Archbishop blesses new statues at Epiphany

By Judy Hilovsky
The Sooner Catholic
 
To celebrating 40 years as a parish Father Stephen Bird and parishioners at Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church in northwest Oklahoma City commissioned a set of bronze life-size statues of the Wise Men arriving to honor infant Jesus and greet Mary.

“Mary is depicted as handing Jesus to the Wise Men, symbolizing her giving him to the whole world and to each of us,” Father Bird said.

Shelley Kolman Smith, the sculptor from Poetry, Texas, was present to witness the blessing by Archbishop Coakley, who presided at the Christ the King Mass at Epiphany prior to the dedication. After Mass, parishioners gathered on the east side of the church in the garden area, recently renovated for the statues.
 
“Dear brothers and sisters, we have genuine reason to rejoice because we are about to bless these holy images of our Lord Jesus Christ, his mother Mary and the sacred Wise Men who visited him in his infancy,” Archbishop Coakley said. “Jesus, the eternal son of God, came down into the womb of the Virgin Mary. After his birth, he was made known to the shepherds of the area and the Wise Men who came from afar, revealing himself to be the King and Savior of all nations. The church recognizes in Mary the model of the path and the practice it must follow to reach complete union with Christ. Therefore, when we honor these images, may we deepen our faith and come closer to your eternal kingdom.”
 
Smith, who has created liturgical art throughout the United States, produced one-foot versions of the statues on display for purchase. Proceeds benefit Epiphany. For more information, call (405) 722-2110.
 
Judy Hilovsky is a freelance writer for the Sooner Catholic.