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Travelling Mary statue visits Sydney families for more than 60 years

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The Amarille family hosts the travelling statue. Photo: Supplied
The Amarille family hosts the travelling statue. Photo: Supplied

In Regents Park and neighbouring suburbs of Western Sydney, Mary has been taking residence in the homes of thousands of Catholic families for nearly 60 years. 

Since October 1966, in the month of the Rosary, parishioners and families local to St Peter Chanel’s parish in Regents Park have offered their homes each week to host the pilgrim statue of Our Lady and pray with each other. 

Art teacher, sculptor and restorer of religious statues Mona Goubran has organised the home visits since 1998, bringing Mary to the front doorstep of thousands of Catholic families in need of her intercession.  

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Alongside each week’s advertisement in the parish bulletin she adds, “the family that stays together prays together,” for a very particular reason. 

“The statue, together with communal prayer, make strong weapons against evil and can protect families from spiritual danger,” Mona said. 

“Mary is taking us to her son and intercedes for the entire family.” 

Some families request the statue during special occasions, important feast days or times of desperate need.  

“One lady in the community was not doing so well, her heart was failing and her body was shutting down,” Mona said. 

“She had always received the statue and asked for her prayers to be heard whenever undergoing a major operation. 

“Through the prayers of Our Lady and the community, she recovered.” 

Through the years, Mona says she has always sought to do Mary’s will. 

“If a family can no longer commit, I pray to Mary to direct me where she would like to visit instead,” she said. 

“It happens that someone not rostered for a few weeks or months gets the opportunity, and I realise Our Lady wanted to be with them at that moment. 

“They tell me Mary came at the right time for them and their families.” 

It says to Mona that Mary’s influence has a very special place in the power of prayer. 

“Open up your heart to Our Lady and you will see the difference in your life when you pray together with her and your family.” 

The statue has made all the difference to new grandmother and St Peter Chanel parishioner Anna Manganaro, who hosted the pilgrim statute in her home for the past week.  

It’s been nearly 20 years since the first time Mona brought Our Lady to Anna, back when her children were still in school, and she has since never turned down a visit from her heavenly mother. 

“I’m not on the roster, but I always insist that when Our Lady doesn’t have anywhere to go my door is always open,” Anna said. 

She says hosting the statue along with the rosary or any prayer is a beautiful display of Catholic faith between friends and families. 

Though her children have grown up, Anna now has a new family member to pray with. 

“My granddaughter who I take to adoration is only 10 months old and I can’t wait to start praying together with her and Mary,” she said. 

“She even has her own little rosary beads.” 

Anna encourages locals in Western Sydney who haven’t yet hosted the statue to invite Mary into their home. 

“Say yes, just as Our Lady said her first yes to the angel. 

“Say yes, and she will never abandon you.” 

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