Below is an excerpt from Patrick McCaskey’s latest Sports and Faith book: Sportsmanship, copyright 2010, Sporting Chance Press (see details in products section).
Humorous media personality Kevin Matthews worked in radio on two different networks in Chicago. After a job change, he was commuting to Michigan when he experienced neurological symptoms that suggested a stroke. Diagnosis determined that he had multiple sclerosis. Weakened by the disease, Matthews was making adjustments to his life. He was fearful about his future prospects. He reached back to his Catholic past and began saying the Rosary.
Driving in the Western suburbs of Chicago one day, he felt compelled to stop at a cemetery that he knew and pray at a cross. He was swept over by a feeling of peace and was able to let some of his fears go. Sometime later, he felt compelled to stop and pick up some flowers for his wife. Outside the florist, he saw a statue of Mary that was in great disrepair and broken in half. He was inspired to salvage the statue and had it partially mended back into a whole statue, but otherwise retaining its chips and breaks. The statue spoke to Matthews about the notion that many people are in fact broken and in need. In time, he decided to take “Broken Mary” to interested audiences and tell his story. A devotion has grown out of the statue and Matthew’s experiences. Matthews has written a book about his experiences called Broken Mary: A Journey of Hope.
On the feast of the Visitation of Mary, Matthews told his story to people at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago. Then, a group of over 15oo people processed many miles to Chicago’s Water Tower to pray for peace in the city. First responders, who often have to deal with the worst events in the city, carried the statue of Our Lady of the Broken, as it is now being called.