June 16, 2019

Positivity: From a dumpster to the head of a procession — The story of ‘Broken Mary’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Chicago:

Jun 7, 2019 / 03:08 am

On Friday, May 31, four lanes of traffic on a major thoroughfare in the city of Chicago shut down for an hour and a half, while 3,200 people marched past.

Instead of political banners, they held candles. Instead of shouting, they quietly prayed the rosary and sang Ave Maria. Instead of a politician or city official, they were led by ‘Broken Mary,’ a statue of the Virgin Mary rescued from a dumpster, who still bears the scars of her past – a crack in the middle where she was broken in half, chipped hands, faded paint with scratches.

The procession event, called “There is Hope for the Broken,” was organized by Chicago parish St. John Cantius, and by Kevin Matthews, who rescued Mary from the garbage in 2010.

But really, Matthews told CNA, the procession was all Mary’s idea.

Matthews first spotted what is now known as ‘Broken Mary’ outside of a dumpster at a flower shop, covered in trash and cracked in half. Mortified, he picked up the heavy concrete statue, brought her home and cleaned her up.

He had her restored to one piece again, but asked that her chips and scratches be left as they were: “No, she is broken, just like me. We all are broken and in need of repair. She represents the broken,” he told the repairman.

After finding Mary, Matthews experienced a profound new devotion to the Mother of God. Although born a Catholic, Matthews had strayed from his faith for many years, and had never learned how to pray the rosary. After finding ‘Broken Mary,’ it became his top priority: praying the rosary and encouraging others to do the same.

On his website, Matthews recites the rosary every day, and anyone can tune in. He has two rosary apps, and he also travels with ‘Broken Mary’, giving talks on her love for the broken, and how she can lead them to her son, Jesus.

Although Matthews now lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Chicago procession was something he had been praying about for a while, he said. Matthews was a radio DJ in the city for years, and in many ways it’s his second home, he said.

“I love Chicago, I love the city,” he said. “There’s just so many people that wanted to pray for the city, and still do.”

Matthews connected with Fr. Joshua Caswell, S.J.C., an associate pastor at St. John Cantius in Chicago, because of ‘Broken Mary’ – Matthews was on a Relevant Radio show to talk about his ministry, and Fr. Joshua was a guest on Relevant Radio that same day.

After much prayer between the two of them, they decided to start organizing a Chicago procession with ‘Broken Mary’ in February. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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