Loyola University Chicago

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Press Release - September 1, 2021

Loyola University Chicago to Host Angels Unawares Sculpture Through September

3.5-ton, 20-foot sculpture fosters discussions on immigration and celebrates contributions of migrants and refugees to our society

CHICAGO – September 1, 2021 – Loyola University Chicago today announced it will host the Angels Unawares sculpture on its Lake Shore Campus beginning this Friday, September 3. Loyola will be the sculpture’s final stop on a year-long nationwide tour sponsored by The Catholic University of America and is only the second Jesuit university to host the piece.

Angels Unawares embodies the Catholic Church’s teachings on immigration, particularly the importance of welcoming the stranger and celebrating the many contributions of migrants and refugees to our society. It depicts more than 140 immigrants from across history densely packed onto a boat with the holy family. It is based on Hebrews 13:2: “Be welcoming to strangers, many have entertained angels unawares.” Through this national tour, people across the country will have the opportunity to share in its message of welcome and hope.

Angels Unawares is a second casting of a piece commissioned by Pope Francis and was created by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz. The original casting was installed in St. Peter’s Square in Rome and unveiled by Pope Francis on the 105th observance of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on September 29, 2019. This second casting was gifted to Catholic University last year, where it was unveiled and blessed in observance of the day in 2020.

“We are honored to host the Angels Unawares sculpture on our campus this month,” said Dr. Jo Ann Rooney, president of Loyola. “Loyola was founded 150 years ago to serve the immigrant communities of Chicago, and today our international students and faculty are valued partners in our global mission. We welcome Angels Unawares as part of our 150th Anniversary observance, and the opportunities presented to reflect on the journey and contributions of migrants and refugees.”

The piece will be commemorated with a special Mass presided by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago on Saturday, September 11, at 6 p.m. at Loyola’s Madonna della Strada Chapel.

The 3.5-ton, 20-foot sculpture will be located near the southwest corner of the West Quad on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus and will be installed this Friday between 9 and 10 a.m. It will remain on campus until Monday, October 4.

Loyola invites the entire Chicago community to visit the sculpture. Campus visitors must follow the University’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, which can be found on Loyola’s Return to Campus website.

About The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America is the national university of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Established in 1887 as a papally chartered graduate and research center, the University comprises 12 schools and 31 research facilities and is home to 3,055 undergraduate and 2,311 graduate students.

About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with more than 17,000 students. Nearly 11,500 undergraduates call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University’s 14 schools, colleges, and institutes include: the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, Graduate School, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, and Arrupe College. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Learn more about Loyola, like us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter @LoyolaChicago.