Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown, will celebrate a memorial Mass and dedicate the Homeless Jesus sculpture in memory of Rev. Nicholas R. Shori on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, the fifth anniversary of Fr. Shori’s death. Upon his passing on April 20, 2016, Fr. Shori made a gift to the Diocese of Youngstown for the installation of the Homeless Jesus sculpture at the Diocesan Central Offices in downtown Youngstown.
Fr. Shori served as the longtime Pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in New Middletown and the diocesan Director of the Office of Evangelization, among many other positions and ministries throughout the Diocese of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. He befriended internationally acclaimed sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz, whose work Fr. Shori featured at St. Paul the Apostle Parish. Fr. Shori and Mr. Schmalz worked together to plan for the installation of the Homeless Jesus sculpture at the Diocesan Central Offices.
Bishop Bonnar will celebrate a memorial Mass at The Cathedral of Saint Columba on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. and the sculpture dedication will follow at 10:30 a.m. on the corner of W. Wood and N. Hazel Streets. In observance of safety protocols, the Mass may be attended by invitation only, however it may also be viewed online by visiting the diocesan website, DOY.org, and selecting Cathedral Live Stream from the Media dropdown box on the top menu. The outdoor sculpture dedication will be open for public observation.
The Homeless Jesus sculpture is part of a series of designs by Mr. Schmalz that reflect Jesus’ teachings recorded in Matthew 25. The most notable installation of this sculpture is featured at the Papal Charities Building in Vatican City. From the website of Mr. Schmalz’s firm, Sculpture by TPS, “The Homeless Jesus sculpture is a visual representation of Matthew 25. The sculpture suggests that Christ is with the most marginalized in our society. The Christ figure is shrouded in a blanket with His face covered with the only indication that the figure is Jesus being the visible wounds on the feet.”
Other local sculptures in the series include When I Was Naked at St. John’s Episcopal Church and When I Was Hungry & Thirsty at First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown, both on Wick Ave. When I Was Sick is planned for installation at St. Elizabeth Hospital on Belmont Ave. It is the hope of Sculpture by TPS that the two remaining sculptures in the series, When I Was In Prison and When I Was a Stranger, find donors and locations in Youngstown. When the series is complete, Youngstown will join Rome as one of the few cities in the world featuring all sculptures in this series. For further information, contact the Office of Development & Stewardship at the diocese, 330-744-8451.