Franciscan Sisters Witnessed the Dedication of Shrine at Locus Benedictus

The shrine of  “Mary, Mother of the Delta” was a vision of Rev Theodore Dorcey, C.S.s. R. The statue of Mary and Child is an original work of art, in Carrara marble, by Italian sculptor Armondo Battelli, commissioned by Rev. Francis Quinn in 1952 for the Church of St. Mary’s in Jackson, MS. The statue had stood at the entrance of the church until structural issues caused the church to close. Now she stands as Mother of the Delta.

The time had come and the procession began to form. The road was newly made, a bit rough and very dry and dusty.

The choir was first to be seated. Once the Bishop and 10-15 Priests were in the area near the temporary altar, Aztec dancers from Our Lady of Victories Church in Cleveland, MS danced a traditional tribal dance with a banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


The Sun added beauty to the evening as Mass was begun.

Bishop Joseph Kopacz reminded us that Mary has many titles; Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Good Succour, Mary Undoer of Knots and here in the our midst, Our Lady of the Delta. He also reminded us that Mary reveals the tender compassion of God.

Bishop Kopacz prayed, “Mary Mother of the Delta, humble handmaid of the Lord, bring us to fullness of unity and charity.”

The shrine also comprises raised rose beds, benches and trellises, all located in an open field next to a small pond. There is much more construction planned for the shrine site as donations are made.

Bishop Kopacz reminded us that our Holy Father Pope Francis says, “we must not be afraid to have our shoes get soiled by the mud of the street.” As we glanced at our shoes we had to smile. And our Bishop said he had just polished his shoes!