The Father Varela Memorial

The Mandorla

Installed: November 2014

Art Concept: Father Andrew More O’Connor

Architect: Hans Roegele

Sculptor: Chris Knight, SI Applied, Sheffield, UK

Framing: Christopher O’Connor

The almond-shaped sculpture is made of anodized aluminum. The base is fashioned from black granite from the lot used to build the September 11th Memorial.  The Mandorla is literally the Our Father prayer.

A plaque notes, “A symbol of political persecution and a beacon of religious freedom, the Mandorla is … a voice to those who suffer religious and political persecution.”

Father Varela was the founder of The Church of the Transfiguration and a tireless advocate for New York’s immigrant communities.

In its 200-year history, The Church of the Transfiguration has served Irish, Italian, Latino and now Chinese New Yorkers. The church is a city and national historic landmark.

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