Diocesan News

Local priest receives award made by diocesan artist

LINCOLN (SNR) - Father Robert Matya, pastor of the St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center in Lincoln and vocations director for the Diocese of Lincoln, was an award recipient at the 2017 SEEK conference in San Antonio.

Each year at the conference special friends and alumni of FOCUS are presented with a bronze sculpture. In recent years sculptures of St. Joseph and St. John Paul II were awarded. For the 2017 SEEK banquet themed in honor of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the FOCUS staff wanted a portrait of the Saint of the “Little Way” for the award presentation.

Last spring, Patty McKernan, vice president and campaign director of FOCUS, asked artist Sondra L. Jonson, a member of St. John Parish in Cambridge to create the statue.

Between May and December, Jonson sculpted, molded and cast the 10” sculpture. The original bronze artwork of St. Thérèse was presented to seven individuals including Father Robert Matya.

Jonson has sculpted many Catholic saints; in 2016, she created portraits of St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Katharine Drexel for Nebraska’s St. Augustine Indian Mission. She is also known for many other diocesan projects.

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