Statues for St. John Paul the Great Chapel

Granda was commissioned to carve two custom statues for St. John Paul the Great Chapel at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL. The images were based on pre-existing, stone carved XIX c. models found on Seminary’s campus.

Granda sculptors studied photos of the originals provided by the client and modeled both statues in clay before proceeding to sculpt in wood. 

St. Joseph with the lily, the symbol of his chastity, and Our Lady with hands folded in prayer are carved in cedar wood and varnished. Faces and hands are polychrome with the intention of enhancing realist appearance of the two figures. 

The statues are housed in lateral niches of the classically designed reredos. 

Re-dedication of the renovated chapel took place this previous October.

Here we share the drawings with the proposed options for finishes as well as a few close up photographs of the completed artwork.

St. Edith Stein Church: Gero Crucifix and Tabernacle.

The Gero crucifix from the Cologne Cathedral is the first ever monumental round sculpture of the crucified Christ. It was originally commissioned in 970 AD by Gero, Archbishop of Cologne.  

Due to its unusually large size and drastically realist depiction of the suffering Christ, this crucifix marks a new stage in the development of Western Christian art. 

Granda was approached by St. Edith Stein Church to carve a replica of this cross, because St. Edith Stein who is the patroness of the parish often prayed at the foot of this splendid crucifix. 

Granda’s version of the Gero cross is carved in cedar, painted, and gilded.  Halo is adorned with enamel cabuchons.

In addition to the crucifix, our studio also crafted a gold-plated tabernacle for this project. The scene on the door is Annunciation. The body of the tabernacle is ornamented with shafts of wheat and grapes which are elements of traditional iconography symbolizing the Eucharist.

Holy Family Statue. 

Granda has designed a statue of the Holy Family and we are delighted to share with you photographs of both the monochrome as well as polychrome adaptation of this beautiful image. The group is true to life in height.   

The depiction is unique because it shows Our Lady and St. Joseph with a very young boy Jesus rather than with an infant. Also, St. Joseph is shown as a mature yet still young man rather than a much older guardian of the Virgin. This representation of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph intends to emphasize the profound mystery of the ordinary human reality of the Nazareth family. 

In the United States, the image was carved for St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro, KY. The statue in Australia is installed in the altarpiece of St. Mary of the Sea Church in Melbourne.


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