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Missionary statue to enrich prayer lives in Storm Lake

By RENEE WEBB, Globe senior reporter
(Email Renee)

STORM LAKE – A missionary statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe will soon be traveling from home to home at St. Mary’s Parish.

Dawn Prosser, development director at St. Mary’s Church in Storm Lake, explained how the project will work. She said parishioners can go to the parish office to sign up to have the two-foot statue in their home for a week at a time. The statue will be picked up at church.

“At Mass, they will receive a special blessing and the statue from the presider,” she said.

Given that Mary is the patroness of the parish and Our Lady of Guadalupe is patroness of the Diocese of Sioux City and the Americas, Prosser said, “It is very fitting that we do have a program to promote prayer honoring Our Lady.”

So far 25 families have signed up and that means the statue has been reserved through May.

“We want to keep rotating it as long as we can,” said Prosser, who noted they would actually like to keep it going perpetually.

Father David Esquiliano, parochial vicar, had gotten the idea by seeing the Knights of Columbus do something similar with parishes.

“We hope to see an increased devotion to Our Blessed Mother which ultimately leads us to Jesus,” he said.
Father Esquiliano said they want families to receive graces from the Lord. He added, “In times when the family institution is being attacked in the world, we want to see families pray together.”

Graciela Vrieze and her husband, Terry, signed up to host the statue in their home in early March.

“I’d like to have the virgin in my house. I’d like to believe that it helps us, blesses our family,” she said.

They plan to recite the rosary as a family as a way to offer thanksgiving for all of their blessings.

Donna Holmes pointed out that when her husband was alive they used to go to Arizona for the winter and they had a statue Blessed Virgin Mary that was passed from home to home.

“People would come and say the rosary or prayers,” she noted. “I always thought that was so nice and I always thought that was what I wanted to do here in Storm Lake but I was never outgoing enough.”

When she saw in the church bulletin that this was starting up, Holmes said she knew she wanted to be part of it and that’s why she signed up.

“I’m a widow, so I will probably invite some of my friends over to pray,” said Holmes, who noted the statue is scheduled to come to her house around Easter.

Prosser said the rosary and other Marian prayers are encouraged.

“People can place candles around the statue if they like, put it in a special place in their home where it can be seen,” she said. “It’s a great learning tool to introduce children to the rosary if you haven’t already.”

While many families have signed up, Prosser said several single parishioners have signed up and one local nursing home has even expressed interest in participating.

Father Tim Friedrichsen, pastor, said, “I hope this gives families a chance to develop a sense of prayer and devotion. This is so important for the ‘household church.’”

The parish has promoted this missionary statue program through its Facebook page.

To sign up or for more information, St. Mary parishioners can contact the parish office at (712) 732-3110 or parish@stormlakecatholic.com.

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