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the MaryKnoll Sisters

Cast Sculptures


                                                                      Family Unity

Sculpture & Writing Created By:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.

                                                                                                 (Color shown is Beige)

    Why was there such an enduring unity and peace in the family portrayed here, despite all the circumstances that are so often the cause of anquish, irritation, distress and sorrow? They were forced from their home when home seemed the greatest need because of the coming of a first new member in the family.  There was no room in the Inn.  They went outinto the night to seek shelter and found it with the animals in a stable-cave, where at midnight birth was given to the greatest Man ever born. Luke 2:7.  They were persecuted and had to leave their homeland and flee in the night to a foreign country, because a king sought the life of the Child - the Child that was known to be a King. Matt: 2:2. They were in exile until word came of the death of those who sought to kill the Child.  There were prophesies regarding sorrows that were yet to come - and yet their family peace and joy were never lost and their bands of unity became even stronger.

This sculpture expresses not only their family closeness, their calm serenity and peace that is no tof this world, but a gift from on high, for to both Mary and Joseph the encouraging word of the angel was, "Do not fear!"      


This statue was modeled in clay and cast in stone in 1966 





                                                       God With Us

Sculpture & Writing Created by:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.

                                                                         (Color shown is skin tone)


At the dawn of Christmas day the newly born Light of the World rests in the warmth of Mary's arms. A newlight has dawned upon us.  Mankind's prayer," O that you would rend the heavens and come down" has been fulfilled.  Christ, the Light of Life is with us. 

    In the book of Daniel there is a foretelling of His coming.  In Daniel's account of his experience in a dream he says in part: "Next I saw the arrival of a Man - or, so he seemed to be - brought there on clouds from heaven, he approached

the Ancient of Days and was presented to him. He was given the ruling power and glory over all the nations of the world, so that all people of every language must obey him.  His power is eternal - it will never end; his government shall never fall."  Daniel 7:13.

     This we know is true, for at the time of His Ascension into HeavenHe told His desciples,

"I have been given all authority in Heaven and earth, therfore go and make disciples in all nations..and be sure of this - that I am with you always, even to the end

of the world.  Matt. 28:18.


This statue was modeled in clay and cast in stone 1961.





                                                         Behold Thy Son

                                                           Original - Clay                                                                                                                                                          1947  

                                                Sculpture & Writing Created by

                                                   Sr. Marie Pierre Semler M.M.

                                                     (color shown is skin tone)


wrap text       This sculpture is a detail of the crucifix depicting Christ as out Elder Brother who purchasing our redemption and uniting us to Himself restores us to our Father and gives us to His Mother. He presented mankind to His Mother from the cross.  Looking upon her He said: “Woman, behold thy son.” To John, as our representative, He said: “behold thy Mother.” When she looks upon Him she must also see us, who now share in His inheritance, and looking upon us she must also see her First Born Son. He has knit mankind as closely to himself that the same Life Blood flows through all His members, and the five wounds which we have given Him speak of us, who are still in the world, to all who Behold Him in Heaven.

                     "Whosoever shall do the will

                    of my Father, that is in heaven,

                        he is my brother, and sister

and mother."  Matt. 12:50




                                                   Born Homeless

Sculpture & Writing Created by:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M

       (Color shown is white)

     When Life left His home in Heaven to bring joy and peace

to earth, He became a pilgrim without a place in which to be born.  Mary and Joseph found their wa to a stable

and cave where in the midst of the night He was born and homage paid:


                               Every creature by you made

                               on your birthday homage paid:

                               angels lent yu hymn of praise,

                                heaven the star with silver rays,

                                wise men incense, myrh and gold.

                                 Shepherds wonder manifold,

                                 beasts the manger, earth the cave;

                                 we the Virgin Mother gave.


Born so that mankind could find a way home.







sculpture & Writing Created By:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler M.M.

                                                                (Color shown is "painted")

“All you who pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow

  like to my sorrow.” Lam 1:12

  In this “Pieta” bust, the face of  the Mother portrays a sorrow that is


  A restraint that speaks of a foreknowledge of the grief that would flood

  her soul on Calvary.

  She knew why God chose one of the children of men as His own Mother. 

  She knew of our sin, our weakness and our need of a Prince of Peace

  She accepted the cross when she said: “ Be it done unto me

   according to your word.”









                                                         Alpha and Omega

                       Sculpture & Writing Created by:

                       Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.

                                                                                  (Color shown is biege)

                                                       Original - clay 1951

                                                “God so loved the world as to

                                                  give His only begotten Son.”

                                                                  John 3:16


              The hand of Our Father rests upon the world and in the open palm is the image of His crucified Son bearing upon His shoulders, as a slave, the burden of the whole world.

              Our Father, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end of all things, in whose hand are all the ends of the earth, has loved us with an everlasting love.  We, who in pride had sinned against Him, losing paradise forever, received from Him His only begotten Son as the price of our ransom.

              Reassuring messages of our ransom and His love came to us through the prophetical writings: “For the wickedness of my people have I struck Him”, and “The Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all.”  “The chastisement of our peace was upon him.” “He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows.”Isa. 53: 8,6,5,4.  “ I carried them in my arms and they knew not that I healed them.”Isa. 11:3 “ I have made you and I will bear, I will carry and I will save.”  Isa. 46:4.

              Christ shortly before His crucifixion assured us of His love in union with the Father: “As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you.  Abide in my love.”  John 15:9. “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30.  At another time, speaking to one who loved Him, He said:”Blessed art thou...because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.” Matt.16:17.  He prayed:”That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world...may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me...before the creation of the world. “ John 17:21,23,24.

                                                        “Thy hands have made me

                                                        and have formed me; give

                                                        me understanding.”

                                                                      Psa. 118:73

                                                        “Let thy tender mercies

                                                        come unto me, and I

                                                        shall live.”    Psa. 118:77





Life Aborn

Sculpture & Writing Created by:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler M.M.

(Color shown is beige)

Modeled in clay and cast in stone 





              Expressed in the figures of Mary and Joseph can be found a clue as to the true identity of this Infant, looking at us from His snug wrappings.  He is Life Itself aborn in our midst, He who is the creator will grow up into the Man - God.  He is attended with reverence, wonder a bit of awe, and loving care.  It is He who will renew Life within us by His own death.  Permitting us to know Him better through His coming, as being the Way, the Truth and the Life for all earth dwellers.








Father Holy Joseph

(Color shown is red)

Sculpture & Writing Created by:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.



                  “The blessings of your father are strengthened with the blessings of his fathers:  until the desire of the everlasting hills should come; may they be upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the Nazarites among his brethren.” Genesis 49:26.


              Resting upon the shoulder of Joseph is the Desire of the Everlasting Hills.  In His little hand we see a toy star.  In the great vault of the heavens there is at this time a new radiance, attracted, as it were, by the invisible splendor hidden in the poverty of a stable in Bethlehem, and proclaiming to Wise Men the birth of the promised King.  The came saying, “We have seen his star in the east, and have come to adore him.”  Matt. 2:2.

      What truths must have filled the heart of this “just man”, Joseph, who kept the law of his God and knew the prophesies concerning this Child for whom he was appointed “Father”.  What fears and what joys, what divine light and love must have flooded his soul in having this precious burden placed upon his shoulders.  What a sublime honor to be chosen the bridegroom of Mary, the chosen Mother of God.  “The bridegroom shall rejoice over the bride.  And thy God shall rejoice over thee.”

              “Because thou hast loved chastity, the hand of the Lord hath strengthened thee.”  Judith 15:11.  If the content of this text is true of Judith, how much more so of this comely young man, Joseph, whose love and cause of chastity rests in his immaculate young bride.   That Joseph was young and of a comely countenance is suggested in the description in Genesis of that other Joseph, in Egypt, who prefigures Joseph of Galilee.

              Joseph is a tender and loving father, truly worthy of that name.  He is a guide, a protector, and a provider, walking in the “footsteps” of the almighty and merciful Father of mankind.  He has known sorrow and is blest with peace; for he is the chosen father of the Prince of Peace, the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and he possesses that great truth which Christ taught later to His disciples: “Without me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5.








Lord of Life

Sculpture & Writing Created by:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.

(Color shown is beige)


Written by Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.

This was her first attempt at sculpture




              In portraying Christ as the Lord of Life, two events were chosen, expressing and revealing to all, the greatness of His love and power.  The posture and pierced side tell us of love unto death upon a cross.  He taught that there was no greater love shown by man than to lay down ones’ life for ones friends.  He did this very thing but included His enemies and every nation on earth, giving each individual the power to win an everlasting life of glory with Him.

              The other event is depicted by the clothed figure, the loaf and the fish in His outstretched hands offering food to over 5,000 hungry people by the miracle of multiplication.  This was to prepare his followers for a yet greater miracle in His power to perform, that of changing bread and wine into His own Body and Blood without changing its appearance so that all mankind might be one with Him in the closest union possible in spirit and through faith.

              The wheat sheaf, the world and the flowing waters all contribute their symbolism in unity with the central theme of the completeness and abundance of Christs giving in and through His Mystical Body.

              “We being many are One Bread.”  “ He that thirsts, let him come, and he that will let him take the water of life freely.”





Chosen Poverty

Sculpture & Writing Created by:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.

(Color shown is skin tone)

                                                     Original – Clay 1959

                                                           Stone – 1973


              He who owns Heaven and earth came to live in our midst in poverty.  He chose to be born to parents who circumstances rendered homeless.  In this representation, He shares the only shelter that Mary and Joseph had to offer – their garments.  Emphasis has been given to this in the structure of their cloaks.


              From Isaiah we receive the titles of the Holy One who is to come:  He will be called the Prince Of Peace which tells us one reason why He chose to be born in the poverty of a stable cave – where could He have found greater peace”  Herod lived in a palace and when word came to him of a newly born King, he had no peace and planned death for the newly born Prince of Peace.

  Figures are of cast stone and are mounted on wood. 


© mksisters




                                               Eternal Charity   

Sculpture & Writing Created By:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.       

                                                             (Color shown is white)


             This sculpture was make by Sr. Marie Pierre as a paper weight.  The scription

is "Light Was Born", "Light Was Made", Light was sent. 








                 The Blindfolded Christ

                        Sculpture & Writing Created by:

                      Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.

                         Color shown is white)


                                                            Detail modeled

                                                         Clay & stone 1975


During the long night before the day of His crucifixion dawned, agony upon agony tortured the human body of the Man - God.  Also there was mockery, ridicule, contempt and desersion.  "They blindfolded him and hit him with their fists and asked, 'Who hit you that time, prophet'" Luke 22:63.  (Living Bible)  He knew who struck Him for He created them.  "He who formed the eye, shall he not see?" Psa. 93.He saw far beyond that, He saw that they did not know what they were doing.  "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."


This head of Christ is a detail from a standing 7-5/8" figure in the round, modeled in clay in preparation for the making of a large wood sculpture.  The wood carving which was to be in black walnut was never completed because of the necessity of moving to another section of the house which could not accommodate the wood carving and inlay wood department.








Mary Ascending

Sculpture & Writing Created by:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.

   (Color shown is blue)


              It is not known at what time Mary’s body was again united with her spirit after death and internment.  No one witnessed the rising of her body from the earth on its flight heavenward.  It may have been in the midst of multitudes of angels and other holy souls singing her praises.  Painters have pictured her so.

              In this sculpture it is supposed that in the quiet of the night, by the power of the Holy Spirit, her spirit is again permitted to give life to her body and she rises in natural simplicity in a glow of light wrapped and hidden in the night.








Sculpture & Writing Created by:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.

(Color shown is white)


                  In 1927 or 28, Father James Anthony Walsh came to Rosary House Art Department to consult with Sr. Marie Pierre about an offer made by a woman of the Catholic faith to pay whatever the cost of procuring a sculpture of Our Lady that would be named of" Our Lady of Maryknoll" –but only if the work be that of a Maryknoll Sister.  Would she, Sr. Marie Pierre do it? She replied that under the present circumstances she would not be the one to fulfill such a request, because never in her life had she so much as thought of working in sculpture.  Besides, her present work required all the time she had to give. Father was not discouraged.  His next request was: Could she give us the idea for it, even in a rough sketch?........the answer was yes.

                  The presence of" Our Lady of Maryknoll" would mean a blessing to the world and how would she bless us other than through her little Son?  A little son would look to his mother for encouragement or permission to bless the world. This is how Jesus did bless the world when he asked Mary to be His Mother.  Luke 1:26,27.

  So", Our Lady of Maryknol" l blesses the world, in unison with her Son, Jesus and encourages all others to do likewise.

                  The statue was modeled by Sydney Woolett of Boston and sculptured in Italy.

The following was written by Sr. Marie Pierre in 1984

                  Orb – A rounded mass. A sphere topped by a cross; used as a symbol of royal power.  As used in the sculpture of "Our Lady of Maryknol" l, the orb represents the world.  The cross signifies the triumph; our Savior’s power over the power of darkness in the world.

                  The infant Christ blesses the world because the purpose of His coming is to save it from the darkness of deceit.  In scripture the Man Christ tells us; “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

John 14:6 this relates to our Missions.  






Sculpture & Writing Created by:

Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M.


(Color shown is brow)



              Behind the cross of Chist are two crosses extending to the right, the crosses of the criminals crucified with Him, but they also represent the price we are asked to pay along with the saving gift given us.  It is the daily crosses to be borne throughout time.  They are significantly under the protecting arms of Christ and His strengthening blood flows upon them.


              “He opened the rock and waters flowed:  rivers ran down in the dry land"


                                                                       Ps. 104:41