The bronze sculpture of the 'Homeless Jesus', to be blessed later this term by Archbishop Prowse, is one of about 100 ‘Homeless Jesus’ statues throughout the world.

The idea for ‘Homeless Jesus’ was born when Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz was driving past people living on the streets in Toronto. Amongst the busyness of a city lay the contrasting fragile figure of a person covered up in a blanket. He was shocked, and felt he had just witnessed Jesus.

The sculpture is intended to be “a visual translation” of the Gospel of Matthew passage when Jesus teaches his disciples about the need for compassion, “as you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me.” The passage slowly reveals his message as does ‘Homeless Jesus’. At first, you just see the statue of a homeless person but with closer investigation, you realise it is Jesus by the visible crucifixion wounds on his feet protruding out from the blanket.

The sculpture invites you, quite literally, to sit at the feet of Christ. There is a place to sit and touch the sculpture, perhaps pray. I love the idea of a boy describing the pickup location as “Sitting next to the Homeless Jesus.”

Whilst the statue may be confronting to some, it is an appropriate statement about who we are at Marist College Canberra, the people we must engage with, and our responsibilities to care for, and even get to know, those living on the peripheries of our society.

Matthew Hutchison

College Headmaster