Amy Kotlarz in the Catholic Courier in an article entitled, “Black Catholics’ gifts celebrated:”
PITTSFORD — As a self-confessed "Shroudie" with a T-shirt from the Redemptorists’ Holy Shroud Guild to prove it, Deacon Tony Mercadel is clearly passionate about the Shroud of Turin.
He can talk for hours about the controversy over the burial shroud that many believe once wrapped Jesus. The centuries-old, bloodstained cloth reveals an image of a man who appears to have been whipped across his back and legs, pierced in his side, punctured in a circle around his head as if with a crown of thorns and crucified through his wrists.
Arguments have raged for decades over whether the shroud is a religious relic and evidence of the resurrection of Jesus, or one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated in history, Deacon Mercadel said.
"If nothing else, it is an excellent resource for meditation on what Jesus went through to bring salvation to all of us," he said.
Deacon Mercadel noted that John’s Gospel records that some apostles believed in the Resurrection after viewing the empty cloth that had wrapped Jesus’ body.
The Shroud of Turn also was responsible for a conversion experience for Deacon Mercadel’s son, Daryl, who said viewing an image of it in college led him to get fired up about his faith — years before his father began studying the shroud in depth, he noted.
The shroud, Daryl Mercadel said, allows him to see an image of Jesus that is neither white nor black.
"It bolsters my faith," he said.