Fr. Ralph Dedicates “Christ the Teacher” Statue


Brady Cook and Andrew Donahue

McBRIDE GREEN—Last Friday, teachers and students looked on as Father Ralph performed a dedication ceremony to honor the addition of a new statue, “Christ the Teacher,” to Chaminade’s campus.

“Christ the Teacher” symbolizes Jesus Christ watching over our campus, as we believe that he is our first teacher, and the figure after whom our teachers model their practice.  The statue was donated to Chaminade by Mr. Joseph Nettemeyer of the McBride Class of 1969, who wanted to express his gratitude by honoring the teachers who made his life possible.  To return that honor, Chaminade has named the newly renovated quad as the McBride Green.

Mr. Nettemeyer is friends with Joseph Aspell, the artist who designed the statue.  Mr. Aspell took inspiration from the story of Isaiah, and sees Jesus as a great teacher spreading messages through the Gospels.  Father Ralph Siefert said of the gift, “I think the statue makes a clear statement about the very heart of the education that we try to create at Chaminade.”

Construction began towards the spring of 2019 on the site of the new statue, and many students watched the progress of the statue as the summer went on, eagerly waiting to see the final product. Midway through the second week of school, the statue was finally finished. The statue stands in front of our chapel, and adds to the already polished and college-style look of Chaminade’s campus.

During the dedication ceremony, Father Ralph spoke some words about the meaning and importance of the statue, prayed with the school, and then anointed the new figure. It is safe to say this piece of art will be the face of Chaminade’s campus for years to come, and therefore it is such a special moment for the school. It will be the first thing incoming freshman see as they drive onto campus, and it will be the thing alumni remember forever.

The final product of the statue and the surrounding stone walk have been met with positive responses.  Following the ceremony, I caught up with a few Chaminade students to hear about their initial reaction. When asked about his thoughts on the statue, senior Jack Meyer said, “It’s good to see our school adding more statues of holy figures on our campus, it really gives the school a good look.”  Junior Andrew Vitale had a different perspective.  “It’s pointless,” Meatball complained.  “The space in front of the school could have been used for much better things, including the dorms.”  This opinion is not shared by many on campus.