Year of the Eucharist image now a painting hanging in the Chancery

Artist Cynthia Morch poses next to her painting of the diocesan Year of the Eucharist image now hanging in the reception area of the Chancery in Wichita. (Advance photo)

When Herb Morch saw the Year of the Eucharist photo in the Catholic Advance of a priest in golden vestments holding a chalice and the Eucharist he said he felt the Lord suggest he do something.

So he commissioned Cynthia Morch, his artist daughter-in-law, to paint the image. “I wanted to do it for Bishop Kemme because I know how hard he works,” Herb said last week.

Cynthia was eager to paint the image for Bishop Carl A. Kemme. After getting permission from the photographer, the artist who describes herself as being in love with Jesus, began sketching and painting. It took about two weeks, off-and-on, she said, while working on other time-sensitive projects. She completed the work at the end of February and presented it to Bishop Kemme at her in-laws’ home at the end of March.

Bishop Kemme receives the painting commissioned by Herb and Jane Morch, members of Church of the Resurrection parish. (Courtesy photo)

Painting now in the Chancery

The painting now hangs in the reception area of the Chancery.

Art is the sap of her family tree. Cynthia said her grandfather was an amazing artist and one of her earliest memories is finding her mother’s sketchbook. “My mom sketched a bunch of figure drawings and drawings of horses,” she said. “I remember I thought it was fantastic and I wanted to do the same thing.”

With pencil and paper she began what would become a lifelong pursuit encouraged and supported by her family and now her in-laws.

Cynthia said she changed directions in college several times but didn’t major in art because of the frequently repeated adage about starving artists. She ultimately received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and human services, a master’s degree in Christian ministry and pastoral studies, and a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, all of which allowed her to pursue her passion while supporting her family.

Her studies allowed her to pursue her passion – and eat.

A self-taught artist

“Ultimately I’m self-taught,” she said, adding that she has taken classes from artists such as Liberal, Kansas, native Mary Binford Miller, a landscape and western motif artist, who Cynthia credits with improving her skills with color, blending, contrast, and perspective.

She used those skills in the painting of the Eucharist, a piece she said was special for her.

“I love Jesus. My thoughts are always towards him every single day because he has saved my life literally more than once,” she said. “I live for him.”

Cynthia added that while painting she couldn’t stop thinking about what Jesus did by dying on a cross. “Do this in remembrance of me. This is my body broken for you. This is my blood,” were thoughts that she pondered while working.
Jesus was determined to set us free, she said. “How can I not live my life to serve him deeply? I’m so grateful for the Sacrament of the Eucharist.”