Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows: Artist, Dr. Joel Ernster, June 2022

Today, June 14, 2022, the builders, artist, foundry owner, installed the bronze statue of Our Lady of Sorrows on Sacred Heart Church. The statue is stunningly beautiful, various shades of bronze on the granite color stucco. This is part of our 100th Anniversary celebration in July. Our parishioner, Joel Ernster, artist, sculpted the piece for our centennial. I am so delighted by the outcome. The project took one year to complete. Below is the text from the plaque:

Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows

Sculpture by Joel Ernster

Mary, the Sorrowful Mother, witnesses to the redeeming love of Jesus Christ in his suffering, death, and resurrection. The seven swords seen here refer to the seven Scripture stories where Mary stood next to Jesus’ suffering.

Sacred Heart Parish: One Hundred Years 1922-2022

As we celebrate our hundredth anniversary, we honor Mary, who walked with us in compassion and love and hope through each of these one hundred years.

From her own grief and sorrow, Mary stands next to us in our human suffering. She has offered solace and hope in times of great sickness, from the 1918 pandemic through COVID-19. Across the years she has given comfort to parents who sent their children off to war: World War I … World War II … Korea … Viet Nam … Afghanistan … Iraq. She stood next to our ancestors during the Great Depression, and through all the times of economic distress for every generation since. She held back the raging flames of the Waldo Canyon Fire from destroying our faith and conviction, and comforted us in our fear. She knows intimately the pain of grieving parents, and offers consolation when children are lost to violence or cancer or addiction. She provides hope when we face job loss, abuse, anxiety, and anguish, and lovingly holds our suffering. She witnesses to our need for mercy in the sacraments of the Church. She walks with us to hospital beds and gravesites, and challenges us as we serve our poor, our neighbors in need. She is example and inspiration, guiding us to stand with each other as she stands with us, in compassion and love and hope.

Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.


Our Lady of Sorrows is the Patroness of the Congregation of Holy Cross, which has served the people of Sacred Heart since 1984. The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is celebrated on September 15.

3 thoughts on “Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows: Artist, Dr. Joel Ernster, June 2022

  1. Fr Ron, Wow, that’s beautiful! Yet another addition to our beautiful church and soon-to-be finished St Andre House that will always be standing memories of your SHORT time here! I’m still processing the fact of your reassignment to Austin!!🙁

    Blessings, Sheri

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Dear Fr. Ron, this is indeed a fitting memorial to Mary, Mother of Sorrows! “A sword shall pierce your heart,” as Simeon foretold. The last radio show I participated in with Fr. Mark Illig was on September 15th, 2012, Our Lady of Sorrow’s feast day. Thanks for the comforting message, she does indeed stand with us in all our joys and sorrows!

  2. What a beautiful finish to our restoration.
    As I read the plaque the prayer you wrote and read a the Feast of the Sacred Heart the first year you were here had as our mission with you many of the things we are. I ask and you gave me a copy of that prayer. I have said that prayer every day and still do.
    Our Lady of Sorrows help us in our sorrow.

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