‘Our Lady of Bris­tol on the Delaware’ takes her place along the riverside

The Advance of Bucks County - - BRISTOL AREA - By El­iz­a­beth Fisher

Ad­vance Cor­re­spon­dent

BRIpTOL BOROrde - ptK Mark pchool in Bris­tol Bor­ough has a new bulk­head be­hind its class­rooms to re­place the crum­bling sea­wall that threat­ened the sta­bil­ity of the play­ground areaK But the con­gre­ga­tion of the church wove the prac­ti­cal and the spir­i­tual to­gether in that newly spruced up spaceI which sits on the Delaware RiverK

The parish de­cided to sym­bol­ize the school’s Catholic iden­tity with a new statue of the Blessed Moth­erI which the faith­ful are call­ing Our Lady of Bris­tol on the DelawareK mhiladel­phia Aux­il­iary Bishop gohn McIn­tyre blessed the statue be­fore WRVVLnJ D EOuH DnG wKLWH flRral wreath into the river on Wed­nes­dayK

“Bless the wa­ters of this river and all who travel upon itI whether for work or for recre­ationI” McIn­tyre in­toned as the wreath landed with a gen­tle splashK The bishop was a fa­mil­iar face in the par­ishI hav­ing served as an as­so­ciate pas­tor from N99R-N999K

The statue was pur­chased IURP D fiUP Ln CKLFDJR DnG VWDnGV fiYH IHHW, fiYH LnFKHV tallK Made of ce­ment and acrylic ma­te­ri­alsI the white fiJuUH GHSLFWV WKH BOHVVHG Mother wear­ing a crown and hold­ing the in­fant gesus in her armsK Along her right side is a black an­chorI sig­ni­fy­ing her spe­cial ded­i­ca­tion to the riverside schoolK

The bless­ing was held in con­nec­tion with a Catholic holy dayI the feast of the As­sump­tionI marked an­nu­ally on AugK NRK Catholics be­lieve thatI af­ter her deathI MaryI the mother of gesusI was as­sumed body and soul into heav­enK

kext to the statue is a stone cross that once sat atop the old ptK Mark pchool build­ingI which had been lo­cated sev­eral blocks away from the cur­rent build­ingK That schoolI opened in the late NUMMsI was closed in the N9SMs and the build­ing was later de­stroyed Ey fiUH.

The lush green­ery of Burling­ton Is­landI on the op­po­site banks of the riverI draped the back­ground of the shrineK dray clouds hov­ered over the cer­e­mony but the rain held offK Fa­ther Den­nis MooneyI pas­tor of ptK MarkI said that he’s long wanted a reli­gious rep­re­sen­ta­tion be­hind the schoolK

“The nat­u­ral set­ting is per­fectK AndI the boaters who sail by will know that this is a Catholic in­sti­tu­tionK The an­chor is a sym­bol of the river and rep­re­sents hope for the fu­tureI” Mooney saidK

ptK Mark pchool was slated for clo­sure in a list re­leased by the Arch­dio­cese of mhila- del­phia last yearI but an out­pour­ing of stu­dent and alumni spir­itI and an ap­peal to mhiladel­phia Arch­bishop Charles Cha­put by Mooney and other church lead­ersI pre­vailedK The schoolI al­ready Ln KHDOWKy finDnFLDO VKDSH, LV flRuULVKLnJ DV nHw VWuGHnWV en­rollI the pas­tor saidK

Even the youngest of

ptK Mark students seemed to have a grasp of what the evening rep­re­sent­edK pyd­ney Law­lessI SI and her sis­terI Mor­ganI 9I said they were happy to see Mary and gesus out­sideI be­hind the schoolK

“vou can take some time to pray when you’re out in the school yardK I like see­ing it thereI” Mor­gan saidK

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