OGDEN — The Shroud of Turin, which many believe is the burial cloth of Christ, will be the topic of a presentation on Sept. 24 at Saint James the Just Parish in Ogden.
The presentation has been organized by Tony and Diana Hanebrink of Saint Joseph Parish in Ogden, who saw the shroud itself when it was on display last year in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.
"I want other people to experience what we did," said Tony Hanebrink. "The thing that intrigues me so much is that there is so much scientific evidence that this really is the burial cloth of Jesus."
Among that evidence is that pollen on the shroud could come only from an area around Jerusalem in the spring, and that the blood on the shroud is a blood type common in the Middle East but not in Europe, Tony Hanebrink said.
The first historical references to the shroud date back to the fourteenth century. In 1978, Dr. John Jackson, who is now one of the directors of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, led a group of 30 scientists to examine the shroud. His research has been featured in documentaries by the BBC and the History Channel. Jackson and his wife, Rebecca Jackson, will speak at the presentation in Ogden.
Rebecca Jackson also has conducted research on the shroud.
The Hanebrinks met the Jacksons last year as part of their preparation to view the shroud. Then Diana Hanebrink contacted the Jacksons again when she bought her husband a set of DVDs about the Jacksons’ research.
Those contacts resulted in the Hanebrinks inviting the Jacksons to speak in Ogden.
"My faith certainly doesn’t depend on the shroud being real," Tony Hanebrink said, but "there is scientific evidence that this is the burial cloth of Jesus and we want people to know that so they can begin to appreciate Jesus did leave us this demonstration of his death and resurrection."
Tony Hanebrink thinks Jesus left the shroud for people in our century "because we want so much scientific evidence," he said, adding that the shroud shows evidence of all the details of the Passion of Christ, from the scouring to the crowning with thorns to the lance mark in the side.
"We’ve got this thing that shows some of how that happened and to me that is just absolutely fascinating," Tony Hanebrink said. "I want to share that with other people."
Father Erik Richtsteig, pastor of St. James the Just Parish, agrees that because Christians believe that Christ’s resurrection was an actual, physical event, the shroud forces people to contemplate this mystery.
"In spite of all the scientific haggling, it’s a remarkable artifact that no one has yet to explain," Fr. Richtsteig said. "The history of it, to my mind, is proof that it is the authentic burial cloth of Christ."
Dr. John Jackson and Rebecca Jackson will present "The Shroud of Turin: Addressing the Curiosity Regarding the Holiest Relic in Christianity" at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Saint James the Just Parish gym, 495 N. Harrison Blvd. in Ogden, following the 5 p.m. Mass. The presentation is free and open to the public. A free will donation will be collected to help defray costs.