Angels Unawares

Angels Unawares: Plan Your Visit

Angels Unawares: Plan Your Visit

  • Visit the sculpture on your own as a self-guided experience. The Basilica grounds are open for outdoor viewing dawn to dusk. Utilize the website resources to enhance your visit. 
  • Attend a Sunday Docent Tour following the 9:30 and 11:30am Masses, August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29.
  • Attend a community event at the sculpture. All are welcome to attend. There are a number of events throughout August. The Basilica is proud to partner with local congregations and organizations to bring this work of art to our community.
Visitors are invited to sit with the sculpture and reflect on migration.
Some guiding questions follow; more in-depth materials can be accessed through the links below.
  • What do you think each person is feeling? Are they excited, worried, afraid about the journey? How are they conveying these emotions?
  • Why do people migrate? When do people migrate by choice and when is it determined by circumstances? 
  • What are the different ways communities can respond to newcomers? 
  • How does migration impact migrants and their host communities? How does migration impact the way members of host communities see themselves and others? How does the experience of migration impact the identities of newcomers and their descendants?
  • What needs to happen to enable newcomers and host communities to thrive and develop a common sense of identity and purpose? [1] Adapted from Adam Strom
Migrants from all times and all places are represented in the sculpture. Some of them have experienced migration by choice, others by necessity or force.  
• Holy family (baby Jesus, Joseph and Mary);
• Jewish man fleeing Nazi Germany; 
• an Irish boy fleeing the potato famine; 
• an African family being forced into slavery; 
• a Syrian man escaping the civil war in his home country; 
• a Cherokee man on the trail of tears; 
• a Protestant man escaping the Counter-Reformation


Family resources

Families and educators can access K-12 curricula for starting the conversation on migration and human rights