Parishioners at St. Francis De Sales Crown Mary All Year With New Headpiece Each Month

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Queens, NY

By Jessica Easthope

Hot glue, zip ties, and fabric flowers are all Eileen Savelli needs to show her love.

She’s hand-making a crown for the statue of Mary outside her parish, St. Francis de Sales, in Belle Harbor.

“Now it feels great. It really does. She’s a beautiful statue outside, you know,” Savelli said. “And then we also went inside, and we were able to adorn her for her birthday in September.”

Savelli takes care of the crafting and crowning, but the idea came when her former high school classmate and fellow parishioner, Cathy Somerville, noticed the statue could use some attention.

“Cathy had gone there a couple of times to pray, and she saw that she didn’t like the way the crown looked,” Savelli recalled. “It was kind of, in her words, shabby.”

“The Blessed Mother brings me hope and life, and I just didn’t like the way it looked,” Somerville said. “So my friend Eileen, very crafty, and I made an idea together, and here we are.”

At first, Cathy purchased the supplies, and the women would crown Mary with a new headpiece every few months. Then they realized the Queen of Heaven deserved to look like royalty year-round.

“It’s more about adorning the mother of all,” Somerville said. “And peace and solace is what it gives me.”

Now, the money for Savelli’s supplies is donated by parishioners.

They make a new crown every month, each with a different theme, but one thing always stays the same.

“It was just part of my life, always,” Savelli said. “I think she kind of just listens to my woes. How’s that in life?”

The ladies are already planning for the future and don’t plan to stop any time soon.

“We can reuse some of them. I have 11 nieces and nephews. Nine of them are here in St. Francis, and I told them that they’ll have to take it over,” Savelli said. “I plan on doing it as long as I can jump a fence.”