Sculpture Placed on Campus Reclaims Beauty and Sacredness of Human Life
In front of the Chapel of St. Basil, located at the University of St. Thomas-Houston, is the first site in the United States to display the original National Life Monument sculpture created by world-renowned Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmaltz. In this pro-life work of art, Schmaltz depicts the beauty of human life as the key to reclaiming abortion.
The sculpture traveled to Houston at the behest of His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of the Galveston-Houston Diocese, for display on the urban college campus home to 4,000 students. The campus Chapel of St. Basil is an artistic marvel, designed by the renowned architect Philip Johnson and completed in 1997. The Chapel and Doherty Library face each other from opposite ends of the Academic Mall to signify the perpetual relationship between faith and reason. St. Thomas is the only Catholic University in Houston and is located in the Museum District between downtown and the world-famous Texas Medical Center. The University is home to a robust pro-life student organization that travels yearly to March for Life in Washington, D.C., and the Right-to-Life March in Austin, TX.
Sculpture Celebrates the Miracle of Life
The pro-life work represents a Madonna and child, with the child still in the womb. The National Life Monument celebrates the miracle of life and the woman at the center of this life force via a colossal bronze sculpture depicting the mother and a world-shaped womb with the unborn child in the center.
The sculpture design is an organic one, which uses drapery forms to draw the viewer’s attention to the center of the work.
Created out of mirrored steel, the center of the planet-shaped womb reflects the surrounding world as well as the viewers of the art. So, the art admirers will see themselves in the center of the work, symbolizing their connection to the miracle of the creation of human life.
Schmaltz said, “What a compliment to women that they hold the world in their womb.”
Purpose of the Project
The overall project has a two-fold purpose: to raise funds for the pro-life cause, and to place the image in locations where its message is a constant reminder.
This original National Life Monument will travel to its permanent location at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. There, the work will live on the campus of the Theological College, owned and operated by the Society of Saint-Sulpice.
Simultaneous Blessing/Unveiling of the Sculptures in Houston & Rome
The sculpture is a larger version of the life-size work, the first pro-life sculpture permanently installed in Rome. The University of St. Thomas plans to coordinate a “duo” blessing/unveiling of the Rome and Houston sculptures.
In addition, the sculptor will install one life-sized version of the work in each state across America.