By Andres Rivera
ALTA LOMA—About 30 statues of the Blessed Mother, some rich in history and all collected by a Phelan resident, have been recently donated to St. Peter and St. Paul Parish in Alta Loma. The parish held a dedication ceremony on May 19 to unveil the installation of the statues in the parish’s social hall.
Thomas Siegars, the donor, contacted the parish over a year ago expressing his intention to donate his collection of statues to the parish. He was planning to move and was no longer able to house the statues. He met St. Peter and St. Paul Pastor, Father Patrick Kirsch while the priest served at Blessed Junipero Serra parish in Phelan and decided to offer the statues to St. Peter and St. Paul.
“You can’t imagine how long I have been waiting for this,” Siegars said. “I certainly love Mary and hope this can bring more people back to Mary.”
Siegars traveled all over the world and brought home statues of Mary from his travels. Each statue has a history and a story behind it that he wanted to share with the greater community. He wished that the collection remain together so that they could be used for education on Marian devotion.
The statues were stored at the home of Elaine Hein, a St. Peter and St. Paul parishioner, while the social hall was being remodeled and prepared for the installation.
“There was a loving presence when the statues were in my house,” Hein said. “It’s a blessing to be able to share these statues with so many people.”
The permanent display at the parish, titled “The Many Faces of Mary”, will provide a place where people may admire the artwork and reflect over Mary’s role in the Church.
“The hall is used for education, catechesis and for many events,” Debby Leonardo said. “To have Mother Mary there, it really provides an area for devotion.”
The parish plans to package information on the statues into a pamphlet so it may be available to those who visit the display. Future plans also in the works include installing a railing and kneeler in front of the display.
“I’m confident it will bring people from all over the diocese,” Suzi Scanlon-Smith said. “It’s breathtaking. It’s such a blessing to our diocese and beyond.”