On Nov. 7, about 30 alumni and friends gathered in the stone courtyard outside Smith Labs, part of the new Integrated Science Complex. In the brisk shade of a clear autumn day, they gathered to honor Fr. Pedro Arrupe as the new bronze statue of the beloved and admired Superior General of the Society of Jesus was dedicated.
Fr. Arrupe’s connection to the sciences began when he trained to be a doctor in Madrid, Spain, before changing his career course to a life of service as a Jesuit. His early medical training, however, proved an invaluable gift in the hours, weeks, and months after the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Serving as the leader of the Jesuit novitiate just a few miles away from ground zero, Fr. Arrupe saw the blinding flash of light from the bomb, and without regard to himself, led his brothers in turning their home on a hill overlooking the devastated city into a hospital.
Though this was the defining moment in Fr. Arrupe’s life, he also guided the Jesuits through the sometimes difficult phase after Vatican II addressed the needs of the Church’s people in the modern world. At the statue dedication, Rev. John E. Brooks, S.J., president emeritus, spoke movingly about Fr. Arrupe’s deep love for people in need and ability to connect on a meaningful level with all around him. Senior Vice President Frank Vellaccio opened the morning dedication by introducing the sculptor, Brian Hanlon, who also created the Bob Cousy sculpture in front of the Hart Center.
Made possible by a generous gift from longtime Holy Cross supporter Stephen A. Lovelette ’78, the statue portrays Fr. Arrupe knelt in prayer, head bowed and slightly tilted, and hands placed serenely in his lap. In his blessing, Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J., president, asked for guidance and protection for all those who study and teach in the shadow of the statue and in the new Integrated Science Complex, scheduled to open fully early next year.
Stephen A. Lovelette ’78, accompanied by his wife, mother and several other family members, spoke passionately to the assembled group of his love for Mount St. James, his memories of being an excited new student on the Hill, and about how that excitement still finds him today, even as he drove up Linden Lane to attend the ceremony.
The most moving moments came when Lovelette spoke of his late father, Marshall, to whom he dedicated the gift of the Arrupe statue. He recalled, pausing with emotion, his commencement day in 1978, and looking into the stands where his father waved proudly with a rolled up program so his son could spot him in the crowd. The younger Lovelette then described his father as “a man who would never be a saint, but who did see a miracle in his lifetime — my graduation from Holy Cross.”
Following the statue dedication, invited guests gathered for a reception and luncheon in the Smith Labs atrium, where glass panel walls offer a view of the statue.