May 4-5, 2019
May 1, 2019
Earlier in the year, a local artist from Beverly Hills, Don Greening, passed away. Don worked in the automotive industry doing car illustrations among other ventures. His artistry included work in oils, watercolor, pen and ink drawings, etc. In 1989 he started doing wood carving. One of his projects was a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, which he had in his back yard. Upon his death, the house was to be sold. A friend who was in charge of selling his property wanted to find a good home for the St. Francis statue. She heard that there were Franciscans at Transfiguration Parish, so she offered it to us. It was an offer we could not refuse! We picked it up in January, and he has been waiting in the garage until spring weather would permit us to place the statue. The cement platform upon which he will watch over us has been poured (near the previous main entrance to the church), and he will take his place there in a few weeks. I don’t think you will miss seeing him; he makes an impression. The statue was carved from a cedar pole which was used for a light tower at Groves High School. It took two years to carve, mostly during the summer months. It is about 7 feet tall and weighs about 450 pounds. The carving was started with a chain saw, then a hand grinder, chisels and mallet, and finally small rotary tools on a flexible shaft. It is solid wood, and expands and contracts from season to season, so sometimes we will see cracks. The arms and hands were carved separately from the same log and are connected with dowels. A bowl can be placed in his hands in which the artist used to put bird seed. Old pictures show some carved animals which were at his feet, but they apparently no longer exist. We are grateful to Mr. Don Greening, and his friend Janet Mooney, for this gift to our parish. We welcome St. Francis to our parish, and pray for his continued guidance and inspiration!