Blessed Mother crowned, honored during May
The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in newly-renovated Holy Cross Church, Rumson, was crowned by Holy Cross School students May 16, continuing an annual tradition that has been occurring in Holy Cross Parish for more than 60 years.
Father Michael Manning, Holy Cross pastor, and school principal William Belluzzi officiated during the afternoon ceremony, which included the entire K-8 student body. Second graders who just received their First Communion on May 14 once again donned their sacramental clothing.
While the third grade class sang a Marian hymn, the First Communicants and eighth grade Confirmandi came forward in an “honor guard,” carrying baskets of flowers to place in front of the statue of the Blessed Mother – flowers that students brought in from their gardens at home.
Because of high winds and the height of the statue, Mary’s crown was affixed before the ceremony.
Numerous parishes around the Diocese have hosted or plan to host their own May Crowning services in similar fashion.
Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton, will hold its annual May Procession and Crowning following the noon Mass on May 22. The ceremony will include prayers, songs and a procession to Mary’s Garden that will follow the First Communicants carrying a parish prayer chain and historic banners. The statue will be crowned by parishioner and volunteer Valerie Schlindwein, with a flower wreath made by Terry D’Awia, who has made the crown for the past 25 years.
St. Ann Parish and School, Lawrenceville, both held ceremonies to crown the Blessed Mother. On May 1 the Altar-Rosary Society and parishioners held a crowning with hymns and recitation of the Rosary following the 12:30 p.m. Mass. Then on May 5, the school celebrated the crowning of Mary, followed by First Holy Communion on May 7. Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Ewing, hosted its May Crowning on May 8. Following the 10:30 a.m. Mass, with second grade students in their First Communion attire, the parish’s Our Lady of Fatima statue at the church entrance was graced with a crown.
Meanwhile, the Altar-Rosary Society of Divine Mercy Parish, Trenton, crowned a statue of the Blessed Mother following the May 14 Mass at 4 p.m., with the First Communion children and their families in attendance.