All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Ill., commissioned a statue from Providence Associate Teresa Clark, who is also the artist of the official Saint Mother Theodore Guerin statue recently installed at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. (A really beautiful miniature version of the official statue is available through the Linden Leaf Gifts.)
The All Saints Cemetery statue features Saint Mother Theodore with two young girls and one of my favorite quotes from her. She wrote this bit of advice to her sisters on mission, “Love the children first, then teach them.”
Sisters of Providence, Providence Associates and Candidate-Associates and friends gathered at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Ill., on Sept. 29, 2009, for the dedication of a new Saint Mother Theodore Guerin statue created by Providence Associate and artist Teresa Clark. Presiding at the dedication was Cardinal Francis George, OMI, archbishop of Chicago.
“I was asked by the director of the Chicago Catholic Cemeteries to create a statue for All Saints Catholic Cemetery as a memorial to Mother Theodore. Since Mother Theodore and her sisters were known primarily as teachers, they wanted the memorial to depict education,” said Teresa.
The beautiful statue features Mother Theodore with two young girls. Two quotes from Mother Theodore appear on the front and back of the statue. On the front is “Love the children first, then teach them.” On the back is “You will see many things in a new light if you give the Holy Spirit free access to your minds and your hearts.”
Teresa explains about her work: “Mother Theodore pointing, with the two girls looking at what she was pointing at, was the way I chose to depict her as educator. Girls were used because that is who she primarily taught. I wanted to portray education in a broad sense, leaving it up to the viewer to fill in what she is showing the girls. I also hoped to capture her caring, compassionate approach to education. My inspiration for this sculpture was from Mother Theodore’s own words, ‘Love the children first, then teach them.’
“It was very rewarding to see it all come together and to hope that through my work Mother Theodore might touch others as she has touched me,” said Teresa.