Our Lady of Grace church in Wakefield is now home to one of the a landmark statue of the Blessed Mother holding her Child that once graced the grounds of the former Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center.
When Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, on E. 233rd Street, was sold to Montefiore Hospital, the fate of the statue, which is 12 feet tall and made of bronze, was up in the air. The Archdiocese of New York subsequently moved it to Our Lady of Grace church in August, after being removed from in front of the hospital in July.
Now the statue, which was created by Sr. Angelica Ballan of the Sisters Disciples of the Divine Master in Rome in 1984, has found a home in front of the church at 3985 Bronxdale Avenue, where it will grace the entrance welcoming parishioners for many years to come.
“The statue is a symbol of faith and really a landmark in the Bronx because it was in front of Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center since 1988,” said Fr. Levelt Germain, pastor of Our Lady of Grace. “It is a very contemporary statue of Our Blessed Mother holding the Child Jesus and placing him forward as an offering to the world. Many people who are Catholic or non-Catholic are familiar with this symbol.”
Germain said that he and the rest of the parish want to publicize the fact that the statue is still in the Bronx, and that the faithful from all over the borough are able to come to the church to see it when they need a boost of faith.
The powerful work of art was created by Sr. Ballan whose order works with the sick all over the world.
A re-dedication ceremony will take place in the church on Sunday, December 7 at 2:30 p.m. with the main celebrant the Most Reverend Bishop Dennis Sullivan, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of New York. Many priests in the Northeast Bronx Vicariate will celebrate the mass.
Clergy and members of the different parishes of the North East Bronx Vicariate will attend the mass, which will also be celebrated by priests from all over the area.