Thanks in part to the Knights of Columbus in Melfort, Saskatchewan, visitors to a local cemetery now have a peaceful outdoor venue to sit, meditate, and pray for their dearly departed.
Pope John XXIII Council 5788 helped fund a meditation garden for Mount Pleasant Cemetery that features a statue of an angel constructed by local artist Rob Jung along with two stone benches.
The attractive meditation garden “offers a quiet place to meditate and visit with loved ones who have passed away,” said GK Ronald Holaday. The bench directly opposite the angel sculpture bears the emblem of the Knights of Columbus in recognition of the council’s gift.
The drive for the meditation garden was spearheaded by Communities in Bloom, a local Melfort chapter of a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility through community involvement and competition for beautifying public spaces. The Knights contributed $5,000, joining other local groups and individuals in supporting the $30,000 project.
Jung, who used his own daughter as a model for the welded-metal angel sculpture, had been inspired with the idea for such a sculpture by the grieving of friends who had suffered the loss of a child. When he was approached to produce a piece for the meditation garden, his idea was a natural fit. He calls the sculpture “Weeping Willow.”
Jung also was mindful of the tragic bus accident of April 2018 involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team, which was traveling to a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League semifinals match when it collided with a semi, killing 16 on the bus including 10 of the young (under-20) players and seriously injured 13 other players. That happened in Armley, just 40 miles from Melfort.
The angel, weeping and seated on a metal bench of her own, “is made totally of welding rods and wire, beautiful to look at,” Holaday said. “It is life-size and a wonder to behold.”
And the meditation garden is having its desired effect in the midst of the cemetery, he noted.
“Many people who sit and gaze on the splendor are moved to tears,” Holaday said. “It’s a beautiful vision while you sit and have memories of your loved ones.
“Our council was proud to support this project,” he added.
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