Mr. Daniel Favata brings spirituality to artwork


Mrs. Lizzie Ryan

Mrs. Christina Di Capua P’23 and Mr. Daniel Favata initiated the “The Early Christian Jesus and Sacred Heart Spirituality: A Match Made in Heaven” presentation November 20.

Mr. Daniel Favata, Upper School Theology and Art History Teacher, presented catacomb art from the third and fourth centuries during a lecture in the Cora E. McLaughlin ’29, RSCJ, Art Gallery November 20.  Mrs. Christine Di Capua P’23, Board of Trustee member and Chair of Sacred Heart’s Education to Mission Committee and the Institutional Advancement Committee, assisted in organizing and concluding the presentation.

Titled “The Early Christian Jesus and Sacred Heart Spirituality: A Match Made in Heaven,” Mr. Favata’s talk explained the similarities in spirituality between the Early Christians and Sacred Heart Greenwich’s community.

Mrs. Pamela Juan Hayes ’64, Head of School, welcomed Mr. Favata to the podium, noting his many years of service as a Sacred Heart educator.  Mr. Favata then elaborated on how Early Christians portrayed and imagined Jesus to his audience of students, faculty, parents, alumnae, and trustees.

As an Art History teacher in the Upper School, Mr. Favata incorporates artwork into his classes.  He displayed art from the Early Christian time periods to demonstrate how the first depictions of Christian subject matter appeared in the third and fourth centuries, as previous works did not survive, according to Mr. Favata.

Mr. Daniel Favata teaching the community members about the catacomb art of the third and fourth centuries.  Courtesy of Mrs. Lizzie Ryan

“Art has always been a place where I have found God, and so a talk that directly connected art with theology seemed like a natural fit,” Mr. Favata said.  “I chose the third and fourth centuries because that is when we have some of our earliest examples of art with Christian subject matter.” 

Mr. Favata emphasized the connection between the school’s spirituality and the life and teachings of Jesus. 

“Through examining how the Early Christians represent Jesus, we will draw parallels with and lessons for our own Sacred Heart spirituality,” Mr. Favata said.  “We can also trace how understandings of Jesus change over time, and how these ideas are reflected in art.” 

Mr. Favata showed almost thirty works of art to his listeners.  He recalls one piece, “The Good Shepherd, the story of Jonah, orants, and Seasons, frescoed ceiling of a cubiculum in the Catacomb of Saints Peter and Marcellinus,” that was under the subject of catacomb art in Rome, Italy.

Mr. Favata hopes that those who were in attendance gained a greater admiration for the art and teachings of Early Christians.

Mrs. Christine Di Capua P ’23 sharing information on the presentation.  Courtesy of Mrs. Lizzie Ryan

“I hope that listeners come to a deeper appreciation of our Mission as a Sacred Heart school, and realize how our Sacred Heart spirituality is rooted in the teachings of Jesus and the earliest days of Christianity,” Mr. Favata said.  “The talk was about my two favorite things: Sacred Heart and art.”

Mrs. Di Capua helped organize the presentation.  After the presentation concluded, she closed with thanks to Mr. Favata for his time and dedication to share his awareness of the subject matter.

“I want to personally thank you for answering the call to share yourself, share your knowledge, and share your enthusiasm for all things Sacred Heart,” Mrs. Di Capua said.  “We are truly blessed to have you in our [Sacred Heart] community.”

Featured Image by Mrs. Lizzie Ryan