Parish News
New Woodcarvings Beautify Our Day Chapel

Two new woodcarvings have been installed to beautify our Day Chapel. The woodcarvings of St. Mary and St. Joseph were conceived and created by Lee Stragis, who also created the wonderful mosaic which graces our entryway and is also depicted on our new sign.

About two years ago, Father Al and the Art and Design Committee requested Lee Stragis to create some sketches of Mary and Joseph for two sculptures for the Day Chapel. She produced three "thumbnail" sketches in different styles for the committee to review. After the committee chose one of these sketches to be created, Lee produced a larger and more detailed sketch, which was reviewed with parishioner Carol Shaw. It was then enlarged on a computer to its 48" x 18" size. The carvings are made of Basswood which is a tree native to the eastern US. Lee wanted a wood that was similar to that used for the sculpture of the Risen Christ which is found over the altar in the main church.

Work on the carvings began in October 2012. The material is actually two pieces of the Basswood which were joined together by a local cabinetmaker.

Lee says that in designing St. Joseph she wished to portray him as strong but gentle. Thus he has his hand on his heart to depict his gentleness and in response to the great responsibility of caring and protecting the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus. He is looking up to God but out to others. Lee hopes that this image of St. Joseph the worker will portray his strength and tenderness as a father and husband and also his focus on God.

For the image of Mary, Lee wished to convey the receptiveness and giving nature of Mary. She is leaning slightly backwards in an air of surprise, but reaching forward to accept God's will despite the initial reluctance.

These two carvings are a wonderful addition to our Day Chapel and to our parish. Thank you, Lee, and everyone who was involved in this project!