St. Mark Church Welcomes a New Addition to its Parish Grounds

by Dan Cappellazzo
Fri, Jul 31st 2020 03:05 pm

St. Mark Church is proud to welcome a new addition to its parish grounds; a bronze statue of the apostle St. Mark. 

The 6-foot-tall, 600-pound statue, located on the north lawn in front of the rectory between the church and the school, was created by sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz of Kitchener, Ontario, and depicts the Apostle St. Mark holding a scroll with a lion at his feet.

Speaking proudly of the sculpture Father Joseph S. Rogliano, pastor of St. Mark's, said, "I am so honored that our parish now has an original sculpture by renowned artist Timothy P. Schmalz. 

St. Mark was one of Christ's 70 disciples, one of the four evangelists, and the traditional author of the second Gospel, The Book of Mark. He fulfilled in his life what every Christian is called to do: proclaim to all people the Good News that is the source of salvation. In particular, by writing. Others may proclaim the Good News by music, drama, poetry, or by teaching children around a family table. Others hold Mark to be the first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Venice, famous for the Piazza San Marco, claims Mark as its patron saint; the large basilica there is believed to contain his remains.

Father Rogliano commented on the scroll held by St. Mark in the statue, "The scroll tells the story of the gospel of St. Mark and visually depicts the many parts of his work."

A winged lion is Mark's symbol. The lion derives from Mark's description of John the Baptist as a "voice of one crying out in the desert" (Mark 1:3), which artists compared to a roaring lion. The wings come from the application of Ezekiel's vision of four winged creatures to the evangelists.

The winged lion, also the symbol and mascot of the St. Mark's School connected to the church and located on Woodward Avenue in North Buffalo was founded on June 25, 1908, by Bishop Charles Colton. On Oct. 16, 1921, Bishop William Turner dedicated St. Mark's Parochial School. The school was placed under the supervision of the Sisters of St. Joseph's. 

The statue was unveiled and blessed on July 9, with funding through the generosity of the St. Mark parishioners improvement fund. "My undying gratitude to those parishioners of the parish who contributed to this project. These funds for this special project were donated well over two years ago. We were just waiting for the artist to complete this magnificent work of art," Father Rogliano said.