At the corner of Third and Gless Streets in Boyle Heights last Sunday, just a few blocks and two days from the scene of a
recent gang-related shooting, a statue of "La Virgen de Guadalupe" was gently guided into position by parishioners of Dolores
Mission outside the church after the 10:30 a.m. Mass.
Donated by actor/activist, Martin Sheen, the 5-foot, 7-inch bronze statue was made by American artist/sculptor Father Andrew
John Wincheck, currently serving the poor in Thailand. Sheen, present for the Mass and dedication, saw the statue for the
first time at its Sunday unveiling.
"This sacred symbol of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a symbol of peace," Sheen told The Tidings. Noting that the community has
lost so many young men to gang violence, Sheen said that the statue would be a rallying point for peace in the community.
'This sacred symbol
of Our Lady of Guadalupe
is a symbol of peace.'
Father Wincheck previously met Sheen on the set of his hit TV show, "West Wing," and told him that he wanted to send the
statue to the actor as a gift for his garden. Sheen asked that it be sent directly to Dolores Mission, the home parish of
his friend, Jesuit Father Michael Kennedy.
"It's needed here; it's meant for the
community," said Sheen.
During the Mass, prayers were offered for local incarcerated youth and their parents as well as for world peace and justice.
The Dolores Mission faith community has committed to work for justice and peace at the local and global levels.
-- Paula Doyle