History of the Statue
1982 a Charles Parks' statue of Our
Lady of Peace was commissioned by Father John J. Sweeney, pastor of the Our Lady
of Peace Parish in Santa Clara, California. Mr. Parks' studio is located in
Wilmington, Delaware, and because of the tremendous interest in the Madonna, the
statue was displayed in Rodney Square which is located in center city Wilmington before
it was moved to a permanent site in California. Thousands of people from up
and down the East Coast came to view this awesome statue of Mary and were
saddened when She left the Wilmington area.
in 1998, a man from Chicago commissioned Charles Parks to build another breathtaking statue of
Our Lady of the Millennium. This time the Madonna was again
temporarily exhibited on the newly developed Riverfront in Wilmington where
throngs of people viewed Her before She was taken to Her permanent site in
The desire to have a sculpture of Our Lady by Charles C.
Parks grew in the hearts of many people who viewed the statue in Rodney Square and the
Riverfront and culminated into an organized commitment to have a "Mary of
our own" in Delaware.
In the Fall of 1999, several people met to discuss a Parks'
statue of Our Lady for Delaware. The decision to have a statue was an easy
one, and spiritual guidance was sought from Mary the Mother of God for direction
to make this statue a reality.
Since Father Sweeney was successful in his efforts through
the power of prayer, the committee decided to follow his example and use
"Rosary Checks". These "Rosary Checks" were used to record
the number of rosaries that an individual prayed and were dedicated for the intention of building a statue of Our Lady. The goal
was for 500,000 prayed for the intention of the statue before any fund raising
began. Not only did the number of rosaries prayed exceed the 500,000, but
unsolicited donations came in before any formal fund raising began.
The next step was to meet with Charles Parks and to discuss
the details of his creating another statue of the Blessed Mother. At that time,
the cost to
build the statue was $450,000. However, the face of the statue was changed
and is fashioned after the face Our Lady of Medjugorje. This
change cost an additional $50,000.00.
The Committee for Our Lady's Statue then met with Bishop
Salterelli of the Diocese of Wilmington and received his blessing to go forward
with their efforts in May of 2000.
Members of the Marian Groups and The Blue Army, organizations
dedicated to honoring the Mother of God, were contacted and asked to act as
coordinators for their parishes. They helped distribute the "Rosary
Checks" and communicate the project throughout their parishes.
Bishop Salterelli recorded the recitation of the rosary for
CDs and tapes, and he donated the proceeds from the sale of these CDs
and tapes toward the statue of Our Lady. The marketing and sale of
these items was handled by the Knights
Father Thomas Flowers was appointed the spiritual adviser for the
The Knights of Columbus are committed to this project.
Many individuals volunteered their help in getting out the information on
the "Rosary Checks" and fund raising
Statue of Our Lady.
Children and some entire classes in parochial
schools prayed the rosary and dedicated their prayers for the intention of
The statue of Our Lady Queen of Peace is finished;
however contributions are still needed for site improvements and maintenance
of the statue. Contributions can be sent to Our Lady's Statue, P.O. Box 2849, Wilmington, DE
19805-0849. These donations are tax deductible.
The generosity of people for the statue is unbelievable! Many
individuals have volunteered their time, services and expertise to make it happen. Through
this love and devotion to Mary, this shrine to honor Mary has become a