MOSAIC Spring 2015 - Page 33

with Sacred Heart’s director of facilities management, John Duncan, to power saw the old hands from the statue, sand the flat surfaces, drill connecting screws into the new hands, and epoxy the new hands onto the arms. Mr. Casamatta also was part of the crew that carefully wheeled the statue out of storage on November 11 and secured it in its dramatic new location. This effort was led by Joseph Dapkus, GrunwellCashero’s general superintendent, who also oversaw the delicate process of cleaning the statue. “My mother is a devout Catholic. She was mad at me at first when I told her I was cutting off the hands of Jesus,” Mr. Casamatta said laughing as he and Mr. Dapkus were gluing the hands in place. “But then I told her we were putting new hands on the statue. She really thought that was nice and wasn’t mad anymore.” November 11 was a chilly day and the epoxy was taking longer to dry than expected. As Mr. Casamatta stood pressing a hand to an arm for about a half an hour, with the epoxy still being tacky, he commented, “You know, Jesus had to carry his cross a long way. I guess I can stand here another fifteen minutes or so holding up his hands.” A Mystical Portal “It’s no accident that the Sacred Heart of Jesus stands before the portal to the seminary,” offered Monsignor Lajiness, who had long wanted to “resurrect” the vintage statue out of storage and have it publically displayed again. “Christ’s heart is the true portal of Sacred Heart Major Seminary. “The statue reminds us that only ‘through him, with him, and in him’ are we able to accomplish the obligation of forming priests, deacons, and lay women and men for the awesome task of the New Evangelization. Each time our students, faculty, and staff walk up that wide walkway toward the seminary entranceway—each time I walk up the walkway—we are reminded we are always meant to stride toward him.” A Shining Light The semi-circular planting bed surrounding the statue is being attractively landscaped this spring and summer. Much of the previous landscaping had to be removed during the reconstruction of the elevated porch last year. Monsignor Lajiness also has commissioned electricians to install a cuttingedge LED lighting system around the statue. Soon, the Sacred Heart of Jesus will shine with radiance throughout the evenings and nights as a beacon of faith to all who come to the campus. 2. 1. Made of brilliant Carrara marble, the restored and repaired Sacred Heart of Jesus again greets students and visitors after a thirty-year absence. 2. John Duncan, director of facilities management, tests the fit of the statue’s new hands. 3. The statue returns to its original placement site, the granite niche before the main entrance. 4. With its hands secured as adhesive dries, John Dapkus, left, and Sid Casamatta do some last-minute touching up of the statue. 3. 4. shms.edu 31