OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE: Dream, Vision Come True In South Philadelphia!

Our Lady Of Guadalupe Unveiling

by Maria Merlino
The vision and dream of the deceased founder of the Academy of Sacred Arts, based in South Philadelphia, is coming true.

THIS PHOTOGRAPH was taken by Sister Paula Beierschmitt. When she saw film, she found, in front of dull gray granite fresco, she had captured a startling image in bright light. She got the message, which set her on a mission; however, she died before it was completed. Her fans have brought it to conclusion.

THIS PHOTOGRAPH was taken by Sister Paula Beierschmitt. When she saw film, she found, in front of dull gray granite fresco, she had captured a startling image in bright light. She got the message, which set her on a mission; however, she died before it was completed. Her fans have brought it to conclusion.

Sister Paula Beierschmitt, a renowned painter and sculptor, who was the only nun to ever be accepted into the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, attracted attention and smiles wherever she went, always dressed in the habit of her Order, the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She roamed throughout South Philadelphia and the city promoting sacred art and a host of religious venues. Based at St. Monica’s, she established her Academy of the Sacred Art in 1993 at 16th & Porter Streets, a nonprofit.

In 2008, on a trip to Mount St. Mary in Emmitsburg, Md., she took a photo of a mosaic of our Lady of Guadalupe. When developed, the colored film showed a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe appearing in color before the dull gray granite fresco in the back.

She showed the picture to the editors of the Philadelphia Public Record and to several photographers and photo shops. All agreed this wasn’t made up. It was a real, untouched photo of what was captured on the film.

Sister Beierschmitt began a mission to put a bronze of this filmed image on South Broad Street, an area she felt needing “Our Lady’s guidance. A little shrine for people to visit.”
The site she selected was on the wall of a lot of two car spaces wide adjacent to Carto’s Funeral Home, at 2212 S. Broad Street. Owner Nunzio Carto gave her permission and acknowledged as much to the editor of this paper.

Her sudden death was seen by many as an end to this dream. But those who were on the Board of the Academy of Sacred Arts felt different. They formed a committee to raise the funds needed to make the sculpture possible.

GLIMPSE of Our Lady of Guadalupe wax sculpture that will eventually be a bronze statue.

GLIMPSE of Our Lady of Guadalupe wax sculpture that will eventually be a bronze statue.

Steven Kilpatrick, a Cherry Hill, N.J., sculptor, was selected by Sister Paula to design the shrine. A well-known sculptor in bronze, Kilpatrick has executed sacred art for churches and shrines around the country as well as in Europe, South America and Africa.

Attorney William Maffucci, chairperson of the committee, this week announced the sculpture of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as caught in the photo taken by Sister Beiterschmitt, will be unveiled preceding Mass at 11 a.m., Sunday, May 31st, at the Cathedral Basilica of Philadelphia. It will be followed by a luncheon reception in the cafeteria adjacent to the Church at 222 N. 17th St.

GLIMPSE of Our Lady of Guadalupe wax sculpture that will eventually be a bronze statue.

GLIMPSE of Our Lady of Guadalupe wax sculpture that will eventually be a bronze statue.

The sculpture will remain at the Cathedral Basilica through the World Meeting of Families in September, after which it will be transported to its permanent home as the centerpiece of prayer shrine on South Broad Street.

The sculpture is being finished at the foundry. Formal invitations will soon be sent to everyone else who has supported this the project, either financially or in some other way.

Maffucci would appreciate if a group of skilled musicians would donate their time and service at the Mass. If so, he asks they please contact him at WMaffucci@sogltlaw.com or Anna Darbey Matteoda at adm@charitableeexchange.org.

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2 Responses to OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE: Dream, Vision Come True In South Philadelphia!

  1. As Sister Paula’s younger sister and as a member of the Board of The American Academy of the Sacred Arts it gives me great pleasure to see this dream fulfilled. Sister Paula loved South Philadelphia and soon
    her dream will be a reality. Our Lady of Guadalupe Bless us all.

    Paula M. Luskus
    March 15, 2015 at 7:10 pm

  2. Hi Younger sister of Paula, I believe all that was said. I am from Trinidad and I myself saw Our Lady of Guadalupe in my dream during the month of June 2017, and she looked just like the picture posted, except she was not glowing but she had on a gold dress and a green covering gown. She was just there standing between the clouds. I got up from my sleep around 2am. bawling ‘OH MY GOD” several times when i saw it. I was not sure if it was a dream or vision but i jumped up and immediately looked out the Window to see if she was there but she was not. Up to this day i don’t know why she just appeared in my sleep and I am right now searching for answers. If you can help please email me.

    Gerauna Romero
    August 7, 2017 at 12:03 am

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