An injured welder recently donated a large statue of St. Francis to the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Kearns, Utah. Michael Peery spent 2 years creating the statue and 13 years trying to sell it. According to Mike Gorrell, writing in the SLTrib (8 Oct 2011)
“I’d just got out of surgery, I didn’t know where I was or who I was and I had this vision to give it to the church,” said Peery, a 49-year-old Taylorsville resident. . .
[The statue] is 8 feet tall with an even larger wing span from one tip of the saint’s opened arms to the other, and its pedestal, a 5-foot-high tree trunk.
. . . the statue stands at the southwest corner of the Catholic church and school, its open arms symbolically embracing the parking lot where parents drop off their kids for school and people park for Sunday services.
Said a proud Peery: “I can’t believe how beautiful it is over there. It’s finally got a home after 13 years.”
He [Peery] figures he invested 1,600 hours in the project, cutting 16 miles of quarter-inch steel rod into pieces that formed St. Francis’ frame, gown, head and hands.