By Liz Sullivan
Just two days after the Feast Day of the patroness of the Diocese of San Jose, two new statues were blessed and welcomed into the fold.
On August 13, at the 4:30 p.m. Mass, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath blessed the statues of Saint Clare and Saint Joseph with Jesus that were recently installed in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph.
“This afternoon, we commemorate the August feast of our patroness, Saint Clare, and we also honor Saint Joseph as we invoke God’s blessing upon us and, in a very special way this evening, upon these statues, these images of those who have gone before us, but continue to guide us even now,” said the Bishop.
The two newest statues of the Cathedral, made of wood, were designed and sculpted by Gregor Mussner and the artists of Mussner G. Vincenzo Art Studio located in Ortisei, in the Dolomite Mountains of northeastern Italy. The area is known as “the valley of woodcarvers.”
Mussner’s art studio, which was founded in 1892, has received many awards and acknowledgements of excellence. One of these came in 1998 when Pope John Paul II commissioned and blessed a statue of “Mary of Nazareth” created by Gregor Mussner. This statue of a young Mary made a worldwide Marian Pilgrimage through 35 countries in preparation for the great Jubilee of 2000.
“These statues, together with all of the other statues and paintings in our Cathedral Basilica, serve as reminders to us of the lives and faith of these individuals,” said the Bishop. “We look to the saints, not because they are so different from us, but because they are so similar. They are our brothers and sisters. They were not perfect people. Except for Our Lady, they were not without fault. They were indeed much more like us than not.”
The new statues were made possible, in part, through generous donations of the Bishop’s Circle of Excellence group.
“And following the example of these and all of the saints who have walked their paths over the course of history, may we stand before the Lord in the company of Joseph, Clare and so many others, Saints among Saints in the halls of heaven,” concluded the Bishop in his homily.