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Nun to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe I South Philly Review I

The founder of a sacred arts academy seeks to add a revered image and an accompanying shrine to South Broad Street.

By Joseph Myers
Add Comment                    Posted Jan. 13, 2011

Sister Mary Paula Beierschmitt holds the radiant image that her ordinary camera captured during a trip to Maryland. She sees it as a sign that she is to be an advocate for Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the numerous titles for the Blessed Mother.

Photo by Greg Bezanis

With Christmas, Jan. 6’s celebration of the Epiphany and Sunday’s observance of the Baptism of the Lord, early winter gives one plenty of reminders of Jesus Christ. New Year’s Day doubles as the Solemnity of Mary, a holy day honoring his blessed mother.

Courtesy of a 2008 photo, Sister Mary Paula Beierschmitt, a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, whose local convent is located at 1731 S. 11th St., desires to make each day a token of the Virgin’s importance.

Beierschmitt, a painter and sculptor who serves as president of The American Academy of the Sacred Arts, 1629 Porter St., believes Mary wants an increased presence in Philadelphia. Her conviction derives from Mary’s luminous appearance as the iconic Our Lady of Guadalupe over an ordinary mosaic in Emmitsburg, Md. The casual click has left Beierschmitt seeking to duplicate the image and construct a shrine using a blank exterior wall belonging to Carto Funeral Home Inc., 2212-14 S. Broad St.

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