Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, who oversees Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, presided over the blessing and dedication of the Welcoming Jesus statue, which was commissioned through the generous support from alumni and friends of Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor (Delaware County). The statue was created by the late sculptor and 1983 graduate of Archbishop Carroll, Lawrence Joseph “Doobie” Nowlan, before his sudden death in 2013. The outdoor statue measures approximately 12 feet tall (including a 5 ½ foot base) and is one of the largest pieces of religious art in the Philadelphia region. It was unveiled outside at the entrance to Archbishop Carroll High School on Thursday, May 21, 2015 in front of close to 2,000 students, faculty and invited guests including members of the Archbishop Carroll Class of 1983. The statue is visible from the intersection of Matsonford Road and S. Centennial Drive and greets students and visitors alike with arms outstretched. Remarks were given by Mr. Christopher Mominey, Chief Operating Officer and Secretary for Catholic Education; Mr. Francis E. Fox, Class of 1977 and President of Archbishop Carroll as well as Mrs. Marita Coffey-Finley, Archbishop Carroll Class of 1986 and Mrs. Heather Nowlan, Mr. Nowlan’s wife.
Mr. Nowlan was an accomplished sculptor whose works included the late Philadelphia Phillies announcer, Harry Kalas installed at Citizens Bank Park in 2011; a statue of Ralph Kramden, Jackie Gleason’s character on the television show, “The Honeymooners,” for the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City and statues awarded at the ESPN ESPYS and the VH1 Music Awards.
Below are photos from the blessing and dedication: