EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Holy Cross Retreat Center in Mesilla Park held a special dedication ceremony for a new mural honoring their welcoming spirit.

This mural was completed ahead of their Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts that retreat director Father Tom Smith says will be a new way to welcome those who wish to come and visit.

According to smith, this mural is a dedication to Pope Francis’ encyclical and while other have previously done so either written or spoken, at holy cross they wanted to make it visual so those who come and see the depiction of St. Francis they will be able to see what he represented.

“But actually, we are a part of creation ourselves and that’s why we have a person on here St. Francis because it’s to show that we are that and we hope that people will recognize the beauty that’s in this and the sense of living together.”

The artist behind the creation, Linda Kagen, credits her love to St. Francis as her inspiration but wanted to make sure that what she created was able to show how special holy cross is as well as the beauty of the southwest region.

“Cause this place is so beautiful and peaceful I hesitated about doing a mural because I didn’t want something too wild but I think this fits in with the serenity of the place.”

Seeing the hard work go into it and revealing the final product has been a special journey for everyone of part of it and smith is hopeful that visitors will see the mural and realize that we are all connected like how St. Francis wrote many years ago.

“Just the sense of peace like in the scriptures it talks about the lamb and fox will lead beyond together or the cow and the bear will be together you know that sense and cooperation we have for another that’s the part that I really love.”

For local and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, video and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.