Fr. Steve’s Column 4-28-24

Recently I had the chance to go to Chicago to visit the two exterior statues of Christ the King that were removed last fall:  the bronze statue that hung on the exterior facade, and the marble statue that stood in the breezeway.  I am happy to report that both statues are in the hands of expert restorers (“conservationists”, as I have learned they are called) and are in the middle of a very thorough restoration process.

The marble statue will be the focal point of a new prayer garden between the new vestibule and the rectory. This statue has undergone a very thorough cleaning process; they have already cleaned it using 4 different processes, each of which removes a different type of dirt or discoloration, and they have one more process yet to be completed. The difference is pretty dramatic.  

The bronze statue is a different story; it had several layers of lacquer that had to be removed, and so the photos you see here are the bronze that was underneath all the lacquer for years.  They are in the process of treating all of the areas of the statue that suffered any kind of corrosion, and they’re also re-welding any spots that had come loose.  

When all of  that is done, then they’ll repatinate it, followed by layers of lacquer and wax that will be designed to emphasize some of the beautiful details in the statue, such as the wounds on His hands and feet, or the folds of  His garment.

Just as importantly, they’re providing us with a detailed program to clean and maintain these statues (something we’ve never had before) so that we can preserve them far into the future.  These statues are a great treasure for our parish, a beautiful reminder of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, the namesake of our parish.  I look forward to the day when these statues return to a place of prominence in our renovated church!

P.S.  Right now the expected completion date for the new vestibule is still mid-August.  That could, of course, change, but as of right now we’re still on track for that date.

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