Mother Mary and May – a letter from our provincial president

Dear friends,

When I was taking an art course in college, the professor taught us to look at a piece of art from every angle, and with new eyes to gather the fullness of the piece, either a painting or a sculpture. Each view affords one a deeper knowledge of and appreciation for the meaning of the work of art, he said.

Sr. Anita is asking the Sisters and Residents who live here to share their special statue for the May altar in the chapel so that there will be a different depiction of Mary each day. I look forward to this daily viewing, which will help me expand my love for Mary and my need to call on her in her many aspects.

My devotion to Mary has changed over the years, sometimes in line with episodes in my life. I first saw her as someone who knew Jesus well, cared for him as my parents cared for me; I attended Mother of Perpetual Help devotions with my family each week praying for members of our family who were ill.

During a retreat I was introduced to the sculpture, “Our Lady of Wisdom,” created by Marianist Brother Joe Aspell. I fell in love with it and especially during my years of leadership have often prayed to Mary for the wisdom I need for the day. It was in this segment of my journey that I called Mary my Sister. My mother and my sister, she having both qualities as she shared her wisdom with me. I felt stronger. Her arms reached out to me with all that she had to give, and she was smiling.

While shopping in a religious goods store in Hradec Kralove, I found the painting of Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. I learned the story and now I diligently pray to Our Lady with a knotted ribbon in my hands representing the various problems I would face in a day or week, asking her to untie the knots, especially the ones in my stomach, and to help solve issues that troubled me and us, our nation and world.

My Lenten prayer was often to Our Lady of Compassion to help comfort the mourning, the displaced, the dying, the incarcerated and the disregarded. She felt their emotions, having similar ones following her son in his teaching, preaching and dying.

What is your favorite image of Mary? How do you relate to her? How strong is she in your life? May reflection deepen your appreciation of her. Happy May!


Sr. Margaret Hickey, ND
Provincial President