William McElcheran converted to Catholicism in his early twenties, and like many converts, was attracted to the rich history and intellectualism of the Church. His work for the Church enabled him to explore work with universal themes that have been part of the foundation of Western Civilization. Later in his career he still drew on this humanistic practice as he explored the theme of man in modern day society.
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton ON
William McElcheran created a sculpture of St Leo who successfully protected the citizens of Rome from the warlord, Attila the Hun. In the year 452, Leo negotiated a treaty with him and saved Rome from being invaded. In this composition, McElcheran depicts the citizens, who depended on Leo and whose lives were saved due to Leo's expertise as a negotiator and peace maker.
McElcheran initially modelled his sculpture of St Leo in plaster. Later, in 2016, it was cast in bronze and placed on the campus of McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Canada.
Retreat and Training Centre
This work by William McElcheran depicts St Ignatius, who was born in Loyola, Spain in 1491, beatified in 1609 and canonized in 1622. He formed the Society of Jesus in 1539. St Ignatius inspires by his famous saying, "Go, set the world on fire."