St. Teresa of Calcutta Icon

Fr. Rausch with the St. Teresa of Calcutta icon in his studio at the Oblate Retreat Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Fr. Clyde Rausch, OMI, an artist renowned as a teacher, preacher, and iconographer, Fr. Rausch spent 29 years as a missionary in Sweden following his ordination, and it was there that he became fascinated with the ancient liturgical art of writing icons (iconography).

Reflections on Our Icon

Fr. Rausch began with a drawing of the icon done on large pieces of paper. After that, the image was transferred onto a white board. He used egg tempera (egg yokes mixed with water and color pigments which all come from nature) as the medium. He began painting the darkest colors first, representing the chronology of creation, and painted in layers; there are 15 layers in some places. Lines between colors became etched because of this technique.

Fr. Rausch was influenced by Mother Teresa’s private writings which were meant to be destroyed after her death (but were used to support her canonization). He noted that her feeling of abandonment did not interfere with her work to follow God’s call. He said that he included Jesus in the image because Mother Teresa was so close to Him. He also liked the idea of two mothers: Blessed Mother Mary and Mother Teresa. The stars on Mary’s mantle are symbols of the Blessed Virgin, and Mother Teresa is represented with a young face, more in keeping with the time of her initial call and work in Calcutta.  Jesus is shown as a vulnerable child, as both Mothers took care of the vulnerable. There is a cross in the halo of the Infant Jesus, from the perspective of looking up from the ground at the cross, as if looking at the crucified Christ. The scroll in His left hand represents His teachings, while the right hand is giving a blessing. The Greek symbols near Jesus represent I AM WHO AM.

St. Damien De Veuster

St. Damien was born January 3, 1849, in Belgium and always desired to be a missionary. When illness held his brother, who also was a priest, back from being sent to Hawaii, Damien was allowed to take his place.

He served several parishes on the island of Oahu while the Kingdom of Hawaii was struggling with the native Hawaiian labor shortage. Diseases carried by sailors and imported foreign labor decimated the native population and leprosy erupted among the Hawaiians. In 1873, Damien volunteered to minister to the inhabitants of the government sanctioned quarantined island of Molokai. Under his leadership, basic laws were enforced, housing upgraded, working farms organized, and schools established.

Damien requested to remain on Molokai and died there from leprosy on April 15, 1889. Damien, who is the patron saint of outcasts, those with leprosy, AIDS/HIV and the State of Hawaii, was canonized on October 11, 2009, by Pope Benedict XVI. He is venerated not only by Catholics, but also by the Eastern Rite Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, and some Anglican and Lutheran churches. When Hawaii became a state in 1959, it selected Damien as one of its two representatives in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Side window symbols: Pali Coast surf background with palm trees and farm tools symbolic of building a working, self-sustaining colony isolated from the other islands. His feast day is May 10.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, S.C.

Born on August 28, 1774, two years before the start of the American Revolution, Elizabeth Ann Bayley grew up in “society.” In spite of her background, Elizabeth’s life was quiet, simple, and often lonely, with her beloved books and Bible as her companions, support, and comfort.

In 1794 Elizabeth married wealthy William Seton and enjoyed a few happy and prosperous years, blessed with children and belonging to the Episcopal Trinity Church on Wall and Broadway streets in New York. However, William’s father died a few years later, burdening the couple with William’s seven siblings and the family’s import business.

The happy years of her early marriage did not last. Because of undeclared war with France in the early 1800s and its adverse effect on shipping, the Setons became bankrupt. William lost his health to tuberculosis and he, Elizabeth, and their eldest child set sail for Italy to aid in his recovery. Soon after arriving in Pisa, William died. His business partners extended hospitality to Elizabeth and her daughter; Elizabeth was impressed with their devout Catholicism. When she and her daughter returned to New York a year later, and to the horror of Elizabeth’s family, she decided to convert.

In March 1805, Elizabeth Seton was received into the Catholic Church.

For three years she struggled to support herself and her five children in her native city, without the help of friends or family. She schooled her children and took in other children to support the family.

More women joined her efforts and they moved to Baltimore, Maryland, to start a school for girls. There she founded America’s first religious order, the Sisters of Charity. The sisters went on to establish educational institutions, hospitals, and orphanages, bringing about the start of the American parochial Catholic educational system. She took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and was addressed as Mother Seton, head of the sisterhood.

On January 4, 1821, the tuberculosis that claimed her husband called Elizabeth back to God. She died at age 46, only 16 years after becoming Catholic. She is buried at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be elevated to sainthood when she was canonized by Pope Paul VI on September 14, 1975. She is the patron saint of Catholic schools and widows with a feast day of January 4.

St. John Neumann, C.Ss.R

Jan Nepomuchy Neumann was born March 28, 1811 in the Kingdom of Bohemia (then part of the Austrian Empire, now the Czech Republic).

He always aspired to be a priest, entering the seminary in 1831 and transferring to Charles University in Prague where he studied theology, astronomy, and botany. He mastered six languages.

His bishop declined his ordination due to the over-abundance of priests in Europe and the difficulty in finding positions for their practice. So in 1836, Neumann traveled to the United States in hope of being ordained. He arrived in New York with one suit of clothes and one dollar in his pocket. John was ordained within three weeks and assigned to an isolated German parish in the Niagara Falls area, with boundaries stretching from Lake Ontario south into Pennsylvania. He traveled the area by horse, preaching, teaching, offering Mass and sacraments, and training others to take over when he moved on to the next settlement. His isolation was burdensome and he longed to be surrounded by a religious community. In 1842, he was accepted into the newly assigned Redemptorist Order in Maryland. His parish work was difficult but fruitful, and his leadership qualities were recognized with the task of Provincial Superior of the United States. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1845.

The Holy See appointed Neumann to be Bishop of Philadelphia in 1852, recognizing that, as many immigrants flooded into Eastern seaboard cities, that he could minister to their needs and establish ethnic or national parishes.

John Neumann was the first bishop to establish a diocesan school system and he invited religious orders to establish houses in the Philadelphia area to work within his school system. Under his guidance, the number of Catholic schools in the Philadelphia Diocese jumped from two to 100.

On January 5, 1860, while running errands, John Neumann, aged 46 years, collapsed and died on a Philadelphia street. His remains rest under the altar at the National Shrine of St. John Neumann in Philadelphia.

John Neumann was canonized by Pope Paul VI on June 19, 1977. In the United States, his feast day is January 5. He is honored in the Czech Republic on March 5. John Neumann is recognized as the founder of Catholic education in the United States.

(Move to the  right side and front of the church.)

St. Teresa of Calcutta

Mother Teresa was born Agnes (Gonxha) Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910 to a Catholic Albanian family in Skopje, now the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, but then part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire.

Family life held a safe and sacred place in her upbringing during tumultuous times, both politically and spiritually. As a Catholic minority, they clung to their faith as a bedrock of calm in a politically charged cultural environment. Her family was financially able to donate to the needy from surplus income from her father’s business.  When she was 8, her father was killed, and the family lost almost all assets; her mother supported the family with sewing.

Agnes felt the stirrings of a call to religious life and at 18, traveled to Ireland to join the Sisters of Loretto where she took the name, Sister Mary Teresa. After a brief stay in Dublin, she left for the Loretto novitiate in India and a successful career in teaching. In 1937, after her final profession of vows, she became, in the Loretto tradition, Mother Teresa.

As she walked through the streets of Calcutta to her school, Mother Teresa’s heart was torn by the poverty and hopelessness of the poor. In September 1946, while traveling by train to her annual retreat, Mother Teresa experienced a spiritual awakening. It became clear to her that Jesus was calling her to something beyond teaching. She came to understand that her mission was to work with the destitute in a most intimate way: “to quench the infinite thirst of Jesus on the cross for love and for souls by laboring at the salvation and sanctification of the poor.”

Taking on a new calling required leaving the Loretto convent behind and Mother Teresa received permission in August 1948 to go forth among the Indian people. Wearing her iconic sari with a blue border and armed with a brief course in nursing, she entered the slums of Calcutta for the first time with no plans, no funds – just a desire to care for the poor in the name of Christ. As she began her now famous work on the streets, her example drew some former students to join her labors. In October, 1950, her new Missionaries of Charity congregation was formally established and soon she was able to send sisters out from Calcutta to other parts of India. The order increased their assistance to the poor with medical facilities, food distribution, a home for the dying, children’s homes, and a leper home. As her missionary organization grew to include orders of brothers, priests, and contemplatives, so did worldwide attention to this small woman with a heart for all. In 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize, which she accepted “for the glory of God and in the name of the poor.”

Holding a special spot in Mother Teresa’s heart were little children. She had great respect for the sanctity of life, even admonishing U.S. leaders at a joint meeting in 1994: “Please don’t kill the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and give that child to a married couple who will love that child.”

As she entered her 80s, health problems plagued Mother Teresa, yet she labored on with nearly 4000 members in 123 countries carrying out her mission of helping the poor. By March of 1997 with failing health, she appointed a successor and visited Pope John Paul II before returning to her beloved Calcutta where she died on September 5 at age 87. “Let’s do something beautiful for God,” Mother Teresa often told her sisters as she was an epitome of love and affection.

Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003 by Pope St. John Paul II and canonized September 4, 2016 by Pope Francis. St. Teresa is buried in her motherhouse in Calcutta in a marble clad concrete box. Her patronage includes World Youth Day and Missionaries of Charity. Her feast day is September 5.

St. Frances Cabrini

Born two months prematurely on July 15, 1850, into a family of 13 children, Maria Francesca Cabrini suffered from poor health throughout her life. She grew up in her small town of Saint Angelo Lodigiano, near Milan, Italy, enthralled by stories of missionaries. It was there that she made up her mind to join a religious order. Because of her frail health, she was not permitted to join the Daughters of the Sacred Heart who had been her teachers and who guided her to obtain a teaching certificate.

However, in 1880, with seven young women, Frances founded the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She was as resourceful as she was prayerful, finding people who would donate what she needed in money, time, labor, and support. As she and her sisters wanted to be missionaries in China, she visited Rome to petition Pope Leo XIII. He told Frances to go “not to the East, but to the West” to the New World to minister to the deluge of immigrants flooding the United States shores.

In 1889, when Frances and her sister companions arrived in New York, they found a world filled with poverty and chaos. Encouraged by a deep trust in God and endowed with a wonderful administrative ability, against all odds Frances founded 67 institutions, including orphanages, hospitals, and schools within 35 years, all dedicated to the poor, uneducated, sick, abandoned, and especially those of Italian ancestry. Although she became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1909, Mother Cabrini made 23 trans-Atlantic crossings, spreading her work not only throughout the United States but also to Europe and Central and South America.

Her activity was relentless until her death in Chicago on December 22, 1917. On July 7, 1946 she was canonized by Pope Pius XII in recognition of her holiness and service to mankind and was named Patroness of Immigrants in 1950. Her feast day is November 13 and she is celebrated as the first naturalized United States citizen to be declared a saint.

St. Junipero Serra, O.F.M.

Miguel Jose Serra was born on the Spanish island of Majorca on November 24, 1713 and took the name of Junipero in 1730 when he entered the Franciscan order. After ordination in 1738, he taught philosophy and theology at the University of Padua until 1749.

On January 1, 1750, at the age of 37, he landed in Mexico City and spent the rest of his life working for the conversion of the peoples of the New World.

In 1768, Father Serra took over the missions of the Jesuits in the Mexican provinces of Lower California and Alta California (modern day California). An indefatigable worker, Fr. Serra was in large part responsible for the foundation and spread of the Church on the West Coast of the United  States when it was still mission territory.

He founded 21 missions and converted thousands of Indians. Locations of his mission churches include  San Diego,  San Carlos, San Antonio, San Gabriel,  San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, and San Juan Capistrano.  Converts were taught sound methods of agriculture, cattle raising, and arts and crafts.

Junipero was a dedicated religious and missionary. He was imbued with a penitential spirit and practiced austerity in sleep, eating, and other activities. On August 28, 1784, worn out by his apostolic labors, Fr. Serra was called to eternal rest at the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, Las Californias, New Spain (present day Carmel-by-the-Sea, California). He is buried under the sanctuary floor at the mission.

He was canonized by Pope Francis on September 23, 2015 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. His statue, holding a cross and looking skyward, is displayed, representing the state of California, in Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building in Washington. His feast day is July 1.

Because of Fr. Serra’s recorded acts of piety combined with his missionary efforts, he was granted the title, “Apostle of California.” He is also the patron saint of vocations and Hispanic Americans.

In 1960, when Interstate 280 was built from Daly City to San Jose, it was named Junipero Serra Freeway and a statue of Fr. Serra, pointing a finger toward the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific  Ocean, stands on a hill on the northbound side.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha

St. Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon in present day New York and was named Tekakwitha, meaning “she who bumps into things.” At the time of her conversion and baptism by a Jesuit black robe and admiring St. Catherine of Siena, she took the name of Kateri, the Mohawk form of Catherine.

As a 4-year-old child, Kateri and her family contracted smallpox. Although her family succumbed to the disease, she recovered but with disfiguring facial scars. She often used a blanket to cover her head and hide the scars. As an orphan, she was raised by relatives who taught her traditional women’s arts and cultural practices. Kateri was urged by her relatives to accept a husband, but she chose to reject marriage.

At age 19, Kateri converted to Catholicism, taking a vow of chastity and pledging only to be married to Jesus Christ. After her baptism and believing in the value of offered suffering, she adopted traditional practices of Christian mortification by wearing hair shirts, fasting, sleeping on a mat of thorns, and causing burns on herself to honor the suffering of prisoners. Her piety and example of Christian love inspired the conversion of many Native Americans. When her poor health and penitential practices weakened her, her confessor sought to moderate her penances.

Around Holy Week of 1680, friends noticed her failing health and gathered at her bedside as she died. Within 15 minutes of her death, her face was cleared of smallpox scars and shone brightly. Her feast day in the U.S. is celebrated July 14 and on April 17 in Canada.

St. Isaac Jogues, S.J.

St. Isaac Jogues, the “Apostle of the Mohawks,” was born in Orleans, France on January 10, 1607 and ordained a Jesuit priest in 1636.  His greatest wish, to become a missionary in the East, was partially granted when he was assigned to minister to the Indians in New France, the North American land near what is now Quebec and Montreal, Canada. He traveled by canoe as far west as Sault Ste. Marie by lakes Huron and Superior. Ambushed on his return trip by hostile Indians, he and his companions were held captive for a year and tortured. Fr. Jogues had two fingers of his left hand severed and several Christian companions were killed. Fr. Jogues showed bravery, tolerance, and compassion to his captors even as he was suffering severe pain and anguish. He was rescued by Dutch traders and sent back to France to recuperate, but only desired to return to New France to work among the Indian tribes, teaching them the Christian way of living.

His reintroduction, in June 1644, to the tribes with whom he had once lived, occurred with unfortunate timing, as the Indians had recently suffered from crop failures, foreign epidemics, and famine, which they blamed on “the black robes,” the title given to the Jesuits traveling among the Indian nations. While blessing a sick child, he was struck from behind by a tomahawk and killed. He was decapitated and his head displayed as a warning against “foreign magic.” His body was thrown in a swift stream and washed away.

In the Mohawk Valley, the example of Jogues’ heroism was not forgotten, for the gentle priest had possessed in a high degree the virtue the Indians most admired, bravery. He was known among his fellow Jesuits for his zeal, piety, and modesty for his accomplishments among the Indian tribes.

Today, near the town of Auriesville, NY, which was once called Ossernenon (where St. Kateri Tekakwitha was born), there is a Catholic shrine dedicated to 1888 to the Martyrs of North America and their Indian converts. The eight martyrs—Jogues, Lalonde, Brebeuf, Lalemant, Garnier, Daniel, Goupil, and Chablnel—were beatified in 1925 and canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930.

The feast day of the North American Martyrs is celebrated in Canada and the United States. His feast day is October 19.

Background of Expansion

The recent expansion of this church was completed in time to celebrate Christmas Eve Mass in 2016. Planning for the expansion began many years ago and was finally brought to fruition by parish discernment in 2014. The original St. Clare church was built in 1917 with Pastor Fr. Louis Zirbes leading the way. An expansion of the small church was done in 1942 with subsequent improvements made throughout the years. The original building was designed by Alexander Eschweiler of Milwaukee who had a summer home in North Lake.  He is buried next door at the Episcopal Church alongside his wife and daughter. Eschweiler was also the architect of that church and our parish church in Monches.

Many of the architectural details of the expanded church reflect the original Eschweiler design like the beams on the ceiling of the expanded space and the new hanging lights in that space which mimic our 1917 fixtures.  Parishioners made it a priority to retain the quality of our “country church,” therefore the interior details are simple, reflecting reverence and holiness.

Note the similar glass frame of the original doors in the west entrance and the doors that lead to the new worship space—almost identical!

Windows Above the Altar

The windows above the altar were restored by Conrad Schmidt during the 2016 expansion of the church. The glass was removed in one piece. A rubbing was made to ensure correct reconstruction. The windows were then taken apart in an underwater tray to avoid lead fumes. Then, the pieces were washed and reframed with soldered lead came/metal supports;  grout was rubbed in and around the lead caming. They were set back into new aluminum, brown powered-coated and vented frames and reinstalled. These windows have been promised to last for another 100 years.

Stations of the Cross and Annunciation Relief

The relief of the Annunciation to the right of the sanctuary was likely purchased in 1925; it was cast in 1918 by the same company that created our Stations of the Cross, the J. Plattner Studio. It was still in place during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, evidenced by the wedding photos of that era. Sometime in the 1970s, the relief was no longer seen in photos. When Fr. Anthony McCarthy was the pastor, the broken relief was found in a garage; it was then repaired and placed in its original spot.

The stations of the cross are made up of both existing and new parts.  The relief images were embedded in the church walls before the expansion. Each was removed and extricated from its wooden frame. They were cleaned and positioned in the current wooden frames made and detailed by Paul Konrath. The station numbers have also been reused.

Woodwork

The cabinets in the kitchen are hand-made out of red oak by a local tradesman; the doors are quarter-sawed red oak as well and were made in northern Wisconsin.

The new pews were built in Nebraska and match the “old” pews almost exactly. Creative thinking allowed us to reuse 28 existing pews. New and old pews have padded seats and new and re-padded existing kneelers.

The design for the wood trim around the windows and surrounding the pillars is also red oak. The veneer was made by Essemann’s in Germantown, along with the crown molding for the Gathering Space and the top of the pillars.

Country Mouse

There were no stained glass windows planned for the first-floor accessible rest rooms, located just off the Gathering Space.  Thankfully, a generous donor offered to cover the cost. She decided that a small “country mouse” be added to a window in both the women’s and men’s rooms. This whimsical friend underscores our desire to remain a welcoming country church, as reflected in our history. The mouse is hand-painted by a glass artist at Conrad Schmidt.

At the Back of Church

The oblong cabinet with the glass doors is a reliquary and holds the *First Class Relics of The True Wood of the Cross, St. Clare and St. Teresa of Calcutta. Situated near the votive candles, it is a beautiful site for quiet meditation and intercessory prayer.

Relics include the physical remains of a saint (or of a person who is considered holy but not yet officially canonized) as well as other objects which have been “sanctified” by being touched to his body. In rare cases, items associated with Christ’s time on earth can be placed in a reliquary as well.

Relics are divided into two classes. First class relics include the physical body parts, clothing, and instruments connected with a martyr’s imprisonment, torture, and execution. Second class or representative relics are those which the faithful have touched to the physical body parts or grave of the saint.

The Code of Canon Law supports the proper place for relics in our Catholic practice. Canon 1237 states, “The ancient tradition of keeping the relics of martyrs and other saints under a fixed altar is to be preserved according to the norms given in the liturgical books” (a practice widespread since the fourth century). Many churches also have relics of their patron saints which the faithful venerate upon appropriate occasions. And yes, reports of the Lord’s miracles and favors continue to be connected with the intercession of a saint and the veneration of their relics.

Relics remind us of the holiness of saints and their cooperation in God’s work. At the same time, relics inspire us to ask for the prayers of that saint and to beg the grace of God to live the same kind of faith-filled lives.

The Gathering Space

The Gathering Space is an important element of the expansion, adding to our ability to be more welcoming and evangelical. We use the space to greet Mass attendees, provide information and hold small receptions, as well as be a source for stewardship awareness.

St. Clare of Assisi

Lady Clare was born Chiara Offreduccio on July 16, 1194, the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso and his wife, Ortolana, also of noble descent. Despite being a child of wealthy parents, she was devoted to prayer and grew up with an increasing desire for a spiritual life.

She was 18 when St. Francis came to preach the Lenten course in the church of San Giorgio at Assisi. The inspired words of the “Poverello” (poor person) kindled a flame in the heart of Clare, and she sought him out to teach her to live in the manner of the Holy Gospel. Because her parents wished to make a splendid marriage for her, Clare left her home in the middle of the night and sheltered at the chapel of the Porziuncula where disciples of St. Francis cut off her hair and clothed her in a rough tunic and thick veil, allowing her to vow herself to the service of Jesus Christ.

Her family pursued her to the various monasteries where she was being hidden. Discovering her at last, Clare’s father did his utmost to dissuade her from her chosen path. Clare firmly held her position; her father was finally obliged to leave her in peace. Sixteen days after her own flight, Clare was joined by her younger sister, Agnes. Clare, her sister, and other fugitives from the world remained with nuns at Sant’ Angelo while being instructed in the rule of St. Francis, forming the first community of the Order of Poor Ladies, or Poor Clares as they came to be known. Clare had the consolation not only of seeing her younger sister Beatrix, her mother Ortolana, and aunt Bianca follows Agnes into the order, but also of witnessing the foundation of monasteries of Clares far and wide throughout Europe.

Clare, who in 1215 had been made superior at San Damiano by St. Francis, continued to rule there as abbess until her death in 1253. During her lifetime she became a living copy of the poverty, humility, and mortification of St. Francis and held a special devotion to the Holy Eucharist.

In 1234, the army of Frederick II was devastating the valley of Spoleto and the advancing army, preparatory to an assault of Assisi, scaled the walls of the monastery. Clare calmly rose from her sickbed and taking the ciborium from the chapel, faced the invaders with the Blessed Sacrament held on high; they quickly fled.

Clare died at her San Damiano monastery on August 11, 1253. She was canonized by Pope Alexander IV in 1255. Her burial crypt at San Damiano, discovered in 1850 deep beneath the high altar, was removed to a new shrine where her body can be seen.

St. Clare’s feast day is August 11. She is the patron of goldsmiths, needle workers, and communications.

St. John the Baptist

St. John the Baptist, a cousin of Jesus, was born six months before our Savior. As a forerunner, his role was to prepare the way for the Messiah. He exhorted people in the area along the banks of the River Jordan to repent for their sins and be baptized in water.

John lived a life of severe self-discipline, wore clothes made of camel hair, and subsisted on a diet of locusts and wild honey.  While John baptized with water, He who was to come would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John, in referring to the coming of Jesus, said that he was unfit to untie His sandals.

John criticized Herod for marrying his brother’s wife, Herodias, who plotted to have John put into prison, which took place. At a palace party, Herodias’ daughter, Salome, entertained the guests with a dance that “so delighted Herod” that he promised to give her whatever she desired. After consulting her mother, the girl asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter, and Herod could not deny her. And so, two years and three months into his ministry, John’s life came to a tragic end.

Jesus referred to his cousin as the greatest of the prophets; he is a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, the Bahai Faith and Mandaeism and is also mentioned by the Jewish historian, Josephus.  His feast day is June 24. He is the patron saint of Puerto Rico, Jordan, French Canada and other nation states.

St. Teresa of Calcutta Statue

(outside in the northern North Lake courtyard and inside the Monches church)

After much research and a few road trips, the St. Teresa of Calcutta Statue Committee selected Jordan Wanner of Wanner Sculpture Studio as the artist to create a sculpture of St. Teresa.

During the initial design process, the team communicated to Jordan that it was important to create an original statue with a unique expression of genuine compassion for humankind. Several photos of Mother Teresa with a child/children, as she is so often photographed, were used as inspiration, in hopes that the viewers would see themselves in the face of the child and contemplate on Mother Teresa’s love for all of God’s children.

Jordan began his sketch which depicted St. Teresa with an embrace of a child and one hand holding the child’s hand as to assist the child with the step. “They are meeting on top of a step, connecting spectrums of life (young/old, needing/helping, etc.) and by humanity (love).”  The two figures make a visually strong balance and shape.

The finished work is a life-size likeness of St. Teresa of Calcutta with a toddler-aged child.  It stands on a 3-foot tall, solid granite base.  The completed bronze sculpture is in the courtyard near the south wall of the Parish Center. The sculpture was replicated in fiberglass with a bronze finish and is on display at the St. Teresa of  Calcutta church in Monches near the front door.