.- Mexican artist Pedro Francisco Rodríguez is asking for the public’s help in making a larger-than-life sculpture of Pope Francis to commemorate his historic visit to Mexico next month.
How can the general population help? By donating millions of scraps of bronze, including old keys.
Fr. Hesiquio Trevizo, spokesman for the Diocese of Ciudad Juarez, said at a recent press conference that people can donate their scraps at ten stations located in public areas throughout the city, such as malls.
Any bronze still needed for the project will be donated by local businesses.
Rodríguez began work on the 16-foot statue in December and said he hopes to have it ready in April, just a few months after the Holy Father’s Feb. 12-18 visit. The sculptor described how the statue will depict a smiling Pope Francis releasing a white dove into flight.
Fr. Trevizo said that plans for the statue's location have not been finalized, but they will be looking for a place where all the faithful and pilgrims can see and appreciate it.
The Holy Father’s visit will include the celebration of Mass at the border city of Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas. The Mass at the Mexico-U.S. border is expected to draw thousands of pilgrims from both countries.
Other highlights of the Pope’s trip to the country include the veneration of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mass with the indigenous community of Chiapas, and a visit to a prison in Ciudad Juarez.