May crowning ceremonies took different forms at Viatorian parishes across the Province. At Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais, second grade first communicants took a featured role on May 10, and so did the fourth graders, who carried four-foot May poles in the procession.

Mrs. Amy Bovie was chosen to crown Mary.

But the one aspect that makes it stands out is the May crowner herself: Members of the parish’s Catholic Council of Women always choose a special woman to crown Mary. This year, they chose Amy Bovie. She is a 30-year parishioner, who has taught in Catholic schools for 35 years. She is certified as a spiritual director and retreat leader. Currently, she teaches first grade at Bishop McNamara Catholic School in Bourbonnais.

“Last year, after 30 years of teaching high school, I returned to the primary grades to teach first grade,” Mrs. Bovie says. “It was an unbelievable honor to share my love for our Lord and Our Lady.

“Those kiddos were the ones who received First Communion this year, and I am grateful for the small part I played in their faith formation,” she added. “When I was asked this year to crown Our Lady it meant much more to me.”

The May crowning took place inside Maternity’s sanctuary, before students and Mrs. Bovie processed outside, surrounding the parish’s patron saint showcased in the church’s front plaza. The historic, 7 1/2-foot, 1,400-pound image of Mary — made of iron and dating back more than 100 years — moved to the parish’s newly designed plaza in 2016, that was built to enhance its front entrance.

Fourth graders wait to process in with their May poles.

In the plaza, the the second graders sang Lovely Lady Dressed In Blue as the May pole ribbons wafted in the breeze. Before leaving this special event, everyone recited a Hail Mary.

“Mary is more honorable than the cherubim,” Fr. Jason said, referring to a phrase in the Magnifact, “and yet she is so much like us. Let us pray that through her intercession, we may achieve holiness in life and a deepened faith, hope and love, as we seek to do the will of God in all things.”