AFTER nearly two years of ideas, discussions and negotiations, the Homeless Jesus statue that was commissioned for the Year of Mercy in 2016 has finally found a home in the grounds of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Townsville.
Townsville Bishop Tim Harris was pleased that the statue was placed in the forecourt of the cathedral.
“I believe that this is a great place for it, it links the cathedral to the city heart where a number of people sleep rough and it is a reminder that we need to do more to reach out as a Church to those living this way,” he said.
“He is not hidden, and He is a permanent reminder to all of us that we’ve got lots of people in need and this is an example of where our focus should be.”
The statue has already raised alarm bells for locals who reported to police what seemed to be a homeless person sleeping on Cathedral grounds.
“In the first few days since it’s installation, Homeless Jesus caused a number of people to believe that the sculpture was a real person sleeping on a park bench and caused them to call authorities to report it,” a spokesman said.
“Police and paramedics were called to the cathedral and upon investigation it was discovered that it was indeed the statue.”
“This was not the first time that artwork had caused people to be alarmed, while it had been sitting inside the cathedral waiting for its permanent home, people had been startled by it when they first came across it.
“The statue by Canadian sculpture Timothy Schmalz was one of many images of Homeless Jesus that have been installed around the world, including in the grounds of the Vatican outside the office of the Papal Charities.
“This is the only version of the statue in Australia.”