The Basilica of Saint Mary dedicated the new Timothy P. Schmalz Homeless Jesus bronze sculpture on November 19, 2017, the World Day of the Poor, designated by Pope Francis.
The bronze sculpture of a life-size Christ figure shrouded in a blanket on a park bench has been stopping traffic on Hennepin Avenue and creating a flurry on social media. This addition to The Basilica’s sacred art collection has generated responses that have ranged from disgust to tears of compassion.
The meaning of the Homeless Jesus sculpture is to truly change hearts and minds towards people in need. The sculpture is designed to challenge and inspire each of us to be more compassionate and charitable and to see Jesus in each person we meet, and to take action to help end homelessness locally and around the world.
The dedication events included a presentation from the artist Timothy P. Schmalz who shared images and stories from his body of work. His powerful sculptures create an impact in each city and community they are installed.
Parishioners and community members then joined together in prayer for a beautiful dedication around the sculpture in front of The Basilica with music from the Schola Cantorum and StreetSong-MN, a community choir for those who have been or are currently experiencing homelessness.
For more information about the sculpture mary.org/HomelessJesus.