Although churches are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary still  occur every weeknight during the month of May at St. Joseph Basilica. The devotions are a longstanding tradition honoring the Virgin Mary as “the Queen of Heaven and Earth.”  It is also a tradition that the president of the Children of Mary Sodality at St. Joseph School has the honor of crowning the statue of the Blessed Mother, and fortunately that tradition continued despite the current health crisis.

The Children of Mary Sodality dates back to the earliest foundational years of St. Joseph Parish.  As an organization of young girls, it was and still is an integral part of the St. Joseph School community.  Children of Mary Sodality members strive to honor Mary, the Mother of God, not only during May devotions, but in their daily lives by imitating her many virtues.  The sodality is advised by Sr. Mary Ann Papiez and membership is open to girls in Grades 3-8 who attend St. Joseph School or St. Joseph Religious Education classes.  New members are accepted into the Sodality on the first Sunday of Advent during a parish family Mass.

On Monday, May 4th, following the blessing of a floral crown by Pastor, Rev. Grzegorz Chodkowski, 8th Grade student, Wiktoria Potem, had the privilege of crowning the Virgin Mary. It was a beautiful moment that reflected the mystery it evokes: The Fifth Glorious Mystery of the Rosary – The Coronation of Mary.  Although the pews in the Basilica were empty, parishioners and students had the opportunity to view the crowning.  All Masses and devotions are currently Live Streamed to the public on the school’s Facebook page @stjosephwebster.

In addition to the May Crowning ceremony, members of the Sodality actively participate in various parish activities including processions for important feast days and the Fatima processions on the 13th of the month from May to October.  During the processions, they have the privilege of carrying the statue of Our Lady.  The girls also participate  in First Friday adoration where they recite the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament.  During Midnight Mass at Christmas, the sodality president has the privilege of carrying the statue of the Infant Jesus and placing Him in the manger.

To learn more about the Children of Mary Sodality, May Devotions at St. Joseph Basilica, or how your son or daughter can become part of a vibrant school community, please call 508-943-0378, email, or visit the St. Joseph School website:

St. Joseph School is proud to have this article featured in the May 15, 2020 Edition of the Webster Times.