Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 10




Shrine shines brighter
with help from
Citizens Electric

Far left: St. Mary's of the
Barrens shines a lot brighter
these days thanks to a rebate
from Citizens Electric, which
lighting. Left: Don Fulford,
CEO of the Association
of the Miraculous Medal,
says the cooperative's help
reduced the electric bill
while providing superior
illumination to show off the
beautiful church.
parameters, one of which is that the payback on the
hen the priests, brothers and staff years," Steve says. "When we calculated the payat the Association of the Miraculous back, it was like 19 years. Power Moves said, 'sorry,
Medal in Perryville set out to create a we can't give them a rebate.' "
Undaunted, Citizens went to bat for the shrine,
new plan for the core campus, they
faced a real challenge. The beautiful Vincentian which brings tens of thousands of visitors into PerSt. Mary's of the Barrens Church, which houses a ryville each year. The problem was that
much visited national shrine, needed major renova- the new lights planned for the historic
tion. But the work would have to be done in keeping structure had to be custom made to
with part of the mission statement, which calls for match the ones being replaced.
"This is a national shrine and a destination for
"preserving, protecting and honoring" the heritage
tourists," Steve says. "My point is if it had been a
of the church and its grounds.
"The biggest renovation was the church, and the regular church that needed to do a lighting retrochurch had a few issues," says Don Fulford, CEO ÀW\RXFDQJRWRDFDWDORJDQGVD\¶2.,·PJRLQJ
to order these off-the-shelf lights.' The shrine
of the association. "It was leaking
needed to maintain the integrity of the place,
a little bit. We had termites. Our
which blew out the cost. So, we asked Wabash
electric usage was unbelievable."
to re-run the numbers based on standard
Driving the high electric bills
lighting costs. Well, they did, and we were
was the lighting used to illuminate
able to give them the rebate."
the interior and the many works of art
Altogether, the association received
hanging on its walls. "We had 16 500$18,364 in Power Moves rebates, which
watt bulbs that did nothing but shine
cut its energy use by 135,953 kiloon the altars and the paintings brought
watt-hours per year. It ended up with
over from Europe," Don says.
brighter lights, lower electric bills and
Not only were the lights using too
less maintenance from the LED lights.
much electricity, they also left much of the sanctu"What the upgrades meant to us was that we
ary in shadow. Don says he noticed those attending
Mass clustered in certain spots. "When the hymnal could make the place brighter for all of our wonderwas open and they were following along, the only ful visitors and guests," Don says. "We could illumiplaces they could see were in these bright spots in nate more of the beautiful artwork that was here,
and we can do it at a much cheaper cost."
the church."
The extensive renovations were completed in
Fortunately, the shrine is served by Citizens
Electric Corp., which not only wanted to help but 2018 and visitors have been commenting on how
also had a rebate program in place that was tailor- much they like the improvements. Don says the
made for the project. Power Moves is a program pro- most touching comment to him came from a second
vided by Wabash Valley Power Alliance, which sup- grader who on a visit to the church stared in awe
plies wholesale power for Citizens and cooperatives at the decorated ceiling and stained-glass windows.
The child commented that it was the most beautiful
in Indiana and Illinois.
"It's about saving the members money and pro- church he had ever seen.
"I know that the new lighting system had a lot
viding them with the best energy value," says Steve
Elsea, manager of member services for Citizens. to do with it because he can now see the beautiful
"We don't want our members wasting energy. Power murals, he can see the artwork," Don says. "And
Moves provides more energy value to the member, it was because of our partnership with our co-op."
The church and surrounding campus got its
and the energy savings on the wholesale side are
start in 1818, three years before Missouri became
passed on to our members through stable rates."
&LWL]HQVKHOSHGWKHVKULQHÀOORXWWKHDSSOLFDWLRQ a state. It originally included a seminary that was
But when it was sent in, the request was rejected WKH ÀUVW VHDW RI KLJKHU HGXFDWLRQ ZHVW RI WKH 0LV
because it didn't meet one of the key requirements sissippi River.
The seminary closed in 1985 and its buildings
of the program. "Wabash Valley has certain program

by Jim McCarty |



were converted into a retirement home for Vincentian priests and brothers.
The present church dates back to 1827 when
the cornerstone was laid. It replaced a log structure
that has been restored and is still on the campus.
There are eight altars located in various chapels
inside the church. These gave each of the 200 or so
seminarians an opportunity to
More content inside
say Mass during their training
our digital edition
at the campus.
One of the chapels is the
Miraculous Medal Chapel added in 1929. An adjacent door leads into the Votive Light Room, where
thousands of LED candles recall the requests for
prayers that come into the shrine from the faithful
around the world.
years, a rosary walk was added to the shady campus. This leads to the grotto built on the site of the
quarry that provided stone for the church. It was
built during World War I and will celebrate its 100th
anniversary in 2020.
"We have a beautiful statue down in the grotto,"
Don says. "As a yearly routine they would send a
student up on an old ladder with a bucket of white
paint. There was probably 60 layers of paint on it.
When we stripped it down they found it was painted
many colors, not just white. So we redid it to its
original colors."
The area always has been a place where people
those special places. We have people from all faiths
who come out here and just recognize that their
tive space where one person can be at peace with
That's especially true now that the Missouri
National Veterans Memorial with its exact replica
of the Vietnam Wall has opened on the north end of
Perryville. "It makes for a special day when someone
visits both the Wall and the shrine," says Don. "The
the emotional and inspirational site of the Wall. It
is truly a synergy this community can be proud of."
The shrine is located at 1811 W. St. Joseph St. For
more information call 1-800-264-6279 or visit www.
information at

Rural Missouri - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - December 2019

Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 4
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 5
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 6
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 7
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 8
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 9
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 10
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Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover4