‘Be Welcoming’ sculpture blessed

Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, blessed a new sculpture entitled Be Welcoming, dedicated to migrants and refugees, saying it serves as a reminder to show kindness to those around us.

Sep 30, 2022

Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J. blessing the


CHICAGO:
Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, blessed a new sculpture entitled Be Welcoming, dedicated to migrants and refugees, saying it serves as a reminder to show kindness to those around us.

The sculpture is located at the St Mary of the Lake Catholic Church in Chicago.

Be Welcoming is by Canadian artist, Timothy Schmalz, known especially for his lifelike Homeless Jesus statues and the Angels Unawares sculpture of migrants and refugees in St Peter’s Square.

The bronze sculpture depicts a stranger sitting on a bench carrying their belongings on their back. Walking to the other side, the “stranger” is revealed to actually be an angel in disguise.

“I hope that this sculpture will continuously keep us alert to who the angels are, alert to our invitation to be angels for others, alert to discovering that God sends us angels in the poor, in the lost and the neglected,” Cardinal Czerny said at the unveiling ceremony.


Back view (L) & Front view (R) of the “Be Welcoming” statue by artist Tim Schmalz. (Vatican News photo)

Artist Timothy Schmalz said the Be Welcoming sculpture is inspired by a Bible passage that reminds us to show kindness and hospitality to those we encounter.

The Canadian artist has spent 25 years sculpting large-scale works in bronze that are installed all over the world. Much of Schmalz’s artwork focuses on timely issues of social justice, including homelessness, migration, and human trafficking.

The power of art, Schmalz said in an interview earlier this year, is “to create awareness in a very subtle and beautiful way to a whole society.” -- Vatican News

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