September 20, 2013

Archbishop rededicates Marian shrine at St. Augustine Parish in Leopold

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin proclaims a prayer at the rededication of the newly completed Marian grotto at St. Augustine Parish in Perry County on Sept. 7.	(Photo by Patricia Happel Cornwell)

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin proclaims a prayer at the rededication of the newly completed Marian grotto at St. Augustine Parish in Perry County on Sept. 7. (Photo by Patricia Happel Cornwell)

By Patricia Happel Cornwell

LEOPOLD—Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin traveled to Perry County in southern Indiana on Sept. 7 to rededicate an outdoor statue of Our Lady of Consolation at St. Augustine Parish in Leopold.

The Blessed Mother’s title of “Our Lady of Consolation” is more than a name to the 157 families at St. Augustine Parish.

During the Civil War, three parishioners fighting for the North were imprisoned at the Confederacy’s notorious Andersonville Prison in Georgia. Henry Devillez, Isidore Naviaux and Lambert Rogier vowed that if they survived, one of them would make a pilgrimage to their homeland of Luxembourg and have a replica made of the statue of Our Lady of Consolation that stood in their ancestral church.

In 1867, Rogier made the transatlantic voyage, returning with components that would become the small, elaborate statue that stands today to the left of the main altar inside St. Augustine Church.

The statue depicts Mary holding Jesus as a child. Each figure wears a jeweled crown, a white fabric garment and a blue cape. Mary holds a scepter symbolizing her queenship. A silver heart is suspended from one arm, and a key indicates her access to the treasury of grace. The child Jesus holds an orb and cross representing his redemption of the world.

In 1960, a larger statue of Our Lady of Consolation was erected outdoors. Last year, as part of the celebration of the parish’s 175th anniversary, parishioners undertook construction of a stone grotto to protect the marble figure of Mary. A stone patio was laid in front of the grotto, and the surrounding area was landscaped with flowers.

Prior to the rededication of the statue and shrine, Father Brian Esarey, pastor, and Benedictine Father Barnabas Gillespie, a former pastor, concelebrated Mass with Archbishop Tobin.

The archbishop told the congregation, “It’s humbling to come to one of the oldest churches in the state of Indiana.”

During his homily, Archbishop Tobin said, “There are two things we absolutely have to know about God. First, there is one.

“Second, it’s not me. Be who you are, not more, not less. Jesus came so we can learn who we really are. We love each other, not as statistics, but as we really are.

“In the Gospel,” Archbishop Tobin continued, “Jesus recommends ‘hatred’ of father, mother, wife, husband, even your very own life. But didn’t Jesus command us to love? What Luke is writing about here is the total dedication Jesus asks of his disciples. Not even family obligations can deter us from doing God’s work. The first priority is ‘follow me.’ ”

Music for the liturgy was provided by the St. Augustine choir, cantors Linda Gengelbach and Tammy Saalman, organists Nelda Waninger and Martha Bashor, and guitarist Bob Thomas. Garth Steckler and Bernie Overstreet were lectors.
 

(Patricia Happel Cornwell is a freelance writer and a member of St. Joseph Parish in Corydon.)

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!