A Story of the Shrine
Rev. Msgr. John B. Brady served as Pastor of Holy Angels Church, Historian and Spiritual Director to private owners of Shrine. He encouraged and oversaw the construction of the Shrine. He was also inspired to initiate the Annual Easter Sunrise Mass and celebrated the first Mass at the Shrine.
“This is the reason why we so easily secured a part of his kingdom:
God by this means opening a way for His own Everlasting Law and Light.”
Father Andrew White, S.J.
Relatio Itineris in Marylandiam
September 30, 1994
Reverend Don Rinfret, Director of the Jesuit Missions in Baltimore, MD visited here. He held in his hand a first class relic of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton that belonged to Reverend Aloysius E. O’Connor and blessed the land where the Shrine would be built. Requiescat in Pace
1994 – 1996
For two years, the private owner gathered bricks and rocks to build the Shrine. Family and friends in the community also traveled and donated bricks from religious historical locations around the world.
June 19, 1996
The statue was a gift from Reverend Bert Akers, S.J., Associate Pastor at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ocean City, Maryland (left) and approved by Rev. Msgr. Paul Schierse, Pastor (right).
The statue was very old and damaged and needed to be repaired. St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Parish had purchased a new statue and did not know what to do with the old statue. Then, the private owner attended Mass in Ocean City and met Father Akers and told him about building a Shrine near historic St. Clement’s Island and needed a life size statue of Our Lady of Grace for the Shrine.
St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Baltimore Avenue & Talbot Street is the oldest existing building in Ocean City, Maryland erected in 1878. The Rectory attached to it was built prior to 1911. The Statue was located in a garden outside the rectory.
A close look at the damage of the statue that needed restoration. Badly damaged, it had survived a hurricane in Ocean City.
June 1996 – October 1996
The private owner was introduced to Theresa Dent by Patty Copsey, secretary of Holy Angels Church. Theresa was moving to the area and Patty knew that the house at Colton’s Point was available for rent. The owner shared with Theresa there was a statue that needed restoration.
Theresa said she and her brother Mike Helbig knew how to restore this type of statue. She had friends in Ocean City and she arranged to get the statue from Ocean City, Maryland. She and Mike repaired the statue. Theresa delivered it fully restored in time for the annual Blessing of the Fleet Mass.
October 5, 1996
His Excellency, Bishop Leonard Olivier, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, blessed the statue under the title Mother of Light.
…from St. Mary’s Star of the Sea…to St. Mary’s County!
September 27, 1997
The Statue was placed on the bricks and within one hour after being built, the Reverend Paul Liston and Sodalists – visiting the St. Clement’s Island Museum next door – saw the newly built Shrine. Pilgrims began arriving and Father Liston blessed the Shrine in their presence.
It was the FIRST PILGRIMAGE to the SHRINE!
September 11, 2001
America retaliated in the War on Terrorism while many visitors were at this Shrine praying the Living Rosary. Immediately following the Rosary, His Eminence, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, celebrated Mass here, blessed the Shrine and all present with a true Relic of the Holy Cross that Father Andrew White, S.J. brought with him to America.
Cardinal McCarrick reconsecrated America to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Relic of the True Cross is a piece of the Cross that Jesus Christ died on and is kept at Chapel Point: Saint Ignatius Church, 8855 Chapel Point Road., Port Tobacco, Maryland 20677 USA.
June 29, 2014
On June 29, 2014, Feast day of St. Peter and Paul, his Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Archdiocese of Washington on historic St. Clements’s Island and celebrated Mass there. Afterwards, he blessed the Mother of Light Shrine.