Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich and the Archdiocese of Luxembourg recently donated a statue of Our Lady of Luxembourg to St. Margaret Mary Church in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States (US).
St. Margaret Mary Parish was founded by Luxembourgish immigrants and their descendants in 1921. The statue was requested on behalf of the Chicago-based St. Margaret Mary Parish and the Luxembourg Brotherhood of America (LBA), who are coordinating efforts to memorialise George Meyers, a long-time parishioner of St. Margaret Mary and former Grand Lodge President of the LBA.
George Meyers’ grandparents (whose family names were Meyers, Weiler, Rolling and Pettinger) hailed from Derenbach, Wilwerwiltz and Esch-sur-Sûre in Luxembourg and immigrated to Chicago in the 1880s. George Meyers was a member of Sections Three and Eight of the LBA, served as Grand Lodge President of the LBA. He was also long-time treasurer of the Luxembourg News of America and was a founding member of the Luxembourg American Cultural Society. Indeed, “Meyers-Rolling Lane” in the Luxembourg Center’s New Luxembourg Development in Wisconsin was named on behalf of the generous donation given to a capital campaign to build the Luxembourg American Cultural Center in 2008 by George Meyers and his sister Dolores (Meyers) Chozianin. One of George’s greatest honours was to serve on the Welcoming Committee for Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Jean of Luxembourg when they visited Chicago in 1963.
In 1993, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg awarded George Meyers the Chevalier Award of Merit from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in recognition of his efforts to promote ongoing good will and activity between Luxembourg and the Luxembourg-American community in metro-Chicago. George Meyers died in Chicago in 2016 at the age of 83.
To memorialize the life and legacy of George Meyers, St. Margaret Mary Parish and the LBA are collaborating to enshrine the statue of Our Lady of Luxembourg in St. Margaret Mary Church. Kevin Wester, former Executive Director of the Luxembourg American Cultural Society and member of the LBA, coordinated the donation from Cardinal Hollerich and the Archdiocese of Luxembourg in collaboration with Nicole Pierrard, assistant to Cardinal Hollerich.
The statue of Our Lady of Luxembourg arrived in Chicago on 6 March 2020 and, after Sunday Mass on 8 March, the statue was revealed by Fr. Tirso Villaverde, pastor of the parish, Deacon Michael Neba, LBA members George Jones, Richard Witry and Kevin Wester and about 80 members of St. Margaret Mary Parish.
The statue of Our Lady of Luxembourg comes from the former St. Barbara Church in Lasauvage on Franco-Luxembourg border. The parish and church in Lasauvage were recently closed during mergers of Catholic parishes in Luxembourg. The statue is a wood carving with the traditional clothing and measures three feet by 15 inches.
St. Margaret Mary Parish and the LBA have confirmed plans to organise a formal blessing and enshrinement of the statue in the near future.