The entryway to Cambria’s Santa Rosa Catholic Church has a powerful new artistic addition: A life-size bronze statue of a sleeping man lying on a park bench.
The man’s face and body are shrouded and hidden by the statue’s blanket, so the crucifixion wounds on the man’s uncovered feet are the only clues that the sculpture represents a homeless Jesus.
Father Mark Stetz unveiled and blessed the life-size statue by Canadian artist Timothy P. Schmalz before congregants in mid-August. The large sculpture 3 feet high, 7 feet long and weighs 600 pounds. The solemn ceremony brought some celebrants to tears.
Stetz said a “generous” gift in memory of part-time Cambria resident Remo Belli made it possible.
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“We are very fortunate that this statue was available to us,” said Stetz said.
The artwork is one of several dozen “Homeless Jesus” bronze statues around the world, including those installed at the Vatican, in cathedrals and in other churches.
“The Son of God came into the world as a homeless person,” the Pope Francis said during a 2015 visit to Catholic Charities in Washington D.C.
It’s a message he’s shared with people around the world: “The Son of God knew what it was to start life without a roof over his head. We can find no social or moral justification, no justification whatsoever, for lack of housing.”
The statue is an artistic rendering of Matthew 25, which says that Christ is with the most marginalized in society. The church is at 1174 Main St.