Undoubtedly, my favorite spot on DeSales University’s main campus in Center Valley, PA, is the hillside plaza that overlooks the campus. Located atop our community-famous sledding hill, the scenic plaza is home to the majestic bronze statue of Mary, Our Lady of Deliverance. This statue was created by Ben Marcune, Bethlehem sculptor of international acclaim. It is actually a rendering of the famous Marian statue, which has been in Paris since the 1400s.
In contrast to the statue in Paris which sits high above the reach of visitors, Mr. Marcune designed the statue at DeSales to sit lower on the ground. He did this so that visitors are able to form a more personal bond with Mary. I am happy to report that Mr. Marcune’s vision has been realized, since it is not uncommon to find a student holding Mary’s outstretched hand as they pray. Most Rev. Edward Cullen, D.D., Bishop of Allentown, blessed and dedicated the statue of our Lady of Deliverance in October of 2004.
The hillside plaza serves as a serene, private place for personal reflection and prayer. It is frequently visited by students, faculty and staff alike. Encircled by beautiful cherry blossom trees, an aesthetic transformation occurs with the blooming of vibrant pink flowers each spring and brings new life to the plaza. The striking contrast between the dark bronze statue and the exotic pink blossoms is visually stunning and awe-inspiring. For me, the annual transformation serves as a reliable source of inspiration and creativity. Clarity and peace-of-mind are often a result of my solitary, quiet moments in the plaza, where a hilltop breeze combines with the attractive scenery to create a peaceful atmosphere.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Matt Cummings on Spirituality, Service, and Assessment