Thousands of people will be on hand next Sunday (September 27), as Pope Francis celebrates mass on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. Millions more will watch around the globe.
They’ll admire the crucifix — the centerpiece of the backdrop, hanging on the reredos wall. They may know it was specially designed for the mass.
But they won’t know — unless they read it here — that the crucifix has a Westport connection.
Larry Hoy was commissioned to create the papal crucifix. He’s a longtime local resident — and a veteran of other pope visits.
Hoy made furnishings for Popes John Paul II in Central Park, and Benedict XVI at Ground Zero and Yankee Stadium.
His design this time is in keeping with Pope Francis’ austere aesthetics. It’s constructed of composition gold-leafed wood, rather than the usual real gold leaf.
“Normally we’d use real gold,” Hoy says. “But we were instructed to use the composition gold, which is not a precious metal.”
The cross also has a corpus that was donated by a closed Philadelphia parish church.
“In soccer, 3 goals is called a hat trick,” says Hoy, whose son Dylan played 2 years at Staples and now stars at Wesleyan University.
“The pope’s hat is called a miter. So I guess I have a miter trick.”