WELLINGTON — The statue of St. Patrick carved from the trunk of an ash tree at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church is completed.
The statue commissioned by the Rev. James Reymann will be blessed at noon Mass on Sunday by A. James Quinn, a retired auxiliary bishop for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.
Reymann, the parish priest, said the community has taken a real interest in the progress of the statue.
“There’s almost a steady stream of cars coming to look at it,” Reymann said. “The statue is absolutely amazing.”
It took about six months for artist Bud Emerson, owner of Creative Chain Saw Sculpting, to coax the patron saint of Ireland into view.
After doing the rough carving with chain saws, Emerson used a variety of chisels, sanders and other tools to create the details and bring out a beautiful patina.
“I told him I couldn’t believe how well it turned out,” Reymann said. “The wood grain is spectacular.”
People passing through Wellington may see the statute at St. Patrick’s, 512 N. Main St., which is also state Route 58.
Motorists may enter the church grounds off either Adams or Lincoln streets, Reymann said.
The use of an ash tree is fitting because legend says that St. Patrick’s ash wood walking stick grew into a living tree.
Two old ash trees on parish property were cut down this year after falling victim to emerald ash borer, Reymann said.
One of the trees was damaged and could not be used, but the second trunk was perfect for the statue, Reymann said.
It includes a shamrock. Legend credits St. Patrick with using the three leaves of the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick, who lived in the fourth and fifth century, is believed to have died on March 17, 493, and St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on the day of his death.
The statue is a gift from Reymann, who has been at St. Patrick’s since 1976. He was a navigator on a B-29 bomber during World War II and became a priest in 1958.
Reymann said he has arranged for Emerson to care for the statue for years to come.
“The statute is 6-foot-7 and stands there like it was meant to be,” Reymann said.
Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.