|Bishop Noll speaking at the dedication |
ceremony for the statue in April 1949.
The campaign began in 1936, when a reader, Marjorie Russell of Topeka, Kan., sent Bishop Noll a
note suggesting that OSV begin a drive to erect a statue of Christ in Washington. She included a dollar bill, which was to count as the first donation. Russell pointed out that since Washington had statues of many famous people, one should be there to represent the greatest person who had ever walked the planet.
The idea appealed to Bishop Noll, who published the letter in the newspaper. The idea clearly caught on with OSV readers. Soon, donations for the project totaled more than $150,000.
Bishop Noll later arranged for the 17-foot bronze statue, created by University of Notre Dame art professor Eugene Kormendi, to be placed outside the National Catholic Welfare Conference headquarters. Bishop Noll presented the statue to the conference, and was present at its 1949 dedication. It was later moved to its current home in front of the USCCB offices.
Click here to see more recent images of it.