Sculptor carves wooden crosier for Pope's visit
From CathNews:

Quote:In his studio in his serene backyard in Deptford, Seder meticulously shaved a fine layer along a curve of a wooden crook. A chisel in the wrong direction, the artist noted, could cause an unsightly crack in the majestic, exotic purple wood from South America.

“I have to make sure everything is going to fit perfectly,” Seder, 65, said while wearing a magnifying-lens headpiece.

Perfect, for the Pope.

When Pope Francis travels to Philadelphia to cap the Church’s eighth World Meeting of Families in September, Seder, from South Jersey, plans to offer the Church’s top leader the pastoral staff that he has been crafting for three months. The crosier will mark Seder’s third piece of artwork created for a pope: He completed projects for Francis’ two predecessors.

“It’s going to be beautiful, it’s going to be meaningful, it’s going to be spiritual,” Seder said.

Some who knew of his past work asked whether he would create something to honor the Pope’s momentous visit to the area, triggering ideas for a staff, he said.

Using purpleheart wood from South America (a nod to Francis’ Argentine roots) for the staff, Seder will cut and steam olive wood from Italy to wrap around the pole as vine (representing Jesus’ following). Three lilies – to symbolize the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – made from domestic maple will adorn the staff.

Seder also is installing glass under the arch of two crooks (a deviation from a standard crosier, which has one), and he will etch and carve a chalice and host on the left plate and the Church’s portrait for the gathering, the Holy Family, on the right. He will paint the backs of each to resemble stained glass.

With crooks symbolising Francis’ role as the Bishop of Rome, a cross on top of the staff will demonstrate his status as Pope.

How, if at all, the crosier will get to the Pope isn’t known. But Seder said that isn’t his concern. The “Staff of the Good Shepherd,” as he’s labelled it, will be “exactly what it’s supposed to be for the Pope” – no matter where it ends up, he said.


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