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A mother’s parting words

What mother has not had parting words of advice to her child before leaving the house, even just for a trip to the store or to college? “Cross at the corner”, “Call when you get there”! Elizabeth Hanlon Skelly was no different in that sense. Her words to her 16-year-old as he left for the seminary were “Wear this Medal always!” He did … and he led million’s of people all around the globe to wear this medal always.

We can not imagine the past and the present of the Eastern Province without recognizing the impact of the young man who faithfully followed his mother’s advice.

When Father Joseph Skelly died on July 8, 1963, I am certain his mother welcomed him to heaven with the joy of a mother’s heart. She knew how he spent his life in evangelizing and spreading the good news of another mother’s concern for all her children. She knew how many seminarians her son educated through the efforts of the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal he founded in 1915. She knew how much this association contributed to the life of missionaries .of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission –  St. Joseph’s College and Seminary, Mary Immaculate Seminary, a novitiate in Ridgefield, Connecticut, major seminaries in Florida and Albany, New York. Of course, there were the missioners who went to China and labored faithfully until their expulsion in the mid 20th century.

Two people who walk in his footsteps today

As we approach the feast of the Miraculous Medal I asked two people who walk in his footsteps today for their thoughts.

Fr. Michael Carroll, current Director of the Shrine of the Immaculate Medal, celebrates Mrs. Skelly’s faith and its impact.

The wisdom of Mrs. Skelly was profound and reflective of her strong faith. She clearly heard and embraced Mary’s message that those who wore the Medal would be protected and share in the many graces that Christ had to offer. Mrs. Skelly wanted the best for her son and she gave him the best in giving him the Miraculous Medal.

Decades later the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal offers the same wisdom and echoes the promises of the Blessed Mother to those who wear the Medal.

I’m so happy to share in this ministry with many promoters, members and devotees who echo these same words.

Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag, Senior Executive Director of the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal, herself a mother, adds

As I read Elizabeth Hanlon Skelly words I was struck once again by the power or a mother’s love.

A mother’s love and faith in her children is strong.  She is with you and will strive to protect you always. I believe that is the message Mrs. Skelly gave her son Joseph, as he was leaving to join the seminary.  Not only was she telling him I love you but she was also telling him, our Blessed Mother loves you and will be faithful to the promise of her words … “Those who wear it will wear it will receive great graces”

The Central Association of the Miraculous Medal was built on that foundation- Love and a faithful belief in the words of Our Lady.  One hundred and three years later, the foundation that Father Skelly established continues to tell the world of a Mothers love and her promise to all who wear the Miraculous Medal.

Thank You Mrs. Skelly for being a loving and faith-filled mother and sharing the Miraculous Medal with your son.

Thank You Blessed Mother for continuing to shower our promoters, members and devotees with your love and graces.

These are the aims that define the Central Association.

To render honor to Mary Immaculate and to encourage the use of her Miraculous Medal with prayers and devotions to her, under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
To support the education and formation of men for the priesthood and brotherhood in the Eastern Province of Congregation of the Mission, the parent body of The Central Association of the Miraculous Medal.
To support the aged and infirm Brothers and Priests of the Eastern Province of the Congregation
To support the apostolic works of the Eastern Province on behalf of the charity and service for the poor in our communities.

The Favors that we receive from our Mother, Mary, are symbolized as rays of grace and enshrined on the Miraculous Medal. When she entrusted her mission of devotion to St. Catherine, she also gave us direction and hope. The Rays represent our favors, which she hears and answers when we seek her in loving devotion.

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