Visitors from all walks of life became part of a living exhibit experience delving into the concepts of faith, culture, and community through the history and mission of the Catholic Church.
The Pope John Paul II Cultural Foundation wanted to communicate — to Catholics and non-Catholics alike — the faith, life, and mission of the Catholic Church as illuminated by the pontificate of John Paul II. ESI tackled the challenge by creating interactive exhibits that engaged visitors in an exploration of the Church’s history, doctrines and culture, and their own feelings of faith and community.
Five galleries — the Gallery of Church and Papal History, the Gallery of Faith, the Gallery of Wonder, the Gallery of Community, and the Gallery of Imagination — illuminated different aspects of the Church through easy-to-understand but thought-provoking activities. At “testimonial stations” in each gallery, visitors could express and share their thoughts on these topics.
Many activities encouraged interaction with other visitors to emphasize the idea of the Church as a community. For example, in a group polling activity, “Finding Harmony,” visitors explore some of the moral issues embedded in modern technological advances. In “Ring the Bells!” groups of visitors share the joys of making music together.
The Center operated a decade until it was purchased by the Knights of Columbus and turned into a shrine dedicated to Pope John Paul II.
Visit the Cultural Center’s website at www.jp2shrine.org
"The Holy Father ... did not want a monument that was just dedicated to himself, but rather an institution that really focused in on our teaching role within the Church."
35,000 square feet
Operated for 10 years