Loading
Presidential Visit
President Bush gives Pope walking stick made by former homeless man

.- Pope Benedict XVI welcomed President George Bush June 9 for his first visit with the new pontiff at the Vatican. As is customary, the Pope was presented with a gift. Bush chose to give the Pope a hand-carved walking stick from Dallas resident Roosevelt Wilkerson, a ninth-grade dropout who was homeless until a few years ago.

The five-foot-sticks are unique in that they are inscribed with the Ten Commandments.

While his walking sticks have been shipped to people all over the U.S., he was not expecting one to arrive in the hands of the Pope. Bush, who owns two of the sticks, gave one to the Pope.

"I'm just dumbfounded. It's a big honor for me," Wilkerson told The Dallas Morning News. "God does things in mysterious ways."

Reporters covering the meeting heard Bush describe the stick as "a piece of art by a former homeless man from Texas ... Dallas."

"The Ten Commandments?" the Pope asked.

"The Ten Commandments, yes, sir," the president replied.

Wilkerson, 62, has been carving all his life but only began inscribing the Ten Commandments on the ash and cedar walking sticks about 15 years ago.

He collects wood for his sticks from the Trinity River banks in southern Dallas. He shears off the bark with a paring knife, and then sands the wood to a smooth surface. Next, he painstakingly carves the letters of the Ten Commandments, in block style, using a six-inch carving tool that resembles a screwdriver.

The first five Commandments are carved lengthwise around the top of the stick. The second five are carved on the bottom half. He paints the letters red, black or green, but the stick remains a natural off-white color.

"God gave me this gift," said Wilkerson, who attends St. Paul United Methodist Church in Dallas.

"I'm in my own little world," he said of the time spent carving in his one-room apartment. "I'm just meditating. I'm kind of a hermit."

He can make about two walking sticks a day and derives his only income from the sale of his sticks.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Gospel
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: