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A cast bronze sculpture of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, accompanied by Clare’s cat and the Wolf of Gubbio, was dedicated Sunday afternoon during the annual Opening Mass of the Holy Spirit, held outside the McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry.
The sculpture, located just off the sidewalk between Plassmann Hall and the McGinley-Carney Center, was done by Pittsburgh-based artist Ray Sokolowski, based on a drawing by Hannah Walker, Class of 2014 and a former employee of the university’s Advancement Office.
The bench is meant to be functional, allowing up to two people to sit between the saints.
The bench was paid for by donations from former Board of Trustees Chair Jack McGinley Jr. and current trustee Laurie Branch. Sokolowski’s wife, Kathy Rooney, is McGinley’s cousin.
In the photo above, McGinley is walking next to Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M., executive director of University Ministries, as they approach the bench for the blessing and dedication. Click here to see more photos from the dedication.
“My sculpture is meant to engage the students of St. Bonaventure in accordance with the spiritual mission of the university,” said Sokolowski. “The teachings of Saints Francis and Clare will bring to mind the importance of community with life and the environment.”
Sokolowski is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He worked for 24 years at The Carnegie Museum of Art as installation specialist where he contributed to the presentation of fine art.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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