Immaculate Conception Cathedral celebrates centennial with crowning ceremony

By By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

Immaculate Conception Cathedral celebrated its centennial with a crowning ceremony to honor Mary.

The cathedral joined Our Lady of Prompt

Succor in New Orleans as the only sites of crowned images of Mary in

Louisiana when

The Most Rev. Carlo Maria Vigano, Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See

to the United States, uncovered the statue of Mary to display

the crown that now adorns it.

“We give thanks for the many blessings this diocese has received through her intercessions,” Vigano said.

“As we celebrate this jubilee year, of

the dedication of this cathedral named in honor of the Immaculate

Conception, we acknowledge

Mary as our queen. Through our history, we know how powerful and

how influential the role of a queen mother has been in the

life of the people. This is especially true in the life of Jesus

and Mary.”

Bishop Glen Provost said the importance of Mary to the church must not be forgotten.

“For almost a century now, she has watched over our region, the joys and sorrows of its people, protected them in the time

of relentless attack from violent storms in the Gulf,” he said.

“(Vigano), you have reminded us of the

devotion and gratitude that should be ours for Mary’s constant

vigilance. Fashioned

from marble quarried in the area in Italy where Michelangelo took

the stone for his masterpieces, and assembled by a humble

Italian worker from the same quarry who emigrated here to Lake

Charles, Mary watches over us still. This image symbolizes

her providing centennial presence in an unbroken line of Catholic

substance, centuries old. This we cannot forget, and to

this we cannot be oblivious.”

The current cathedral was built after the previous one, located on Ryan Street, was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1910. The

crowning of Mary is a custom that dates back more than 1,500 years.