July 2021 - Toronto ON
I was walking to Dundas St. when I came across a new Homeless Jesus outside St. Patrick's Church on Mc Caul St.
Photo of church taken in 2015.
When I was Naked 2019 by Canadian Timothy Schmalz
In this piece Christ is portrayed as a homeless man naked and clinging to a piece of cardboard to keep him warm. Based on Matthew 25, “When I was Naked” confronts our prejudices against the impoverished and compels us to look deeper for a glimpse of the divinity and dignity within them.
The St. Patrick’s piece is the fourth church to have a When I Was Naked sculpture. It has also been erected at St. Peter in Chains Basilica in Rome, St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati and Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit.
What these sites share is they are in the heart of their cities, locations Schmalz says that can showcase his art to people “where they would least expect it.”
“It’s a perfect opportunity to preach with sculpture. It’s right there in the heart of the city.”
As the bottom of the plaque states St. Patrick’s has a long connection of working with the poor. For more than 30 years it has hosted the Out of the Cold program to house and feed homeless during the winter months. Street Patrol runs out of the parish and for the past dozen years has done high school retreats on social justice and service, among others.
Click here to see three other Homeless Jesus that we have seen. Kitchener ON, Austin TX and Toronto U of T.
Toronto St. Stephen in the Fields 2018