Catholic Herald staff
“One person plants and another reaps” is how Bishop James P. Powers describes the legacy of the Servants of Mary, Ladysmith.
The 104-year-old community celebrated its past, present and future Sunday, June 19, with the blessing of a permanent pictorial tribute at the former motherhouse, now the Indianhead Community Action Agency building, in Ladysmith.
The date marks the feast day of St. Juliana Falconieri, a Servant of Mary whose statue – a gift to the Servites from its first graduating class – also stands in the room, the Servites’ former chapel.
“There’s no way you can imagine the thousands, perhaps millions, of lives that have been touched,” the bishop said during the blessing ceremony for the new exhibit.
The best part, he added, is, “We don’t need to know.”
Approximately 50 Servites, Seculars and others attended the blessing of the tribute, which is titled “Women of Compassion: Servants of Mary Story,” and includes photos, quotes and banners.
Designed by Srs. Gen Cassani and Joyelle Proot, both School Sisters of Notre Dame, the pictorial tells the story of how six sisters came to Ladysmith from Illinois in 1912 to establish a new and wide-ranging ministry. It follows their story through the century and up to the present day; one wall of the room is dedicated to the order’s current ministries around the world.
According to Sr. Theresa Sandok, president of the Ladysmith Servites, the tribute has been two to three years in the making.
A design motif in the former motherhouse’s doors and the flow of the Flambeau River, analogous to the flow of time, inspired the design, the designers explained.
“It’s a presentation, and it’s the ministry of the Servants of Mary going into the future,” they said.