• Kiryu, Gunma


I read Alice Gordenker’s Sept. 17 “So, what the heck is that?” column regarding the statue of the Franciscan priest on the premises of the Shinjuku Sumitomo Building in Tokyo. I have often wondered about that statue (titled “Dialogue” by the late sculptor Naoki Tominaga), but never pursued the matter. I had thought it represented St. Francis of Assisi, but Gordenker’s article set the record straight. Thank you so much for this research for which many of us are very grateful.

If I may add some information, the Franciscan priest (whom Tominaga met) in Nagasaki before the statue was made (1970) was a Father Nakata, now deceased, and the priest who was the model for the statue was Fr. Carissimo Londero, OFM, who is now stationed in Hokkaido. I telephoned him to verify this, and he said he was in Tokyo at the time when asked to be the model.

By the way, on the day that Gordenker’s column appeared, we Franciscans throughout the world were celebrating the feast of the Stigmata of Saint Francis!

fr. stan widomski, ofm