MOSAIC Spring 2015 - Page 32

HERE AT THE HEART HERE AT THE HEART 1. Vintage statue gets new pair of hands and returns to its original location. W ith its installation on November 11 and formal blessing by Archbishop Allen Vigneron on December 8, a venerable image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus—which had not seen the sunlight since the late 1980s—is again a public symbol of inspiration to students, residents, employees and to the many visitors to the seminary. 30 Faithful Watch The new “old” statue of the Sacred Heart first was tucked into its niche before the seminary’s rear entrance—now the main entrance—in the spring of 1956, during the rectorship of Msgr. Albert Matyn (1952-1964). This is the same year Monsignor Matyn commissioned the construction of the grotto of the Sacred Heart at the corner of Chicago and Linwood, today’s famous “Black Jesus” grotto. The statue was sculpted of white Carrara marble mined from the same quarries used by the ancient Romans and the great Renaissance artists of Italy. There Jesus stood for three decades, framed by the simple stone niche impressed into the façade of the elevated porch. Day after day, he watched over Sacred Heart’s athletic field while seminarians played football and baseball, competed in track meets and, in winter, skated on the flooded and frozen field. But during the seminary renovations of the late 1980s, the statue was removed and placed into a third-floor storage room, safe but really tucked away this time—and there it has been ever since. Sacred Heart Major Seminary | Mosaic | Spring 2015 Holding Onto His Hands That is, until November 11. The Sacred Heart of Jesus of 1956 is again greeting and blessing students in their comings and goings. It has replaced the statue of the Sacred Heart with the more “modern” streamlined look, which needed extensive restoration. But the 1956 statue needed some repair work, too. Fingers and thumbs from both hands had been broken off. When and how this happened is lost in the mists of time. Last summer, rector Msgr. Todd Lajiness commissioned Frank Varga, a sculptor who has been caring for our sacred imagery for decades, to give Our Lord a new set of hands. Varga fashioned them from the same Carrara marble as the body and shipped them back to the seminary from his studio in Florida. The hands now are seamlessly melded to the arms of the statue today through the loving