In "Manna," Dehaemers weaves the history of Saint Vincent College and Archabbey with contemporary stylistic and cultural references.
Most straightforward is the representation of Sportsman's Hall, a log building that was the first on campus. Its cover of loaves and slices of bread makes it reminiscent of a gingerbread house, but it gains significance because the Saint Vincent bread is made of flour ground at the Saint Vincent Gristmill, baked on site and eaten daily by the monks who live there, forming a link between the self-sufficient Benedictine founders and current members of the order.
Carrying more symbolic complexity are a three-dimensional representation of the crucified Christ and a large two-dimensional triptych with the faces of Christ, Mary and Boniface Wimmer, Saint Vincent's founder, made of unconsecrated hosts, pressed bread rounds which, in Roman Catholic belief, become the body of Christ during the celebration of the Mass. Use of the hosts may startle some, but while the artworks are current they're also respectful, and the play between the corpus and consecrated Christ -- each heavily symbolic -- brilliantly magnifies the implications of either alone.
A sound-accompanied DVD projection of the monks at Ash Wednesday vespers brings closure to the experience of the piece.