New St. Francis statue is unveiled

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Jane Ziolkowski, Comtributing Writer

 

From left: Joe Staler, President Thomas Keefe and artist Deirdre Maher. -photo by Rebecca Rosen
From left: Joe Staler, President Thomas Keefe and artist Deirdre Maher.
-photo by Rebecca Rosen

On Friday, Nov. 22, the University of Dallas unveiled its new statue of St. Francis in a ceremony in Gorman Faculty Lounge. Alumnus Joe Staler (’75) spoke on behalf of the Staler family, who donated the statue, and Rev. Don Dvorak gave the blessing. Chilly weather prevented the ceremony from being held outside, but Dvorak pointed out that “blessings go through windows and walls.”

In his dedication speech, Staler drew parallels between St. Francis and President John F. Kennedy in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas. The two dedicated their lives to living out the Christian faith, Staler said. He lauded the former president’s fight “for individual civil rights as a principle bestowed to each living soul by God, our Creator.”

Artist and alumna Deirdre Maher (’72) said a few words about the inspiration for the statue and its design, noting that the baby whose handprints and footprints appear on the statue was born Oct. 3, the same day that St. Francis died.

The brief dedication concluded with a champagne toast and Mass at the Church of the Incarnation.

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