(Rick Hickman / American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, August 22, 2013 9:47 PM
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.