Catholic University Installs Pro-Life Monument to Celebrate Lives of Unborn Babies

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 18, 2023   |   9:59AM   |   Washington, DC

The Catholic University of America installed a pro-life sculpture on its Washington, D.C. campus Wednesday to remind passersby of unborn babies’ value.

World-renowned Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz said he created the piece, titled “Advent,” as a National Life Monument to celebrate every human life. The sculpture is a bronze and stainless steel depiction of the Virgin Mary cradling unborn baby Jesus in her womb.

“We have to celebrate human life and that’s what this sculpture is saying,” Schmalz told the Catholic News Agency at the dedication ceremony Wednesday.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Schmalz and others participated in the dedication for the sculpture, which is located on the university’s Theological College grounds, according to the report.

Speaking during the event, Gregory said, “Advent, as a pregnant Madonna, transcends bronze, revealing a deeper significance, deeper truths of God and of us, and his love for each of us, graced as we are in his image and likeness.”

Schmalz told CNA that he hopes people will see the image of the Virgin Mary and Jesus as an unborn child and re-think their views about abortion.

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“Ideally, I’ll have people coming across here that might be ambiguous about their ideas of abortion, but they will come take a look at this and they will say, ‘You know, I have to say, that sculpture is beautiful,’ and if they’re saying the sculpture is beautiful, what it’s expressing is also beautiful,” he said. “If it touches one person, I think it’s done its job.”

Lately, the artist said he has noticed fewer and fewer positive depictions of children and families in art. He said his statue is meant to be a positive and persuasive push-back against the anti-child attitudes in modern culture.

“If you look at the amount of positive life symbols out there, like even paintings of pregnant women or a new family, they’re becoming rare,” he told CNA. “… Our culture used to be filled with it. But now it’s becoming absolutely minimalized.”

Schmalz said he hopes the image of the Virgin Mary and unborn baby Jesus will inspire people and help them recognize “all human life is splendid and wonderful.”

Last year, a similar statue created by Schmalz was installed in a church in Rome, Italy. This spring, the Texas Legislature is considering legislation to permit another pro-life statue by Schmalz to be erected on the state Capitol grounds in Austin.