Chicagoland

The new millennium marked by large traveling Mary

By Chicago Catholic
November 8, 2018

The new millennium marked by large traveling Mary

Perhaps one of the most loved icons of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s jubilee celebrations was Our Lady of the New Millennium, a 34-foot, 8,400-pound stainless steel statue of the Virgin Mary.
The Our Lady of the New Millennium statue is raised to her upright position in the parking lot of Holy Name Cathedral on May 8, 2009. (Karen Callaway /Chicago Catholic)
Workers secure a crown of flowers to the Our Lady of the New Millennium statue prior to a stay at Holy Name Cathedral on May 8, 2009. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)

This story is part of a special section marking the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Perhaps one of the most loved icons of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s jubilee celebrations was Our Lady of the New Millennium, a 34-foot, 8,400-pound stainless steel statue of the Virgin Mary.

The statue was commissioned by Oak Lawn resident Carl Demma as a gift to the faithful.

After it was completed in 1999, Demma brought it to St. Louis, where the visiting Pope John Paul II saw it from the popemobile and then made the Sign of the Cross. Thus blessed, it toured parishes, mostly in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

It made appearances at several archdiocesan events, including the Field of Faith Corpus Christi Mass at Soldier Field in 2000 and the first Festival of Faith in 2003. The schedule was published in the Catholic New World for those who wanted to see it, and parishioners would turn out in large groups to greet the statue when it arrived, usually late in the evening.

The statue traveled on a special flatbed truck, outfitted with a hydraulic lift to raise it into a standing position for display and lower it for transport.

In 2011, Demma’s widow decided that the statue’s permanent home would be at the Shrine of Christ’s Passion in St. John, Indiana. It stood on the grounds of the nearby St. John the Evangelist Parish for two years before being permanently installed at the shrine.

Topics:

  • 175th anniversary

Related Articles

Advertising