Expressing Your Love for Your Heavenly Mother

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(This Ad Rem is not authored by me, Brother André Marie, but by Sister Maria Philomena, who has been assigned the gargantuan duty of coordinating the interior design of IHM Chapel. Besides planning with the design and construction professionals, she also has the task of trying to procure the items needed. We thank God that she has been doing a marvelous job.)

More than twenty years ago, a sacred dream began to take shape in Richmond, NH. Through the centuries, certain people have been privileged to participate in similar inspirations from God. Their names were engraved generations ago in the sacred shrines around the world. And, following their personal inspirations to be generous in a holy endeavor, they drew out of obscurity the greatest artists of all time to leave a memory of their gifts from God in stone, gold, glass, and wood. Not everyone has had the opportunity to help rebuild and build up our Holy Mother the Church in a lasting and visible way.

Imagine your name engraved on one of the ancient doors of the old basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The person who, centuries ago, gifted those doors to that sacred Marian shrine must have had incredible faith and vision to give a gift in their present day that would build up the Church for centuries. Many of the persons who helped to turn those sacred dreams into visible edifices never set foot within those holy walls.

Dear Reader, what is in your heart? Is the crisis in the Church and the consequent catastrophe in the world, especially our own dear country, something you have hope to change? The Faith that is in jeopardy today is the same Faith that built the shrines of Christendom. Do you think that it was only the wealthy and prosperous in faith-filled days that built those shrines we know and love around the world? Those who built the shrines had the faith that we claim to want to restore in the Church. Instead of placing their hopes in material items and being stingy with God, they placed their material possessions in their hopes to build up the Faith Incarnationally. In this way, they strengthened the Faith and drew others to the Church by the means that St. Thomas Aquinas says is necessary: Nihil est in intellectu, nisi prius fuerit in sensu. (“Nothing is in the intellect unless it was first in the senses.”)

The Faith that comes through beautiful, sensible things is what effectively takes up its abode in the minds and hearts of men. Rejecting the modernist cult of the ugly, we know that we need beauty in our liturgy to draw us and others to God. Building a beautiful church for God is an expression of the triumphalism that we have in our hearts. The Faith is not dead. And, as the faithful sent their pennies and dollars to the heart of Christendom to build up the common edifice of the Faith in the past, you now have the opportunity to contribute your pennies and dollars to this more humble, yet beautiful, monument to Our Lady’s Crusade and prelude to the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.

There now stands, in Richmond, NH, a sturdy building clad with a roof and siding. Atop this building is a cupola housing a beautiful bronze bell from 1869 (the year the first Vatican Council convened). We still need the altar, furnishings, and artwork to make this tiny edifice into a jewel for the Mother of God which will draw Her children’s hearts heavenwards and hasten the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.

The first gift that Our Lady inspired among Her children for this chapel was from hearts enlarged by grief and loving faith. The tragic death of a young man, a son, called forth the faith and generosity of his family and friends. Soon the sun will shine into this little chapel through an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego as a tribute to the love and faith of this young man’s family and friends. This young man, who died in the loving embrace of his Mother’s brown scapular, will be remembered perpetually in our house of prayer.

Every gift is welcome. Every penny counts. Your name will be put in a chest under Our Lady’s shrine to be perpetually remembered. Sacred artwork and furnishings in the chapel are available to bear your name or the names of your loved ones — anywhere from the gold stars on the ceiling to the sacred altar itself. Prayerfully consider the opportunity Our Blessed Mother is offering to you now.

After you have spoken to your Mother and your Queen and listened to Her, please call me at (603) 239-6495 or send an email to smph {at} catholicism.org to get more information. You may wish first to view this list of items to be memorialized, and also to get a sense of the vision that we have for this house of worship.

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