Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mary on the Move

Memories, like fleeting birds, take wing.  The task: to retrieve and hold in heart-hands.

The walls of Notre Dame Academy as well as the campus are graced with many statues of Mary.
One in particular is especially dear to this blogger although it stands almost in obscurity.  How like Mary in her lifetime!   You’re wondering where this statue is, perhaps.  If you have occasion to come into the door at the far eastern end of the building, you will see it almost tucked in the left corner next to the staircase.  Its colors seem a little faded, although her facial coloring is strong.   Even the photograph reveals the age of the statue—over 110 years.  Typical of the period in which the statue was created, Mary looks like a northern European with her fair hair (actually, maybe a bit British) instead of a young Jewish woman.  Come to think of it, blogger doesn’t recall ever seeing a statue of a Jewish Mary.

Next you might wonder why blogger seems to think this statue special in any way.  Early photos of the 1901 chapel on the former 5th Street campus show this statue of Mary to the right of the main altar with a statue of the Sacred Heart to the left where one would expect to see Mary.  Perhaps it was during the renovations of the chapel in 1939 that the Sacred Heart statue got its own pedestal at the left end of the sanctuary and a different statue of Mary in the usual spot to the left of the main altar.  (Confusing, no?)

We think that the original chapel statue was then placed on the second floor in the hallway at the west end of the school building near the bookstore.  (You know, it’s hard to think back 60+ years.)  When the academy moved to Hilton Drive the statue made its way to the far eastern end of the building, which takes us back to almost the beginning of this account.   Mary with us all the way!