A unique, fully illustrated autobiography in full colour covering over 60 years of the life, art and ruminations of a Catholic Priest and accomplished Sculptor…a life worth discovering and appreciating!
“Thanks very much for sharing this with me. In fact a very inspiring life…”.
– Professor Charles Taylor, renowned philosopher
“Father Falke turns the everyday into art”
–The Catholic Register, May 28th, 2021
Herman Falke was born in Holland in 1928. At a very early age he chose the religious life and enrolled at a Junior Seminary outside Amsterdam. However, the German occupation of Holland changed his reality as a young teenager. He learned how to survive, seek safety and obey the occupiers’ orders.. His daily routine was digging trenches along the German border. Food became scarce and men between the ages of 16 to 50 were rounded up in the local villages and resistance was met with a firing squad for disobeying orders. The arrival of Canadian forces across Holland in 1945 brought an end to the Occupation and Herman returned to the Seminary to complete his studies. He also began assisting at church services and became the resident organist.
In the early ‘50s the Sacred Heart Fathers decided to expand their mission to Canada where many newly arrived Dutch families had settled. The Local Diocese allowed the Fathers to establish a Junior Seminary in Delaware, Ontario This gave Herman his first mission teaching Art and Music and completing his BA at CKC in1958. He taught his art classes in a studio, while his weekends were spent travelling to local parishes to say Mass. However by 1965 Vatican ll had changed the Church’s traditional values and the Seminary in Delaware was closed. For Herman his art, language and musical background gave him a new mission teaching at an Art school in Uganda, Africa.
Father Falke’s work at the school challenged his European artistic temperament and he began to respect African traditions and values. He discovered a new way of interpreting the human figure and especially his images of African women that required a fresh look. It became a turning point and he adopted a more contemporary feel in his depiction of biblical scenes. His time in Africa changed his whole approach to art and it has never left him. He was forced to leave Uganda when President Idi Amin came to power and began destroying tribal villages and removing the foreign missions. Father Falke’s African experience had dramatically changed his artistic expression while his superiors in Ottawa and
Toronto commissioned him to sculpt numerous Stations of the Cross for its newly opened parishes using wood and ceramics.
Today, at 93 years of age, Father Falke still uses his art to temper the sanity in his life. He has formulated an approach & concept to express the religious stories he has found using ceramics and wood. He has challenged many in the Church to consider new ways to send the spiritual message, while staying loyal to his calling as a priest for over 60 years. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.
Pub. Date: March 2022
Available at your local bookseller or order from Mosaic Press / IPG(US)/ Gazelle Book Services(UK/EU) / Manda Group(Canada)
8 X 10 inches
100 Illustrations in full colour
Price: $29.95 USD $34.95 CDN
ISBN PB : 9781771615969