The priest as an artist:
"I was always the kid who was doing the posters for
everybody. But I didn't take (art) seriously until I was a
priest. ... It came out of a need to pray and to mature in my
spirituality. Art has been an integral part of my
What he did before becoming a priest:
He entered the seminary in ninth grade: "It was a different
time. I would not recommend that for anybody right now."
Who was surprised by his vocation:
Everybody: "People are surprised now."
Doubts about choosing the priesthood:
"All along. Doubts never cease. Doubts are part of life. I
don't consider doubts to be the opposite of faith. Doubts are
part of faith. The opposite of faith is fear."
Priests who inspire him:
The late Father Daniel Sanchez of Corpus Christi, the first
Cuban exile to be ordained a priest in the archdiocese; and
Msgr. William Dever, pastor of St. Helen in Fort Lauderdale,
where Father Sardiņas served before going to the University of
What he does on his days off:
"I hang out at my art studio, or take my dog to the dog
park, or I go to the beach and have dinner with friends."
What he would be doing if he had not become a priest:
An architect or a veterinarian: "I love animals."
"My disappointments have been mostly with myself, by not
appreciating at times how blessed I've been."
"Doubts are part of faith. The opposite of faith is
"The two places where I'm most at home, where I'm lost in
time, are when I celebrate the Eucharist and when I'm in my art
Most difficult aspect of being a priest:
"The public side of it. Being constantly under scrutiny.
I'm a very private person. People look at what color shirt
you're wearing, what kind of car you're driving, what haircut
you have. ... And today, with the shortage of priests, simply
Father Sardiņas and his "Michelangelo moment" -
the chapel at St. Thomas University. He designed the stained
glass windows, the statues, the altar, the pulpit and the
Most satisfying aspect of the priesthood:
"The unique, irreplaceable relationship with people in your
parish. When people call you 'father' that, to me, is not a
title. That's a relationship."
Priestly stereotype that should be discarded:
"That (priests) have to be superhuman. ... I'm flawed just
like everybody else."
Favorite musical artists:
Mozart, U2, Sting and Celia Cruz: "I'm a hybrid."
Person, other than Christ, that he most admires:
St. Francis of Assisi: "He was God's unique work of art.
There was no one like him before him and no one like him after
Favorite visual artists:
Michelangelo, Raphael, El Greco, Caravaggio, Van Gogh, Matisse,
Rothko, Wilfredo Lam
Thing he most fears:
"Not pleasing God by fully utilizing my God-given talents.
Selling God short."
His greatest accomplishment:
Designing all the liturgical appointments for St. Thomas
University's new chapel - stained glass windows, statues,
Stations of the Cross, altar, pulpit and baptismal font.
"My Michelangelo moment... This is the accomplishment where
both the priest and the artist have come together."
FATHER JORGE SARDIŅAS
Professor of visual arts and curator of the art gallery
at St. Thomas University
Born Oct. 2, 1950, in Havana,
Cuba, he came to the United
States in 1960 and attended
Corpus Christi and St. John
Bosco parishes in Miami.
Ordained May 14, 1977, he
served at St. Mary Cathedral,
worked with farmworkers in
Immokalee, and served as
campus minister at the
University of Miami and
University before pursuing
art degrees at FIU and the
University of Florida. He
currently helps out at Our
Lady of the Lakes Parish in
Archdiocese of Miami
9401 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, Florida 33138
305.762.1043 Fax 305.751.6227