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Called to Create | Unleashed

November 19, 2021

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May Dudek makes beautiful sculptures that she hopes will draw people closer today God. She doesn’t see her work simply as the result of her own abilities, but rather as a gift from God led by the Holy Spirit. “Almost every day I get a confirmation that that is his path for me. It’s the Holy Spirit leading, it’s him giving the ideas and the guidance and the how-to,” she shares.

As Marker 4.3 of the Unleash The Gospel Pastoral Letter states, “Christ’s disciples were never meant to carry out her divine mandate to evangelize on the basis of human resources alone. Christ has endowed his bride with an abundance of supernatural charisms, gifts of the Holy Spirit that equip every member of the body of Christ to do his or her part in bearing witness to Christ and building up the Church.”


I get the most confirmation as an artist that something’s from God, when it feels separate from me, it feels kinda like you discovered a buried treasure in a field or in a cave. And it’s like, yeah, I didn’t, you know, make it, it didn’t come from my head, but I found it. And then it becomes my responsibility, but mostly my privilege to be able to share that treasure with other people.

My name is Mary Dudeck and I’m a sculptor. I live and work in Metro Detroit and I make sacred art.

Being a sacred artist, it really is my job to glorify God and my goal, really, to bring something that’s beautiful for anyone to see for Catholics or Christians and non-Christians to see it and be able to see God. If it’s beautiful, then it represents something that is true, something that is good, something that is holy and, and who is good but God alone? What led me to be an artist was the holy spirit. He put it strongly in my heart where to go to school. And what kind of career path to pursue kind of have the mindset of, well, I love my faith and I love art. So I’m going to combine those two together. The lord started showing me how that could happen basically. Started getting bigger commissions.

I seek and I desire for the holy spirit to guide and inspire the whole process, really. So I was praying about it and I got the idea, okay, should be looking up, and the phrase “Father into your hands, I commit my spirit” is what came to mind. And then when I was working on the designs, I was showing them to Father Tim who was pastor at the time. He was drawn to the one where he was looking up. And, uh, yeah, and he said like, “that’s the one, he was united to the father”. And it was this wonderful confirmation that the holy spirit was guiding it, that he was inspiring it. And he was putting us on the same page. When it went up and was set in place, it was the first time we had seen it all come together. At that point. It’s all, it’s a lot of planning. It’s a lot of prayer. It’s a lot of prep. It’s a lot of drawings. Then what’s finally set in place and you see it come together. It feels like, wow. Yeah, God’s hand was on this process the entire time.

Right now I’m working on a statue of Saint Michael. It’s a little different than typical Michael depictions. It’s, this is after the battle. So the devil is not part of this piece. He’s been thrown down, the battle’s over. And that’s really the message of salvation is that the battle against sin and death has been completely won. Jesus Christ has won that victory. And so that whole message really is embodied in this figure of St. Michael. The statue, as well as the other projects I work on, sculpted in oil clay, which is a type of clay that never dries out. So I could work on that for several months and bring it to a very high level of detail or get models to come in because it’s the best way to work. When you’re depicting the human body, you’re depicting not just, uh, a shell. We know that the soul and the body are one that they’re united. And God’s gifted humanity, gifts artists with imagination. But that imagination combined with the study of the objective truth of that model is a way to achieve the best results. It’s hard to say, okay, God is leading me and he’s calling me to this. But every day almost I get a confirmation that that is his path for me. It’s the holy spirit leading, it’s him giving the ideas and the guidance and the how to.

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