Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee
Our society seems to be engulfed in chaos and uncertainty. Many do not want to turn on the television and constantly hear the news that world, and domestic peace that we have enjoyed for so long, is now threatened. Where do we go for a sense of peace? Where is the oasis that brings refreshment to the dryness of the world?
On Tuesday, August 17, at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, we dedicated a nine-foot bronze statue of “Mary Mother of the Church.” We did this for a multitude of reasons, but mostly, to affirm our dedication to profess God’s presence in our world, and our willingness to be instruments of His plan. What better figure of the willingness to be an instrument of God’s plan than the Blessed Virgin Mary, who when Gabriel announced that she would be the mother of God’s Son amidst uncertainty and bewilderment stated, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy will.”
The statue is a creation of a priest-artist, Reverend Anthony Brankin, and depicts Mary holding in her one arm the child Jesus, and in the other the tower of our Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. The beautiful face of Mary has a pondering look and she seems to be extending these two gifts to us. Her son Jesus, who through the Father’s plan brings salvation to the world through the incarnation, and the Church instituted by Jesus Christ to continue His presence in the world -- the sign of mankind’s salvation. The question in my meditation seems that Mary offers these gifts to us and in wonderment ponders what will we do with them. She herself is an example of what it means to be totally and completely dedicated to God, especially during times of difficulty and challenge. We pray that she will intercede for us before her Son, to assist us in fulfilling our responsibility as witnesses of Christ to the world.
Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is dedicated to the memory of St. Pope Paul the VI who at the close of the Second Vatican Council dedicated the work of the Council, and the entire Church, to the care and protection of Mary Mother of the Church.
The statue has a beautiful plaza, which offers an ability to meditate and bring concerns to our Lady, as well as offering an oasis of peace, declaring our confidence in God and our trust in His word. “Be it done to me according to thy will.”
I invite you, my LOA readers, to take a drive through the entrance of the Pastoral Center and view the statue, which is situated at the end of the drive. I also invite you to create your own assessment of Mary and meditate on her last words recorded in St. John’s Gospel: “Do whatever he (Jesus) tells you.” Of course, we know that Jesus tells us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Note: This blog originally appeared as the August 24, 2021 "Love One Another" email sent to Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki. If you are interested in signing up for these email messages, please click here.