Covington-based restoration artist Gianna Salande, above, returned “Entombed Jesus,” a circa-1940s plaster statue of the expired Christ, to St. Alphonsus Church in New Orleans Jan. 4 after devoting nearly a year to its complete overhaul.
An exhibit of memorabilia from the three religious communities that established the cluster of schools, churches, convents and orphanages in New Orleans’ Irish Channel is open to the public at St. Alphonsus Church, 2025 Constance St.
Sculptural representations of Jesus’ lifeless body typically show him nailed to the cross, his head bowed down, or cradled in the arms of his mother, just after the crucifixion.
James B. Sheeran, an Irish immigrant, was a teacher at a Redemptorist school in Michigan in 1849 when his wife died, making him a single father to two young children.
In those days, there weren’t many options for a single dad other than remarriage or placing his children in an orphanage to be reared. Deciding to leave his children behind, Sheeran said, “was like tearing the heart from my bosom.”
But what happened next was an even bigger surprise.
For more than a decade, local Catholics have lent their most beloved creches for display inside 19th-century St. Alphonsus Church during the first week