Our crucifix is an original work of art created by renowned sculptor Bruce Wolfe, who lives in the Bay Area. Bruce Wolfe’s career in sculpture spans forty years of receiving commissions to do busts and figurative portraits of many notable personalities. He studied art at San Jose State University and the Art Institute of San Francisco. He also studied with Bettina Steinke and Bruno Lucchesi. He is adept in both oils and clay and has taught figure painting as well as sculpture in several of his native Northern California art schools. Mr. Wolfe is a fellow in the National Sculpture Society and he just received an honorary Doctorate from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, California.
Mr. Wolfe has sculpted works for many other churches, including a life size Stations of the Cross.
Several sculptors were interviewed by the committee which was tasked with getting us a crucifix for the remodeled church, after the idea of purchasing a ready-made one was abandoned.
Mr. Wolfe submitted several drawings. They chose it for its beautiful lyricism and the deeply human lines it exhibits. It shows the Savior after death. His head bowed down. His body sagging. Lifeless. His fingers are curled over the nails which secure them to the wood of the cross.
Wolfe used three models for this sculpture. One was used for the face of Jesus. A second was used for the torso and a third was used for the legs of Jesus. It shows a muscular man, who probably worked with his hands. One cannot help but think a prayer when one looks at it.
One of the remarkable facets of this sculpture is that to look into the face of Jesus, one has to be standing at His feet. You cannot see his face from a distance. It forces you to get close to Christ. It makes the sacrifice real.
The sculpture is hollowed out bronze that weighs almost 2000 lbs. It is larger than life. It is secured by large metal tubes, in a negative space. The idea was to show Jesus hanging on a cross through which you would be able to see the world and the people he saved.
During Holy Week everyone is invited to go up to the crucifix to kiss the feet of the crucified Jesus. While doing this, you can say: “We adore you, O Christ and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.” Special graces are bestowed on people who do this especially on Good Friday.