It’s something that you’d see on the History Channel, or in the Vatican, but in Copperas Cove?
Life-size printouts and three-dimensional images of the Shroud of Turin will be at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Cove at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Presented by New Mexico Deacon Pete Schumacher, the two-hour event will explore and explain one of the largest research projects done on the Shroud in the late 1970s.
“I want (visitors) to see what the shroud is, in terms of what it physically is,” said Schumacher, who is also director of the Shroud Exhibit and Museum in Alamogorado, N.M. “I want people to understand it is a physical thing that exists and has properties that can be studied, but a lot of things that are left to question when it’s done.”
The original shroud is located at the Cathedral of John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. Also known as the Holy Shroud, the cloth bears the image of a man who has experienced great pain, believed to be Jesus Christ after his crucifixion.
In 1976, Schumacher was a production engineer for a company that made Video Process 8 image analyzers, a brightness-detecting machine would make a brightness map of whatever was introduced to it by a video camera, he said. The machine was delivered to two top scientists who started the Shroud of Turin Research Project; the machine was later used to analyze the shroud.
“When you introduce the Shroud of Turin to this machine, the brightness pattern becomes 3-D,” he said. “It doesn’t normally come out three-dimensional … It’s basically that discovery that launched one of the largest scientific studies.”
After the strange discovery, a team of 33 scientists from all religious backgrounds began analyzing the shroud to see what the supposed image was made of and how it got on the cloth. In the end, Schumacher said, no scientist could solidly explain how the image imprinted on the cloth, but the image is definitely that of a human man.
“The more people can know about things that we have within out tradition, the better they can understand,” said Father Chris Downey of the Holy Catholic Family Church. “When we as a people of faith get a chance to look at scientific proofs on things regarding faith, we should certainly admit them into the equation.”