Now that the beautiful Marian Altar and Our Lady’s face have been completed, I sincerely hope that this original hand-carved wood statue will be respectfully venerated in its place of honor. The artist, Tim Hooton, chose not to make Mary look like a movie star – and he was absolutely correct. God did not select Mary for her facial beauty – but for her beauty of soul. Some parishioners have called her ugly. I found this painful and sadly disrespectful. In no way could Mary ever be called ugly. I pray that all who worship at the Shrine will grow deeply fond of their Heavenly Mother, embracing her continuously. Mary’s Altar and the tabernacle will soon have special lights which are still in the process of being completed. Until then, please enjoy Tim Hooton’s masterpiece, carved from an enormous “chunk” of wood.
Blessings and warmth!