Holy Savior corpus arrives, now in church

The lifelike nature of the corpus was breathtaking when the carving was uncrated Thursday, Dec. 5. (Advance photo)

When the crate with the corpus for the cross of the new Holy Savior Church in Wichita was opened Thursday, Dec. 5, those gathered around it were astonished.

Jesus’ face, with glistening life-like eyes, looked up into a sunny sky after being boxed up for a trans-oceanic trip from sculptor Edwin Gonzalez Solis’ studio in Cordoba, Spain.

Uncrating, mounting, and hanging the crucifix took several hours because so much care was given not to damage the wood sculpture and because workers were in a confined space doing something they’d never done before.

Workers carefully hang the crucifix in Holy Savior Church.

Social media comments reflected a great appreciation for the work. The photos posted online also answered the questions of those who saw a bare cross when the church was dedicated and blessed Friday, Nov. 22.

Father James Billinger, pastor, said the workmanship is wonderful, although the skin tone of the corpus was lighter than the committee wanted and may be darkened to better reflect the heritage of Holy Savior Parish.

He and an art committee considered three art studios, he said, but all agreed on Heritage Liturgical of Anaheim, California. “They gave us a clay model to study and accept before they began the actual sculpting out of wood,” he said. “We liked the way they painted their crucifixes, we liked the anatomical details.”

Father Billinger said he knew when the sculpture was commissioned that they may not have given the artist enough time to complete the work before the church dedication.

“We almost made it,” he said.