"When I was Ill You Visited Me" - New Sculpture Reminds Us to See Christ in Those Suffering

On Thursday, August 17th, Bishop Crosby blessed a new sculpture unveiled by the St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation. The new piece of artwork can be found just outside the main doors at the Charlton campus.

The sculpture, titled "When I Was Ill You Visited Me" was created by Timothy Schmalz and is a part of a series based on a passage from Matthew 25. You may recognize the artwork of Schmalz. The four original sculptures - "Homeless Jesus", "When I was ill", "When I was naked" and "When I was in prison"-  each have a place of their own in historical churches throughout Rome. Schmalz has, however, created many more of these life sized sculptures to place across the world, including the "Homeless Jesus" found at St. Patrick's Parish in Hamilton. When it was first installed in Hamilton, it created quite the stir through the winter of 2015, as many thought the sculpture was a true homeless person in need and reached out to paramedics and authorities to provide him with assistance.

The sculptures in the series are created to challenge the viewer to see Christ in those who are suffering and to provide help and care, when it can be so easy to turn away.  With one arm draped over his face, we sense the distress of the sick. The other outstretched hand, as if asking for help, shows the need for the tenderness and support of others. 

This striking sculpture was donated by the Mercanti family in memory of Morris Mercanti who was cared for during his time in need at St. Joseph's Hospital. It serves to remind us of the mission of the Hospital " Living the Legacy: Compassionate Care. Faith. Discovery.". It is a display of the compassion, care, respect and healing that St. Joseph's Healthcare strives to provide every person who enters through their doors.

See below for pictures

Pictures of the blessing courtesy St. Joseph's Healthcare