Parishioners at St. Bartholomew in Wayzata welcomed the Holy Family — a bronze sculpture in the front left corner of the church — with a dedication and blessing during Mass Nov. 18.
The sculpture is the work of Texas artist John Collier, who also created the bronze corpus and stained glass window in the church’s sanctuary.
“An image of the Holy Family should be more than a family portrait, it should help us understand something about our faith, and I think this work of art does that brilliantly,” said Father Michael Reding, pastor of St. Bartholomew.
The parish liturgical arts committee enlisted Collier to create the work based on Matthew 12:50, “Whoever does the will of my heavenly father is my brother, and sister and mother.”
The sculpture is made up of two parts, each weighing more than 700 pounds.
On the left is Jesus as a 12-year-old boy, stepping off on his way to the Temple and his mother Mary walking with him. On the right are Joseph, the protector of the family, and a young girl that is meant to represent the entire church. The girl holds a pearl representing the pearl of great price from Matthew’s Gospel.
Although discussions about the project started in 2009, it wasn’t until about a year-and-a-half ago that work really began on the project. Funding came from several donors. The sculpting took six to seven months, and the rest of the time it was in the foundry, Collier said.
Collier said he used models to sculpt the figures. “I wanted them to look like real people, real people that love you.”
To learn more about John Collier and his work, visit http://www.hillstream.com.