by NZ CATHOLIC STAFF
A block of marble like those used by Bernini and Michelangelo has arrived in New Zealand to fulfil a dream.
The college’s Lasallian facilitator Kane Raukura said he had had a dream since the college jubilee in 2013 — a
dream for a statue of the founder, St John Baptist De La Salle.
Because of changes of principal, he had to make his pitch a number of times, Mr Raukura said, as well as working
through other difficulties.
However, the college had now reached the point where it had contracted Michael Pervan of the Studio of John
the Baptist and commissioned a new monumental project — the statue of the founder of the order.
Mr Pervan sourced the stone for the sculpture from Rome, Mr Raukura said.
“It is the same Travertine marble that the Vatican is made from, and other countless works worldwide.
“It is strong, durable and beautiful. It was literally cut from the same hills as the famous sculptures by Bernini and is the same source that Michelangelo used.”
The marble was blessed recently by Fr Brian Prendeville of St John’s parish, Otara, and by a representative of Tainui.
Mr Pervan had since completed the marquette (the initial mock-up and guide) and had now begun removing stone and unveiling the founder.
St John Baptist De La Salle, the patron saint of all teachers, dedicated his life and gave away all he had to ensure that the poor had access to a quality Christian education. His diligence, self-sacrifice and personal relationship with God and trust in God’s guiding hand led to the creation of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (or De La Salle Brothers).
De La Salle College in Auckland serves students from impoverished backgrounds who are faith filled and capable
of great success, said Mr Raukura.
“Help us create a statue that inspires and lifts the spirit of these young men. Let De La Salle’s example set the stage for their lives and for all those they come in contact with.”
Kane Raukura is a Lasallian facilitator. He is raising funds for the project and is supported by Brother Sir Patrick Lynch, former chief executive officer of the NZ Catholic Education Office. Donations can be made by: Deposit to ASB – Jubilee Trust Account 12-3028-0720660-00 or by cheque made out to ‘De La Salle Jubilee’.