. This specific project was brought to us through prayer. In August 2014, Carol felt a call to help ‘restore’ the honor and love of the Blessed Mother by restoring a Marian work of art. She felt the ‘restoration’ was through the Patrons and that a friend in the Patrons would confirm Carol’s call. Carol’s friend relayed a story about how Pope Benedict XVI would sit on a garden bench at Castel Gandalfo praying the Rosary before a statue of the Blessed Mother. This garden bench was moved to the Vatican Gardens for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. This convinced us that the Madonna Della Guardia was the right project. Knowing the history of the Gardens is a great draw: so many popes praying, contemplating and making momentous decisions, impacting so many souls, bringing them closer to Jesus. It is also a great joy to know that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI enjoys his daily rosary in this part of the garden as well. We have a special love for Blessed Mother – knowing that she is truly mother of us all, our guardian and our protector – so helping to restore her statue to it’s original beauty was important to us. We are excited that future popes will continue to have the opportunity to pray for us in this beautiful garden space.


~ By Bill & Carol Brewis

Visiting the Tapestry Restoration LabThe Michigan Chapter is privileged to restore a Raphael Tapestry through the generous grant of a matching gift of $400,000 by the Stange Trust, David Stone, Trustee. The opportunity to restore this tapestry is an historic event for our Michigan Chapter, as the tapestry will be hung in a prominent place in the Vatican Museums. The Stange matching gift will be paid over the course of the next 7 years commencing December 2015. This time frame corresponds to the anticipated time for the restoration.

The Board of the Michigan Chapter is pleased to announce that approximately 80% of the matching gifts have been secured and several of the installments have already been received. The Michigan Chapter would like your help to fulfill this commitment and ask you to consider a gift to be given over the next 7 years. The names of all donors whose gift of a minimum of $10,000 (cumulative) will be included on a permanent plaque that will hang in the Vatican Museums. We ask you to consider a gift and invite a friend to join you in support of this exciting restoration!

Tapestry detail weft tapestry detail needing repair tapestry detail 2 needing repair

The Michigan Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museum is excited to announce the launch of their new website,

“The Leadership and Board of Directors of the Michigan Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museum are always at the forefront of supporting the arts by bringing people, faith and technology together,” commented Anthony Rugiero, a board member of the growing Michigan Chapter. “We are proud to launch our new website and app to give greater access to this exceptional organization.”

The site is also accompanied by the launch of a Facebook page and Twitter account.

“These are all ways in which members can participate in the organization, connect with each other, and better fulfill our mission to help cultivate beauty through the restoration and support of the Arts in our Catholic heritage. It’s a great responsibility and a true gift to be a part of this chapter,” says Jeanne Stevenson, a board member of the Michigan Chapter.

The Michigan Chapter has several hundred members and continues to grow every day.