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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

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HUNTERSVILLE — Christ the King High School’s Class of 2017 has left an enduring memory and symbol of faith as their class gift to the school. A four-foot statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary now graces the entrance of the high school near the chapel.

“We decided that a statue of the Blessed Mother would be a special way to honor the mothers of our class, who we recognize as strong and important forces in our lives,” explains senior and student body president Emily Mayernik.

“Two of our classmates have lost their mothers, so we wanted to remember them in this way. Mary has an extremely important role in the Church, and I think the statue is a great way to recognize this.”

Bishop Peter Jugis celebrated Mass May 5 for the students, faculty, families and special guests.

“Today we have the great honor of dedicating and blessing the senior class gift given to the school, the statue of the Blessed Mother, which is beautifully stationed out in front of the entrance of the school,” Bishop Jugis said in his homily.

“Now, why the Blessed Mother? If you are looking for a saint who is a great saint to follow, a great model to follow, of all the saints she is the best. She is the most perfect follower of Jesus. She is sinless by the gift of God’s grace.

“At every moment, she was totally for Jesus. There was never any question, never any doubt, never any opposition – she was totally consecrated and dedicated to Jesus.”

“Which is how all of us should be as disciples of Christ,” he continued. “We’re working and striving towards that goal of being more and more dedicated to Jesus – more and more putting Him first in our lives, more and more consecrating everything we have and everything we are to Jesus.

“So who better an example or a better model do we have in our lives than the Blessed Mother?”

A statue of Mary is prominently displayed, he noted, because she leads us to Jesus. “Look at her fidelity to Jesus, faithfulness to Jesus. Even to the cross she is there to the very end.”

Mary’s prayerfulness, humility and desire to follow God’s will are all virtues we should imitate, he emphasized.

“If you can imagine the Mother of God, Mary, saying, ‘I am the servant of the Lord.’ She’s the greatest creature to ever live on the face of the earth. She brought God to birth on earth and she said of herself in all humility, ‘I am a servant.’

“That is why for all of us Christians, she is the greatest model, the greatest example of striving for holiness and striving to grow close to the Lord.”

“It is a great honor during this month of May – traditionally dedicated to honoring Mary – to be blessing the statue today, as it is a great way for the senior class of 2017 to be remembered for future generations,” he said. “It is a great gift to the Church and a great gift to the school.”

Principal Michael Smith also addressed those gathered for the statue dedication. “I want to thank all of the mothers of the Class of 2017 with us today for their devotion and dedication and all that they have done for our school and the examples they have provided for their children,” he said.

“I also want to recognize that this statue is in memory of Brenda Lee and Michelle Stanley, two mothers of the Class of 2017 who are not with us today. We would like for their families to know that our prayers are always with you.”

“Our class wanted to leave Mary to welcome everybody to Christ the King every day,” Mayernik noted.
“We pray Mary continues to intercede and watch over Christ the King students and their families as the Class of 2017 moves on to college and beyond.”

— SueAnn Howell, Senior reporter

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