The Compass received an email from a reader, Susan Hansen of De Pere, over the weekend. She wanted to call to our attention a statue of Mary that was abandoned near the StoneRidge Piggly Wiggly, located at 575 Swan Road in De Pere.
“About a week ago, a smaller Mary statue turned up at the Piggly Wiggly parking lot in De Pere,” wrote Hansen. “It is in a grassy area on the south end of the parking lot by the wooden residential fence. It appears to be broken by her left hand.”
Hansen said she first thought the Marian statue might belong to Jeff Koss, who was featured in The Compass in August 2020 about his statue, known as “Our Lady of Webster Avenue.”
“After shopping, I drove past the Koss residence and his Mary statue is present and accounted for,” said Hansen.
Concerned about the statue’s fate, she contacted the Compass on Nov. 6. “I know the managers were debating what to do with it,” she said. “I suggested they leave it and hope that someone would claim it as theirs.”
In a telephone interview Nov. 9, Piggly Wiggly store manager Alex Weiland told The Compass that the statue has been there “maybe a week or so.”
“It was brought to my attention, but we haven’t been able to do anything about it,” he said. “We didn’t know what to do with it, so it’s just been sitting there.”
Hansen said that by contacting The Compass and making readers aware of the statue, “I’m hoping the story has a happy ending. … Maybe there is a way for you to ‘get the word out’ that the statue is looking to return home.”
Weiland said anyone who wants to pick up the statue, which is 25 inches in height, is welcome to stop by and take it home. However, after discussion with a few of my Compass colleagues, I decided to pick up the statue and bring it home.
Not only is the left arm detached, but so is Mary’s head. The detached parts are easily fixable with glue and some TLC. Right now, Mary has a home in my garage. If someone is missing a Marian statue (or knows someone who is missing one) and can share some details that will validate the statue as theirs, contact me via email, [email protected], or leave a voicemail message at (920) 272-8210.
Watch this space for updates. If no one is able to claim the statue, Mother Mary will go to a good home.
About Sam Lucero
Lucero is news and information director for The Compass and a 30-year veteran of the Catholic press. When not at his desk, he enjoys taking photos and posting them online to share with friends. His “Bugs Up Close,” a macrophotography gallery of insects and plants found in his back yard, is a work in progress. To see a sample go to his Inspired Images website. Follow him on Twitter for tweets about church, photography and technology.