As some children fidgeted in the pews, Mikayla Serr payed rapt attention during a prayer.
Second-grade teacher Kitti McSorley, right, instructs Frank Svete on how to read petitions during a practice a week before the crowning.
During a rehearsal a week before the crowning, second-grade teacher Dorothy Wyrzykowski, right, instructs Jake Leonardi and Molly Reardon to find their queue on when to begin walking down the aisle.
Emma Meehan dances down the aisle of St. Luke Catholic Church in River Forest to begin a ceremony that honors the Virgin Mary with a crown of flowers on her statue. The school and church have been doing a May crowning service since 1924.
Participants, including Ava Jankovich, left, and Jake Leonardi, were instructed to smile as they walk toward the alter.
Matthew Ortiz, left, and Molly Reardon sing during the devotional service.
Katie McAllister had the honor of crowning the statue of Mary. Her name was pulled from a hat of all the eighth-grade girls.
Vincent Vasquez, left, and Michael Scudiero were among the eighth-grade boys selected to process with the statue centered on a bier. After the crowning, children processed with the statue around the block.
Vincent Vasquez was among the eighth-grade boys selected to process with the statue centered on a bier.
To honor the mother of Jesus, many Catholics adorn her statue with a crown of flowers each May.
But St. Luke Parish School in River Forest does not just crown their statue. The second- and eighth-grade students, dressed in First Communion and Confirmation clothes, lead a procession, bearing the statue from the school to the church on a special bier.
The event included dancers, a court surrounding the chosen crowner and the procession with the statue around the block followed by all who attended the service. While many parishes and Catholic schools have let the tradition fade, St. Luke has been doing a May crowning every spring since 1924.
“The sentiment is really one of beauty, nurturing love of mothers, and a sense of community,” said second-grade teacher Kitti McSorley, who participated in a May crowning at St. Luke as a young girl in 1961. “It’s the month of new life.”
In June of 2014, David was honored with the 1st Place Award for Best Photo Series, as well as the 1st Place Award for Sports Photo, by the Illinois Press Association. Check out his award-winning caliber...
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