By Hannah Golesh from Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Foxfield, Colorado
“The Hail Mary will take us to heaven.” These are the wise words spoken by St. Jeanne Jugan, foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor. As the years have gone by, residents of the Little Sisters of the Poor continue to view Mary as their mother and to seek her for comfort and guidance on their journey to her Divine Son.
In previous years, the Little Sisters of the Poor had a beautiful grotto outside which housed a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, giving the residents a place of sanctuary to offer their prayers to the Blessed Mother. Unfortunately, due to building renovations and outdoor paving over the years, the grotto had to be removed. Even though the shrine to the Blessed Mother was no longer there, however, the residents remained devoted to Our Blessed Mother, praying their fervent rosaries for all and for the needs of the world.
Recently, a most gracious gift and blessing has been bestowed upon the Little Sisters of the Poor as a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes has been donated in memory of Msgr. Harley Schmitt, a former chaplain and resident of the Little Sisters of the Poor. It’s been said by Msgr. William Jones, who succeeded Msgr. Schmitt as chaplain, that “The warmth in Msgr. Schmitt’s handshake reflected the love in his heart.” Msgr. Schmitt was known for greeting everyone with a welcoming handshake.
How fitting then, that a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes be given in memory of Msgr. Harley Schmitt, who was known for making everyone feel loved and welcomed! Now the residents of the Little Sisters of the Poor have a welcoming and peaceful sanctuary to pray to the Blessed Mother, as Msgr. Schmitt would have wanted. I’m sure that those who knew Msgr. Schmitt will smile as they are welcomed by the Blessed Mother, and will feel the warmth of Monsignor’s love as they offer their prayers.
The new statue of Our Lady of Lourdes stands near the northeast corner of the Home, by the old building which was erected in 1917. The statue is currently nested on a bed of rocks, with hopes that those rocks may one day rise to help form a grotto to enshrine the statue of Our Blessed Mother. We are grateful to the donor for his kindness, and for giving our residents a taste of heaven.
For more information on the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Lourdes, please visit the following website: http://www.catholic.org/clife/mary/lourdes1.php.