Jeslynn Seah (third from right) sees God speaking to her in images when creating art. Photo: JESLYNN SEAH
Many of us want to know more about Church doctrine and the various teachings and inspirations that can be drawn from our Catholic faith.
However, thick books, littered with complicated words and terms, that aim to break down the various teachings of the Church can sometimes be hard to digest.
This train of thought was what inspired Jeslynn Seah to come up with an infographics book on the Mass. “I was trying to grow in my faith but found thick books and the Catechism of the Catholic Church a tedious and jargon-filled read.”
Infographics, which use a collection of pictures, diagrams, charts, with minimal text, can help give a simplified overview of a topic.
At Mass, the congregation at times are not sure of why and what they are doing. “What do we genuflect to? What is the purpose of the bells? Why do we respond ‘and with your spirit’? All these ... prompted me to do infographics on the Mass so that I could also learn and share about the Mass,” said the 30-year-old Church of Saint Francis Xavier parishioner.
After working as a graphic designer for four years where she picked up the skills in infographic creation, Jeslynn said she encounters “God mostly through experiences in nature, journeying with people and the process of creating art.”
In her work, she sees God speaking to her in images and sometimes, “He tells me a story and I could draw a comic, other times while discerning He would prompt me with an image and explain His heart to me.”
Drawing her creativity and direction from God, “the colours, the method I use to mould clay or the way I paint a picture are all part of His message to myself and to others I pray for,” said Jeslynn, who strongly relates to St Pope John Paul II’s Letter to Artists in 1999.
The Letter, she said, “has set my heart on fire to use the little gifts I have in design and communication to glorify God and help build a vibrant Church.”
Jeslynn was baptised in Primary 4 with her mother. In her teens, she got involved in the communities in her parish for 15 years after confirmation.
She now journeys with a young adult community, Leaven of God, whose members are between 25 and 31 years of age. She is also actively involved with the Office for Young People having attended School of Witness 2019.
In September, she will be in Rome for two years to pursue a Diploma in Spirituality at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas.
Doing up the infographics for the book, titled Mass Communication, has allowed Jeslynn to maintain a better focus during Mass. “I can appreciate the little details and intricacies which in turn allow me to participate better.”
The book was not a solo effort however. Jeslynn gathered six friends as well as Father Terence Kesavan, whom she knew from her parish, to work on the book together.
“The eight of us worked to churn out infographics every week from Easter 2015 to Easter 2016. We wanted to re-communicate the Mass to the technologically-savvy and visual generation,” said Jeslynn.
Fr Terence said he hopes the infographics “will be a useful resource and gift to help more Catholics and even non-Catholics to understand and appreciate the Mass.”
Initially planned for release on social media, the group decide to compile the infographics into a book after numerous requests and suggestions.