Churches to hold Marquette cross faith day this Sunday.

June 21, 2019

From left, Melissa Alvarado, PM Memorial Association; Carlos Alvarado, pastors Henrik Lidman, Jerry Theis, Brian Ford.

Churches to hold Marquette cross faith day this Sunday.

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — The Pere Marquette Memorial Association has joined with several local churches to organize a Community Faith Day, which will take place Sunday, June 23. Churches who have confirmed participation include St. Simon Catholic Church, Radiant Church, Prayer and Praise Assembly of God, Living Word Church, Grace Episcopal Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Bernard Church, and St. John Cantius Church. In addition, several other churches have expressed interest in participating. The purpose of the event is to provide an update to congregations about the progress of the Pere Marquette Memorial restoration project and also to ask the faith community for financial support of the project.

The Pere Marquette Memorial Association is a not-for-profit community-based entity.

The base of the restored cross, located on South Lakeshore Drive on the Buttersville Peninsula, is nearly completed, according to Carols Alvarado, board president. The cross itself is being restored off premise and and is expected to be brought back to the site within the next few weeks, Alvarado said. The monument was moved back from its original location up on the hill due to serious erosion on the east side of the hill, he added. As part of the restoration project a marine barrier has been installed to prevent further erosion.

The association has raised about $70,000 but needs to raise a total of $260,000 for the first stage of the project, Alvarado said.

The memorial was purchased by the association in 2018 after an individual claimed Pere Marquette Township was violating the First Amendment by owning a religious symbol, even though the cross is a memorial to Father (Pere) Jacques Marquette, a 17th century Jesuit missionary and explorer who died near the site of the cross in 1675.

The current memorial was built in 1955 but a memorial to Marquette has existed on the site for many years.

Those wishing to contribute to the Pere Marquette Memorial may do so online at www.mason-foundation.org. Click “give” and then the “give now” tab. Checks may be sent to Pere Marquette Memorial Association, ℅ Carlos Alvarado Law, 202 S. Harrison St., Ludington, MI 49431.

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