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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Restored statue dedicated Sunday at St. Peter Church

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fr. Kevin Gormley blesses the newly restored Pieta statue in the vestibule of St. Peter Catholic Church Sunday, Nov. 11.
(Marcia Gorrell/Democrat-News) [Order this photo]
A symbol of a soldier's sacrifice, a Pieta at St. Peter Catholic Church, came full circle on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, nearly 100 years after its original dedication.

The dedication completed a long journey for the statue of Jesus lying lifeless in his mother's arms.

Based on a Michelangelo original, the sculpture had first been dedicated at the old St. Peter Church on Nov. 11, 1918. It was a gift to the church from the family of Frederick E. Ordway, a former parishioner, who died serving in World War I.

At the conclusion of the 11 am. service at St. Peter on Sunday, Father Kevin Gormley talked about the statue's long journey back to life.

"It had been in the priest's garage for about 25 years in great need of repair," he said. "Pam Whitney and Tammy Papreck spent many hours and weeks scraping and chipping and repairing."

It was restored to its original beauty by a Jefferson City artist and was placed in the St. Peter vestibule for the dedication.

Before he blessed and re-dedicated the statue, Father Gormley explained the significance.

"This statue of Mary holding the lifeless body of Jesus, when it was taken down from the cross, evokes sadness and sacrifice," he said. "And just as the Ordway Family, way back in 1918, hoped to remind us of their son's sacrifice, today our re-dedication of this statue reminds us of all our own veterans, that freedom is not free, there is a price to be paid to preserve this precious gift of freedom to all of us."

As veterans and Knights of Columbus members encircled the statue, Gormley sprinkled it with holy water and blessed it for the re-dedication.

Contact Marcia Gorrell at mgorrell@marshallnews.com

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