Ade Bethune

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Ade Bethune
Born Adélaide de Bethune
(1914-01-12)January 12, 1914
Schaerbeek, Belgium
Died May 1, 2002(2002-05-01) (aged 88)
Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Nationality  Belgium
Education Cooper Union
Known for woodcuts, illustration
Movement Catholic social art

Ade Bethune (January 12, 1914 – May 1, 2002) was a Catholic liturgical artist.

She was associated with the Catholic Worker Movement, and designed an early masthead of its publication, the Catholic Worker, first used in 1935. She later re-designed this in 1985, replacing one of the men with a woman.[1]

Bethune was an advocate of traditional iconography.[2]

She is buried at Portsmouth Abbey, Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

Early life

Bethune was born Adélaide de Bethune, Baroness, to a noble Belgian family. Her parents, Gaston and Marthe (Terlinden), emigrated with the family after World War I. Her mother Marthe was daughter of Viscount Terlinden.

Career beginnings

Ade volunteered her illustrations to improve the quality of the Catholic Worker when she was a nineteen-year-old art student, impressed with the work of Dorothy Day. This was preparation for her later illustration for Catholic liturgical works such as 'My Sunday Missal' in 1937, and similar works such as 'My Lenten Missal'.

Bethune also worked closely with Graham Carey and with the Catholic Art Association, founded in 1937 by Sister Esther Newport.[3][4]

Terra Sancta Guild

Beginning in the 1960s, she was the artistic director of the Terra Sancta Guild, a commercial firm that produced religious art works for many Christian denominations.

Social activism

Ade was interested in the Catholic Worker Movement's work with hospitality for the poor when she was an art student. She continued this interest throughout her life, and became interested in the issue of providing housing for the elderly, particularly the poor elderly. In 1969, she founded the Church Community Housing Corporation in Newport County, Rhode Island, to design and build housing. In 1991 she founded 'Star of the Sea' to renovate a former Carmelite convent into an intentional community and state of the art housing for the elderly, where she lived until her death in 2002.

Artistic Works




  1. Gneuhs, Geoffrey. "The Art of the Worker The Catholic Worker". LXXV (3 May 2008): 6. 
  2. "Religion: Familiar Faces". TIME (5 January). 1962-01-05. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  3. Price, Jay M. (2013). Temples for a Modern God: Religious Architecture in Postwar America. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199925957. 
  4. Harmon, Katharine E. (2013). There Were Also Many Women There: Lay Women in the Liturgical Movement in the United States, 1926-59. Liturgical Press. ISBN 9780814662717. 
  5. "Church of the Angry Christ". 2 June 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  6. Helfrich & Whittaker, Kurt & William (2006). Crafting a Modern World, The Architecture and Design of Antonin and Noemi Raymond. Princeton Architectural Press. p. 56.