By Father Timothy Gollob
Special to The Texas Catholic
A good while back (about seven years ago), the parish of Holy Cross was debating the format of our proposed new sanctuary. We had a good committee of dedicated and knowledgeable folks and many decisions were made. One was that we needed a few good saints to commandeer our two side aisles.
The choice of these heavenly patrons was easy. Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the Americas, was clearly in first place. After all, hadn’t the Incarnate Word chosen her to be his mother and hadn’t he given her to the church as she stood under the Holy Cross with John the beloved apostle on that first Good Friday?
Our second saint was also a shoo-in. St. Martin de Porres was the logical saint for our congregation. He had a mixed parentage and a tough upbringing in his native Peru. He had the gift of healing and of hospitality. He was a source of unity and giving. Pope St. John XXIII had canonized him in 1962 just as Holy Cross parish was struggling to get going.
Now we knew that we wanted a solid representation of our two saints to adorn the shrines.
To find a Maria de Guadalupe was easy. Many fine bronze statues were available and our friend Charlotte Maguire made sure to procure an excellent, beautiful Madonna for us. Many people kneel and pray for her intercession with her Son. The flame of candles dance nearby to remind them that their prayers continue even as they leave the church to go about many daily chores.
Finding a similar bronze statue of St. Martin was a different problem. We searched catalogs and web sites and found none to equal the beauty and the presence of Mary.
Then an inspiration….
Lyle Novinski was the artist consultant for our project. When it was mentioned to him that we needed to have St. Martin presiding over our south aisle, he immediately accepted the challenge.
It was his first major bronze and it took a while, but he and his son David started before they were ready. (No art happens unless you start!) They had to study the methods. Lyle involved his grandchildren for models. The Dominicans donated an old habit. Time passed and lo and behold St. Martin was presented to the world first of all at the UD Ministry Conference.
Then he held forth at an exhibit at the University of Dallas Art Center. Finally he arrived at his niche at Holy Cross and today we celebrated his feast, Nov. 3, the day he left this world at the age of 59 and entered eternity.
But he will have little rest. We are going to keep him busy with the needs of the poor and need for unity in the church and especially for the healing of all of Creation.
Father Timothy Gollob is the pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff.