A few weeks ago, we participated in a community service project for our son's scout troop. The troop members inadvertently uncovered a statue that had lain hidden for decades on the grounds of Our Lady's Help of Christians Church in Nonantum, Massachusetts.
The community service was planned by another scout in our son's troop as a prerequisite for becoming an Eagle Scout. It involved redesigning a playground at a battered women's shelter on the grounds of the church run by Catholic Charities. The plan was to redo the playground with wooden benches, raised flowerbeds, and new shrubbery. Part of the prep work involved ripping up old yew bushes that completely covered part of the playground.
About 20 scout families participated. Our troop is very international, and made up of families from all continents except Australia, with a range of religious backgrounds including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindi, and Buddhist. As the group went to work with handsaws, electric chainsaws, and loppers, Mary and her pedestal emerged from behind the thick yew bushes.
No one had any idea the statue was there. The scoutmaster, who has attended services at the church for 40 years, said he had never seen it. A small plaque indicated it had been part of a memorial garden dedicated by the families of local congregants in 1947.
The statue is in rough shape. But with a new coat of paint, repointing the stone pedestal, and surrounded by new bushes and flowers, this area of the playground will be transformed.
The discovery of the statue reminded me of the forgotten book of check stubs revealing the lives of our home's original inhabitants (you can read about it here). It also serves as a reminder that nature will slowly take over if left unattended. An EasyGenie Facebook follower remarked, "As many of us who have helped restore neglected cemeteries have discovered, it is amazing what you can find under what nature reclaimed. Great job!"