Faith goes beyond belief.
I see Christ in everything. Look at our beautiful world!
John Lajba, Sculptor of “The Risen Jesus”
The Story of the Risen Jesus
When the new curch was being planned and built in the early 2000s there were various new artifacts and installments that needed to be sourced and blessed. Replacing the historic crucifix was one of them. The story of St Patrick’s Risen Jesus began with Jeanne Krajicek’s rosary.
A group of women have always gathered for Friday faith sharing and praying the rosary. Many of them loved and commented on the beautiful rosary which Jeanne brought each week. This led the group to suggest the idea of commissioning a similar Risen Jesus for the new sanctuary.
With the approval of the cross, selecting the artist and developing the idea was next. The committee scouted for an artist. John Lajba was approached as he had done a Risen Jesus for St Gerald Parish in Omaha. John was excited to take on the project.
The committee and John worked together to develop the idea of the sculpture to celebrate the gift of God’s resurrection through the cross. They wanted to convey the importance of the cross and that we all have everlasting life due to His resurrection.
The golden rays that emanate from the cross are patterned after the monstrance and represent God’s presence in Jesus and our Church.
To complete the presence of the entire trinity, the Holy Spirit needed to be added to the sculpture.
John talked to several priests about the Holy Spirit to gather ideas for different ways to represent it. He wanted to find a unique way to incorporate the Holy Spirit, and decided to do so with hands pressing onto a heart. This can be seen above Jesus’ head on the cross.
John wanted to depict how the Holy Spirit reaches into us and fills us with grace and peace. It also could be described as a reminder that “Jesus will always love us and hold us dear to His heart.”