The following is the Ohio.com news story:
Blood exposes the ultimate Easter sacrifice to St. Ambrose students
By Colette M. Jenkins
Beacon Journal staff writer
BRUNSWICK: Angela Falconi is looking at Holy Week and Easter a little differently this year.
Her perspective changed on Thursday, after she and her eighth-grade classmates at St. Ambrose Catholic School used a computer coding program to detect blood on the Shroud of Turin.
“It changed how I look at the sacrifice that Jesus made for me and showed me a different perspective of how Jesus suffered when he went to the cross,” said Angela, 13, of Brunswick. “The evidence that we saw today makes me think the burial cloth could have been his.”
The students used coding with internal sensors as a tool to detect blood on images of the Shroud of Turin — a blood-stained linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man, who some believe was Jesus of Nazareth.
The students’ coding teacher, Lori Schlueter, said the project aimed to educate students about the shroud and to give them a different perspective on Easter that would raise awareness about the sacrifice that Jesus made to show his love for humanity.
“With it being Holy Week, we thought this was a great way to help students gain a better appreciation of the sacrifice and their Catholic faith,” Schlueter said. “When you see the amount of blood, you begin to grasp the enormity of what crucifixion was. You can’t help but have a greater appreciation of what our Lord has done for us.”
The project was done in partnership with STEM Accelerated Coding, a subsidiary of the Jr. Special Agent Company (www.jrspecialagentcompany.com). Lin St. James, who owns the company and runs the St. Ambrose School Coding program, said she combined her interest in the shroud with her coding and computer programming background to develop the special Easter coding project.
“This is an amazing way to educate the students about the shroud,” St. James said. “The big hope is that it will help them better understand the sacrifice at the center of our faith.”
Before starting the coding exercise, students viewed a portion of the History Channel documentary The Real Face of Jesus? The film features the work of computer artists who re-created the face of Jesus in 3-D based on the Shroud of Turin.
While the team in The Real Face of Jesus? agree with the theologians, historians and researchers that believe the shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus, there is an active debate about its authenticity. Some experts argue that the shroud is an artifact created by an artist.
Hunter Velasquez believes that it is a real burial cloth. His faith leads him to believe that it belonged to Jesus.
“I think it definitely is a burial linen and I believe it could be Jesus’ because there are many codes and signs that make it look that way, like the blood on the back that could have come from his head, where the crown of thorns was placed,” said Hunter, 13, of Brunswick Hills. “Doing this exercise made the crucifixion more real for me. It helped me see some science behind the [biblical] stories that we know and made my faithful view stronger.”
The shroud is kept in the Chapel of the Shroud at Turin Cathedral in northern Italy. It is respected by Christians of various traditions, including Protestants and Catholics, but has not been formally endorsed or rejected by the Catholic Church.
“Jesus chose to take the cross for us to show us a radical way to live, to show us the depth of love He has for us and to keep us on the path that leads to Heaven,” the Rev. Robert G. Stec, pastor at St. Ambrose, told the students. “He could have walked two miles away and hid to avoid carrying the cross. It requires faith to believe — you can’t prove it. But you ultimately have to take the step to believe that His sacrifice was real.”