Mary's Image Has Lasting Impact..


Excitement over Mary's image has lasting impact at Presentation Church

NORTH PROVIDENCE - The rush of fervent faithful was unlike anything ever seen in this town, backing up traffic for miles.
It's been a year since the claimed sighting of an image of the virgin Mary in a cross caused a days-long traffic jam from one end of town to the other, but the effects of that event a year ago are still being felt at the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Mineral Spring Avenue, according to its leader.
The Rev. Edward Cardente, who kept pretty quiet as the scene at the church unfolded, said this week that the fervor over the claimed image of Mary left a lasting impact on his church. The claimed image of Mary still looks exactly as it did a year ago, said Cardente, and visitors are still leaving candles out in front of the church, located just up Mineral Spring Avenue from the intersection with Rte. 146.
Cardente, who serves as pastor of Presentation Church and St. Anthony Church in North Providence, as well as St. Edward Church in Providence, said that many parishioners at St. Anthony ended up transferring just up the road to the Presentation Church after the events a year ago. Presentation Church didn't see a "big surge in attendance" from the outside after the sighting, he said, but did see a bump from parishioners switching churches "out of curiosity."
Since Cardente conducts Masses at all three churches, and all three are under the same leadership umbrella, he said the exodus from St. Anthony wasn't seen as a negative thing.
Cardente said he tried to minimize the sighting of Mary when it was first revealed, but maintained all along that "anything is possible" when it comes to God revealing himself. If God has worked in someone's life as a result of seeing the image, who is he to question that, said Cardente.
A Breeze story a year ago detailed how Presentation Church parishioner and employee Brian Trambowicz said he saw what appeared to be an image of Mary in the cross on top of the Presentation Church. WPRO talk show host John DePetro then helped fuel a rush from across the region, urging listeners to go see the image for themselves.
Many Catholics who visited the church saw the image on the cross as a sign that the mother of Jesus was watching over them directly, some saying they believed that she would heal them or provide them with a new job.
Cardente said many people both in his church and beyond its walls continue to be touched by the image on the cross. If they've been impacted by the image, he would "never say anything" to diminish that, said Cardente.
"God is in everything," he said. "I have nothing negative to say about any of that."
Source:  The Valley Breeze

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