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Virgin Mary statue now adorns new Catholic Charities building

This story originally appeared in The Jefferson City News Tribune. Read the full story online: News Tribune Website

 Joe Gamm Aug. 26 2021 @ 11:05pmstory.lead_photo.captionAn old wooden statue of the Virgin Mary, which used to be at the old St. Mary’s Hospital and most recently in storage, has been placed high on the exterior east wall of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, where she can keep a prayerful eye over workers (seen in background installing framework for solar panels) and those who visit the facility for whatever reason. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Something was missing.

The new home for Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, nearing completion at 1015 Edmonds St., needed something to identify it.

Administrators and board members of the nonprofit decided to search some of the artifacts in storage at St. Mary’s Hospital.

As soon as they laid eyes on the old wooden statue of the Virgin Mary, they knew it was what they needed, said Beverly Stafford, the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation director.

St. Mary provides assistance, guidance and healing.

The statue once stood in the chapel at the old hospital, which towered over the intersection of Missouri Boulevard and U.S. Highway 50/63 for decades.

That building closed when the hospital moved into its new building on Mission Drive about seven years ago.

The figure might have been dusty, and appeared a little faded, but with a little tender loving care, it would be ready to place under the gable on the end of Catholic Charities’ new home.

“It hadn’t been in use for a long time,” Stafford said.

But, the potential was there, and the team who found the statue had connections.

Members contacted a painter in the community, who glazed it with a new finish.

And the colors on the statue began to pop.

Crews attached it to the structure.

“It does make a statement,” Stafford said. “It’s beautiful.”