A True Story that goes with this “Our Lady’s Altar,” at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Las Vegas

When my Mom died in 2004 at 98, inside her bedroom, on the ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’ statue, was a rosary hanging. Thinking it was our mother’s rosary, my sister wrapped it around her hand at the Mortuary. I thought it was strange that Mom would have a brown beaded Rosary, regardless, it was too late anyway as the funeral was underway.

With Mom gone now, it was time to sell the house so I started with her bedroom and her personal belongings. Much to my surprise, I found in her dresser another rosary only this one had crystal type beads. Realizing that the rosary that was placed on her hand was just an ornament one that went with the statue and this one was the one that Mom used. So what do I do with the Mom’s Rosary? My sister, daughter and granddaughter are not active Catholics, and I’m not going to throw it away.

I was planning a trip to Las Vegas where I go to visit Father Krier and St. Joseph’s Church, which I helped established and while there we could figure out what to do with the Rosary. It turned out to be an easy solution, he suggested we put it on Our Lady of Fatima statute located on Our Lady’s Altar (picture below). So there it stayed for about 15 years. Then one of our elderly, long standing members of the congregation who also had many members in her family as nuns and priests decided that since our lady of Fatima statute, at the time didn’t have a crown on her head, she was going to have it replace with a new more fitting statue, her gift to the Church before leaving , as she was in her death years.

She generously ordered a similar size statue which has a crown and white pearl beaded rosary hanging from her hand. Father then takes the other Fatima statue and puts it in the vesture area of the Church where it was when I arrived there. He tells me that there is a place for the statue at our Needles Church. “Fine,” I said, “… but not with my Mom’s Rosary.” We went into the Church and looked around for another place to hang the rosary but nothing panned out. So he agreed to keep it in the vesture area until we can find another place for the rosary in the Church.

As time went along, our Irish Lady was slowly getting ready to leave us and was losing her vision, then on the following May 13 a party was held in the lunch room for the celebration of Our Lady’s feast day. I don’t believe our Irish Lady was in attendance so after the celebration was over, Father asked one of the elderly men to put the statue back on Our Lady’s Altar. Well, you might of guessed it. There is one step up when you enter the Altar area and the poor man missed it and he and the statue came tumbling to the floor. Sadly, the hollow statue broke into many fragments. I can only imagine that the Pearl rosary suffered the same shock because Father had no choice but to take the crown, put it on the other statue and put it back on the altar with Mom’s Rosary again. It’s safe to say that our wonderful Irish Lady, because of her failing eyesight never noticed the change.

Shall we say Divine intervention works in strange ways or not in the manner we expect? I have been working with Father Krier ever since he became a Priest in 1992 and I knew him as Brother Matthew when he was at CMRI. Either way, Mom’s Rosary is back where it belongs, on Mary’s Altar in St. Joseph’s Church. Amen and Alleluia. God bless God.  In Christ, Joseph.

Church picture of Our Lady’s altar in St. Josephs Church.