OMI LaCombe: On October 7, Bishop Doug CROSBY and Frs. Tony O’DELL and Jarek PACHOCKI launched their initiative for a church without walls outside St. Patrick’s Church in Hamilton. At the ceremony of unveiling the statues and the new prayer space, Fr. Tony quoted Pope Francis about the role of the church, ” … A church should be a bridge, not a road block.”
Taking down the fence surrounding St. Patrick’s Church building was a clear sign of the welcoming spirit of hospitality. New statues of the Homeless Jesus and St. Patrick, crafted by internationally known artist, Timothy P. Schmultz, brought the Gospel message outside of the church itself to all who pass by.
Eight feet tall on a four foot pedestal, the statue of St. Patrick, the great saint, known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, is an imposing and inspiring figure on the grounds. The dimensions are monumental and heroic – fittingly “larger than life” for a missionary saint who was called by our Lord to evangelize a barbarous land.
The image of the Homeless Jesus is both unusual and arresting. In his comments, Bishop Doug said, “Jesus knew what it was to be bullied, to be falsely accused, arrested, abandoned, condemned to death, imprisoned and executed. The statue challenges us to reach out to those who are suffering.” Only after one really looks at the statue will they learn the message: “If they really look at the feet, they will see the wounds in the feet and they will identify it as Jesus.”