New Sculptures at Washington National Cathedral

From RNS News:

imageSix feet above the vaulted entranceway to Washington National Cathedral, the rough contours of Rosa Parks’ face are taking shape.

Using a motorized hammer and chiseling tools that date back centuries, stone carver Sean Callahan is patiently working on a new bust of the civil rights heroine.

“I have to be aware of the significance of it,” he said. “It puts pressure on me to get it right. I have to pay respect to her in that sense.”

Across the Human Rights “porch” in the cathedral’s narthex, Parks will soon be joined by another famous woman, Mother Teresa.

imageCallahan, a 45-year-old Catholic, was not alive when Parks made history by staying seated on a segregated bus and helping spark the civil rights movement; but he remembers hearing about the Nobel Peace Prize-winning nun when he was growing up.

. . . Callahan’s work began a week before the country marked the birthday of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., with whom Parks worked closely. The sculptures of Parks and Mother Teresa, based on clay models by North Carolina sculptor Chas Fagan, are due to be completed by Easter. RNS Feature: "Rosa Parks enshrined in stone at National Cathedral"

imageOthers include Eleanor Roosevelt, slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero and Bishop John Walker, the first black Episcopal bishop of Washington.