The sculpture dedication was “symbolic,” according to Jon Labbe, president of Mercy Health Foundation.
“When you think about faith-based health care, a lot of times there are symbols that are around us that we either consciously or subconsciously see and remind us of something,” Labbe said. “When I think of this sculpture, I think of where giving and the support of our community is in relation to what we do as a ministry.”
When McAuley brought together a few of her friends and was encouraged to start the Sisters of Mercy, they wanted to bring care to the community, he said.
The sculpture will serve as a reminder of Mercy Health’s roots and those it serves in the community “in a very humble way,” Labbe said.
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The idea of putting a sculpture up outside the hospital following last year’s renovations came up because Mercy Health officials “really liked” the sculpture by Nelson outside of Mercy Health-West Hospital on Cincinnati’s West Side, according to Tom Urban, market leader and president of Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital.
“Health care was really my life,” said Nelson, a sculptor for the past 40 years. “I worked for a veterans hospital for 32 years so I really liked the idea of working in this kind of nurturing environment and they’ve been great to work with.”
Following the blessing/dedication, attendees got to chisel a piece from the pedestal, and Nelson transformed it into a personal keepsake.
“This is his way of wanting us to have this piece of sacred art be a part of our history,” said Mercy Health spokeswoman Nanette Bentley.
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