By Mary Walton
Each morning when Michele Gannon arrives at Mary’s Place by the Sea from her home in Interlaken, she touches the statue of the Virgin Mary in the front garden and adjusts the crown of pink roses.
But on Friday she could not carry out her customary ritual. The two-foot-high stone statue had been stolen. The crown lay on the ground.
Gannon is a founder of Mary’s Place, which provides a respite for women with cancer. Housed in a six-bedroom Victorian home at 15 Broadway, the non-profit center offers massage, guided meditation, nutritional counseling, spa services, yoga and workshops. It has harbored about 300 guests this summer.
Gannon said the statue had been in her family for 10 years. “We bought her when we started having children. In the summer I would bring her to Ocean Grove and set her in front of our cottage. It was a reminder to our children that they had two mothers looking after them.”
Mary’s Place is named for the Virgin Mary. And when it relocated to Broadway last fall, Gannon stationed the statue in the garden, to the left of the front steps, in front of a large rose bush.
Gannon mourns the loss. “I just feel like she was a friend and comfort to so many people.”