World Day of the Poor at Christ Church Cathedral
World Day of the Poor will be marked at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on Sunday November 17. The Homeless Jesus sculpture in the cathedral’s grounds will serve as a focal point for an act of remembrance and commitment as similar events take place around the world where other casts of the sculpture are located.
People will gather at the sculpture outside the cathedral at 3.15pm before the congregation is invited inside for Choral Evensong which will include an address by the Very Revd John Collins. People attending the service are invited to bring contributions of non–perishable food items which will be collected and donated to the Mendicity Institution.
The Homeless Jesus sculpture, by Canadian sculptor Timothy P Schmalz, is serving as a catalyst for more than 40 cities around the world to hold events. Each city is putting its own spin on the day; the common denominator is that each event will take place near the city’s iconic statue of Homeless Jesus.
“Homeless Jesus was always intended to challenge people’s views of the poor right in front of us,” said Schmalz. “I’m thrilled that it is going even further in inspiring others to take concrete action to serve them.”
The theme of World Day of the Poor this year is drawn from Psalm 9:18 – ‘For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever’. The World Day of the Poor is an annual observance, established by Pope Francis and first observed in 2017.
The Homeless Jesus sculpture at Christ Church Cathedral was dedicated in May 2015 by the Church of Ireland and Catholic archbishops of Dublin. The work, located in the grounds, is a 7ft cast bronze park bench, depicting Christ hidden under blankets. His identity is revealed only by the holes in his feet. It was donated to the city by an anonymous benefactor and was the first sculpture to be installed outside North America. It is now one of over 100 worldwide.
The Mendicity Institution is the oldest working charity in Dublin. Established in 1818, it has been in operation for over 200 years creating opportunities for people experiencing homelessness, isolation and marginalization to live better lives.