As a member of the community of John XXIII, I am constantly intrigued by the sacramentals which surround his life. By this, I mean the books, reflections, images and holy cards which constantly remind us of his vision and inspiration.

Early in my search, I came across a mosaic image of John XXIII crafted by David Wasserman, who is affectionately called "the tin can man." David creatively explored the artistic possibilities of recycled tin and aluminum cans from the mid-1960's through the 1990's. He and his wife Betty went "green" by collecting discarded soda cans long before it became fashionable. I had the fortune to connect with David's son Steven, when I was seeking permission to use the image. Steven wrote:

"Although my father always spoke about his choices of subject for tin can constructions in terms of artistic challenges (in this case the challenge of rendering the Pope's vestments in metal) I do not believe the choice of Pope John XXIII was an accident. My father deeply respected the great ecumenical Pope, not least because of his outreach to the Jews and his repudiation of anti-Semitic elements in the Catholic creed. After the death of John XXIII, he was watching the reports on television about the deliberations of the College of Cardinals. I guess I was in the yard or elsewhere in the house at the time, because I remember coming into the living room and having him say to me, in a delighted way, "We have a new Pope." Then he seemed to catch himself and he laughed at the irony of the statement, since we are Jewish and are not accustomed to thinking of the Pope as someone or something that "we have."

"In writing an article about him, you may be interested to know that my father respected all religions, including his own, and that he tried to understand them to the best of his ability. He did not believe that a person is ultimately judged on the basis of his religious affiliation, but rather on the way he or she lives his or her life."

On behalf of the Community and in the spirit of John XXIII, we have printed the image on the back cover of CORPUS REPORTS. Consider it our Christmas gift to all the members of CORPUS. Many blessings!