And it came to pass in the days of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, that Fr. Andrew, pastor at St. Timothy parish in Warwick, RI and Sr. Vivian, RJM conceived the notion of creating a St. Claudine Mercy Garden. Lo, a parish committee of parishioners, Sr. Doris and Sr. Vivian was called forth to meet and “make a plan”. Sr. Vivian sent word to Sr. Patricia Brito who directed her to Sr. Fabian, Provincial of Bolivia, who knew of a sculptor with an extra statue, the first one having been purchased by Sr. Patricia. And, behold, the statue was purchased. Delivery was provided forthwith by American missionary friends.
The people followed the decisions of the committee with all haste. An announcement appeared in the parish bulletin. After Sunday Mass during a “Coffee An’”, the statue was displayed and donations poured in . . . enough to supply the cost of the statue as well as materials and labor to create the garden.
A garden layout came to fulfillment through the action of Mark and Joan Smith. It was Mark who formed a pedestal of the sort not seen by many. Garden blossoms burst forth wrought by the hands of Mark Smith, Bill Enos and the Palumbos who dug holes; by Ann Stamp Farms for hydrangea bushes; by Brigette of Yard Works for mums. Benches were sought on-line following the wishes of John Page and George Dionne.
There also appeared at the statue’s feet a plaque bearing St. Claudine’s name – a gift from John Robswaw of Jonny’s Signs. And there has been prepared a chronicle for all to read of the life of St. Claudine and how she forgave her brothers’ executioners, a sign of great mercy for all to follow. This chronicle has been laminated and affixed to a kiosk that had been crafted by a certain John Kramer who had himself fashioned it at an earlier time for Bethany Spirituality Center. It was covered in a weather-proofing element by John Page and fixed in cement at the entrance of the garden. More weather protection was made in the form of a plexiglass cover that was fashioned by Anthony and Rita from Laird’s Plastics. Rising to heaven is a continuous prayer of gratitude for all these benefits of time, funds and materials.
An appointed time has been set for a gathering to bless the statue and garden – it being announced to take place on Sunday, November 7, 2016 after the 9:30 a.m. Mass.
Readers of the chronicle are led to offer this plea:
“St. Claudine, please obtain for us/for me the gift of willing forgiveness.”
- Sr. Doris Bissonnette, RJM