Fr. John Domin
1923 - 2017
Tue 6/13 10:30 am
About Fr. John Domin
Fr. John Domin served the Portland Archdiocese as a priest for 57 years, as a pastor of several parishes, a high school art teacher, and a lecturer at Mount Angel Seminary. His education in the arts began with the study of creative design at San Domiano Studio in Chicago in 1948. He worked with Lloyd Reynolds, Oregon Calligrapher Laureate, at the Portland Art Museum during the 1950s and 60s, while teaching creativity classes at Central Catholic High School. During those 12 years, he also studied during summers at the University of Washington Art Department and with Corita Kent in Los Angeles. Extensive travel abroad focused on sacred art and architecture.
Fr. Domin was Chairman of the Sacred Art Commission of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon for thirty years from 1958 until 1988. During this time he engaged in the design process and renovating of over one hundred churches and chapels. Several won national recognition awards including St. Joseph Church in Roseburg and St. Alice Church in Springfield, both in Oregon.
Fr. John was pastor of St. Monica Church in Coos Bay and founding pastor of Church of the Resurrection in West Linn. He has served as chaplain of Maryville Nursing Home, which provides compassionate, extended care for the elderly, including many already living in various stages of Alzheimer’s disease at Shalom Center. He continues to live and create art in his Maryville home/studio in Oregon today (2013).
While Chairman of the Sacred Art Commission of the Archdiocese of Portland, Fr. Domin read about the modern churches and beautiful liturgical art being designed in Europe and Mexico. The bombing during World War II had severely damaged or completely destroyed churches throughout Europe, and inspired young architects and artists were stepping in to fill the spaces with imaginative art and inventive, contemporary buildings. He traveled to several countries in the 1960s and 1970s photographing liturgical art and architecture. He was astonished by the creativity, majesty, and splendor he discovered in the new churches. He found that the architects and artists had incorporated a new creative spirit in their work. He also observed that the work of famous artists, including Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger, Georges Rouault and tapestry artist Jean Lurcat adorn several of the churches in Europe. Although many of the churches from which he drew inspiration were designed years before the Second Vatican Council, (1962-1965), Fr. Domin realized many of these ideas in the churches he renovated or built in Western Oregon to conform to Vatican II. He worked with architects and hired ingenious liturgical artists who worked in a variety of media to enhance churches with stunning sacred art. He himself created banners, sculpture, and calligraphy for St. Monica’s and other churches. Many of the nearly 100 churches in Oregon that Fr. John helped design and fill with beautiful art are visible on the Sanctuary of Sacred Arts www.s4sa.org web site.
The European churches which were the inspiration for the churches in Oregon are available on the same site. Churches in Germany, Switzerland, France, and Mexico are among the images of sacred and liturgical art on www.s4sa.org.
Included is a picture of Fr. John from the back of his greeting cards, and in his studio, a video and images of the art collections in his studio, Easter House. He has created art and exhibit work in galleries, churches and universities throughout Oregon.
© 2016 Sanctuary for Sacred Arts