Anja Renkes

Anja Renkes
Theology Major, Irish Studies Minor, Studio Art Minor, Class of 2020
University of Notre Dame

I was born in Washington DC, and spent my childhood moving from Alaska, to two islands on the West Coast and then ultimately settling in Jackson Wyoming. I am very content living in close proximity with animals and dirt, and really love hiking/backpacking/cross country skiing and any outdoors activity. Studying theological aesthetics and meditating on authentic beauty in the world through my art brings me great joy.  I have always been an athlete and row for Notre Dame. Seeking to live with a deep gratitude for creation and God’s gift of his presence in the Eucharist has transformed what I study at university and ultimately my heart. Saint Faustina is my patron saint and the devotion of Divine Mercy has been instrumental in the way God has shaped me and taught me to trust God with the ways in which I am particularly dependent on the Lord. I have a deep love for Ireland, Irish people, art and the Irish language. I am currently researching holy wells in Ireland (places of Catholic devotion and popular piety intending to paint them and encourage people to practice contemplating God’s beauty in material creation. The goal of my artwork and research is to practice and encourage receiving life and material creation as gift from God through a recognition of the humility and wonder of God’s presence and efficacious grace in the sacraments of the Catholic Church.

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