Public Sculpture in Grand Rapids

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Most Rev. Frederick Baraga

Artist: Jay Hall Carpenter
Medium: Bronze
Provenance: One of a series of 25 bronze sculptures donated to the city by the Community Legends Project funded and endowed by Peter Secchia.
Location: Cathedral Square, Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, 301 Sheldon Blvd SE
Notes: Frederick Baraga was born in Slovenia in 1797 and became the first Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, now the Diocese of Marquette. He knew eight languages including Ottawa which helped him serve the Native American and immigrant communities in Ohio and Michigan as a missionary priest in the first half of the 19th century. In 1823, he published the first-ever book in Ottawa, one of the Algonquin languages. In 1833, he founded a mission on the west bank of the Grand River near the site of present-day St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Grand Rapids.

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