Priest: Making ‘bottled memories’ is art, act of love | Inquirer News

Priest: Making ‘bottled memories’ is art, act of love

/ 08:41 AM November 02, 2011

Believing in a person’s natural creativity, a parish priest introduced a unique way of remembering  departed loved ones.

Fr. Jason Dy of Sacred Heart Parish channeled his passion for art and role as pastor in a project that uses  recycled bottles  as personalized memorabilia.

“Memories are intangibles, but those memories can be related to a particular object, and that object would have  sentimental value,” Dy said pointing to  one of his bottles.


Dy introduced this interactive art project to  parishioners in 2009. He distributed empty recycled bottles inviting people to  create a “bottled memory.”


They can design their own bottles.

“The usual things people do for All Souls’ Day is to write on envelopes and submit names  for prayers, but we wanted to make it more creative and interactive,” he said.

Dy gathers juice drink  bottles  for his project and also receives donated bottles.

Dy showed a “bottled memory” given by a parishioner painted with vivid blue lines and decorated with strings around it.

Another bottle, made by an artist and dedicated to another artist friend, has a piece of parchment paper with a short biography of the deceased.

Another bottle made by a parishoner for her mother is  decorated with rosary beads.  Its exterior was painted red, yellow, orange and blue and was covered with  cork.


These works of art are displayed in the priest’s office.

Dy also makes his own “bottled memories,” which he offers to victims of child abuse and exploitation, victims of natural calamities, war and conflict, famine and sickness and modern-day saints and heroes.

“It’s easier to reflect and share the memory of your loved ones when you have something tangible with you,” Dy said.

The  activity is also a healing process for the participants.

“It would be easier to let them go if they are remembered when they were still alive,” he said.

Those who want to join the activity, which is done every first week of November, can go to the parish office to request for a bottle that they can decorate.

The bottle contains a rolled piece of paper with suggestions on how to decorate it.

One can also write  prayers on a piece of paper and put it in the empty bottles.  Other bottles are filled with various materials like photographs, sand, rocks, plastic wires or letters, usually from an object that represented or belonged to the deceased person.

“The texture and colors inside the bottle are the rocks or the paper.  It’s nice to know that they shared a piece of themselves through the project,” he said.

Dy’s collection was displayed in a exhibit titled “In Loving Memory” last November 2009 in the Alternative Contemporary Art Studio of Sacred Heart Parish and in December of the same year in the Art Center of SM Cebu.

Starting this Saturday until Nov. 27, it will be again showcased in the Alternative Contemporary Art Studio of Sacred Heart Parish on D. Jakosalem Street.

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Last Aug. 11, Dy’s collection was shown during the Catholic World Youth Days in the Fundacion Pons Calle Serano in Madrid, Spain. /Candeze R. Mongaya, Reporter

TAGS: Fr. Jason Dy

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