Diocese of Wilmington Adds Unique Statue to Dagsboro Cemetery - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Kimberly Holmes

Diocese of Wilmington Adds Unique Statue to Dagsboro Cemetery

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The statue was created by Conrad Pickle Studio of Vero Beach, Florida and designed by Lyn Durham. (Photo: WBOC) The statue was created by Conrad Pickle Studio of Vero Beach, Florida and designed by Lyn Durham. (Photo: WBOC)

DAGSBORO, Del. - One local organization has found a way to offer peace during difficult times. On Thursday, workers installed a 10 foot bronze rendering of the blessed Mother Mary at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Dagsboro.

Bob Krebs, spokesman for the Diocese of Wilmington, said the town was selected because it is the first diocesan cemetery in the southern part of the diocese. The cemetery serves Catholics in Sussex County in Delaware and nearby Worcester and Wicomico counties in Maryland.

The statue was created by Conrad Pickle Studio of Vero Beach, Florida and designed by Lyn Durham, head artist for the studio. Durham worked with sculptors in Italy.

"I just got that feeling of protector," Durham said. "God rising out of the sea and the loving mother taking care of everything to do with the sea."

That theme radiates on the statue. Mary's headpiece and cloak signify, as organizers said, both her Christian and Jewish roots and her role in salvation. Mary also holds a ship in her arms.

Mark Christian, Executive Director of Cemeteries for the Wilmington Diocese, called it a fitting addition to this seaside community.

"Because we're in an area where a lot of attention is paid to the ocean," Christian said. "Recreation on the ocean, swimming and people retire here for that reason so we tied it in with the theme the 'Star of the Sea.'"

The statue is based on verses in the bible. In I Kings, 18:41-45, it refers to a little cloud appearing above the sea as a sign of hope.

Christian said the project took about 18 months to complete and cost the diocese about $250,000 to create.  But, Christian added you can't put a price on the peace he hopes it'll bring grieving families.

"The sense of peace and serenity knowing that there's a higher power watching out for us," Christian said.

And looking over those who visit it for years to come. There will be an official unveiling and blessing of the statue on Wednesday, Aug. 15, authorities said.

Christian said they also plan to add statues of both Saint Joseph and the Christ Child in the years to come.

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