A New Church in California with an Irish Flavor.

St. Kilian (also spelled Killian) was an Irish missionary who evangelized and converted to Christianity populace of the north part of the current
Bavaria in the seventh century. Since last August, he has a new parish named after him in Mission Viejo, Diocese of Orange, California. 
Pastor Rev. Bruce Patterson told GRANDA when he and the Diocese commissioned us to design and manufacture most of the liturgical elements, that he wanted the Irish flavor to be all around the place and this goal was achieved by profusely using the Celtic knot that evokes infinity, from the processional cross to the Celebrant’s chair.
The design for the beautiful new tabernacle was inspired by the church’s building and is crafted in silver and Capolavoro granite, with an elaborate gold-plated interior.
Two life-size wooden-carved reliefs with veladuras (soft color) finish depict two scenes from the Gospels that portray the mercy of God. One is the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the Well of Sychar. The other is the depiction of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The images in those reliefs are figurative but made with a modern style that seeks closeness to todays’ people.
Other furnishings commissioned for St. Kilian are the altar, ambo and holy water fonts all made from Capolavoro and Fussion granite stone, in order to accentuate the contrast with the figurative mosaic of the altarpiece, which represents the Crucifixion.
Granda also crafted some woodwork like the cantor stand, confessionals and different elements of metalwork such as monstrance, processional cross and torches, dedication crosses and sanctuary lamp, among others.

St. Kilian Church sketch



Custom Paintings for the Cathedral in Louisiana.

On Respect Life Sunday of 2012, Bishop Michael G. Duca, Bishop of Shreveport, blessed a special image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Protectress of the Unborn and the Patroness of the Americas. According to Very Rev. Peter Mangum, Rector of St. John Berchman Cathedral for which the painting was commissioned: “the image has been wonderfully received both because of it having been beautifully painted by the Granda studios, but because of the veneration Mary under this title already has in this area, as well as for Pro Life reasons”. 
The devotion to that image of Our Lady has grown swiftly: The faithful kneel before the painting before and after Mass, including many young families.  Flowers are being brought constantly as an expression of people’s devotion and gratitude.
“With the painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe so beautifully executed”, members of this Cathedral parish decided for another project.  With their very active and ever growing outreach ministries, including two chapters of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, “we commissioned Granda to paint an image of St Vincent de Paul, to complement the image of Our Lady to be added to the sacred space already filled with much art and stained glass and statuary”. 
Note the same size, shape, and type of flowers used in both.  St. Vincent De Paul painting will have a frame identical to that of the Our Lady of Guadalupe image.  It will be blessed by Bishop Duca this upcoming December 8, with representatives of the diocesan chapters of SSVDP and other outreach ministries present.


A 100 Year Old Royal Gift in New York.

We knew at Granda that the first item crafted by our workshop for the US was an elaborate sanctuary lamp. We had records that the lamp was made by Fr. Felix Granda, but with the Spanish Civil War in 1936-39, many documents were lost and we didn’t know were it was.
From some recently recovered documentation, we deducted that the lamp was sent to the Hispanic Society of America in New York, but after a personal visit there and an interview with the curator of the Museum, that possibility had to be ruled out.
From the interview, however, we learned that there was a church related to the museum and built by the Hispanic Society with the generous help of Mr. Archer M. Huntington.  This fact motivated a renewed our search and the lamp was found.
The beautiful lamp that hangs from the sanctuary dome, its flickering flame sparkling day and night, symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. This lamp was presented to Our Lady of Esperanza Church in 1912 by King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Alfonso personally commissioned Father Felix Granda, a noted priest and sculptor of that time to make an exact replica of the vessel created by the celebrated eighteenth century sculptor, Urquiza. The original hangs in the sanctuary of the Church of San Antonio de la Florida in Madrid, Spain.
In addition to its exquisite design, an interesting feature of this great masterpiece is its symbolism. The top of the lamp is in the form of a crown representing the Royal Family of Spain, from the crown hang three beautifully ornamented chains, which represent the Collar of the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece.
At the base of the three chains there is a suspended round tray, adorned with fine detailed galleries on which we can repeatedly see the coat of arms of Spain, which is a lion and a castle between the Pillars of Hercules. Three golden cherubs hovering in graceful flight support the tray and its center and there are six-sided columns. On one of the column's sides the coat of arms of King Alfonso is emblazoned, and on another there is an engraved dedication by the King.
The center column supports a golden sphere, the earth etched with a map of the world and a quotation from the Holy Scripture: "Lux orta est justo et rectis corde loetitia. Quandiu sum in in mundo lux sum mundi”. (Light is risen to the just, and joy to the right of heart. Psalm XCXl: II; As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. John 1:5). From the top of the sphere, flames burst forth and rise through a holder in which the vigil taper burns day and night before the Blessed Sacrament.

Seminary Tour.

Recently Granda has been on the road on the East Coast Seminary Tour. Dozens of future priests had the opportunity of admiring the craftsmanship of Granda in both vestments and metalwork and were left dreaming about the chasuble that they will be wearing for their ordination or the chalice that they will use for their first solemn mass.
There is a long tradition in Granda of crafting custom chalices after the personal ideas provided by their future owners. Some ask for a special design pursuing a visible representation of a theological truth. Others ask for an engraved sentence of the Gospels, another for a custom design that includes a family jewel.  Our silversmiths take the idea and develop the design until it’s fully satisfactory to the client. We are glad to be able to make that special day even more everlasting through those liturgical items.

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