Homeless Jesus unveiled in Johannesburg

A crowd assembled outside Holy Trinity Catholic Church to witness and celebrate the unveiling of the sculpture of Homeless Jesus on Monday, 6 February 2016.

This sculpture was originally crafted by Timothy P. Schmalz, a sculptor of Christian-themed works from Saint Jacobs church in Canada. The piece outside Holy Trinity was donated anonymously to the church and was finally revealed to the public on 6 February.

Fr Graham Pugin SJ led the unveiling service, where he read the gospel and continued to bless the sculpture. Parishioners and friends sang praises as Homeless Jesus was unveiled and were also invited to bless the sculpture by sprinkling holy water onto it. They were joined by few members of CN&CO, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) and Johannesburg Organisations of Service to the Homeless (JOSH), whom were very impressed with the art piece installed just outside the gates of the church – and beyond that, by the sentimental meaning the sculpture holds. Homeless Jesus is said to
portray that Jesus is within the homeless and many others that are often isolated by society.

Holy Trinity holds a long and rich history that dates back to 1800s. It is located in inner city Johannesburg, next to Wits University in Braamfontein. The church plays a vital role in the community. It has opened its doors and welcomed everyone from all walks of life to feel at home.

Every Monday, homeless people from around Johannesburg attend evening activities at the church and are then served supper. These activities include medical service care, which is practiced by the students from Wits. Holy Trinity formed a relationship with Wits medical students in 2004, where Trinity Health Services Clinic and a pharmacy were established to help the homeless receive medical care. They have
played a pivotal role ever since – not only in the clinic, but in the kitchen too.

This is what Homeless Jesus stands for – knowing that a small act of kindness goes a long way. It is to raise awareness to the public to show compassion and to act upon the desire to give a helping hand to those in need.

“We are always happy to go beyond our boundaries and what know to network and build new relationships that challenge us to make efforts to add value to others,” says Carel. “We are also grateful to BASA for accepting the invitation to come and support another great initiative around the arts.”

Holy Trinity is always looking for ways that could improve the community, whether it is in stopping the acts of violence or in feeding the hungry. More projects are under way and if you would like to get involved in any way possible visit Holy Trinity Catholic Church on its website or follow it on Twitter.