Photo by Kelly White
Former longtime Chicago radio host Kevin Matthews shared his message of Broken Mary at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Oak Lawn last Thursday night.
By Kelly White
Longtime former Chicago radio host Kevin Matthews, whose humor entertained the airwaves for many years, now spreads the word about Jesus’ mother, Mary.
“This story isn’t about me,” said Matthews, who now lives in Grand Rapids, Mich. “I’m just a guy. But there is no such thing as coincidence.”
Matthews, 62, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis back in 2008, shifting his life path. A father of two, he was recognized throughout the Midwest as one of the top names in radio for the 17 years he entertained drive-time radio listeners on AM 1000 (the Loop), ABC and CBS radio. Matthews was known for his humor and cast of fictional characters on-air. But now the retired radio host is also known for sharing the significance of both Mary and the rosary.
He shared his powerful message of Broken Mary at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, 10621 S. Kedvale Ave., Oak Lawn, last Thursday night before a large audience.
"The message of Broken Mary is we're all broken,” Matthews said. “Everyone. We're not perfect, we're flawed. But we're loved."
Broken Mary is his story of Matthew’s early years in radio and stand-up comedy, followed by his successful career when he entertained 10 million listeners weekly. The book also details his struggle with multiple sclerosis and his awakening to the dignity of women.
Most importantly, it talks about his encounter with a broken statue of Mary left next to a Dumpster.
After recently being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Matthews lost his beloved job as a radio personality. While driving home one day, he had an urge to pick up some flowers for his wife. As he was walking into a flower shop in Grand Rapids, Matthews spotted a Dumpster. Lying on the ground next to the Dumpster was a statue of the Virgin Mary, broken in half at the waist with cracks and fractures on her hands.
“I didn’t know who would do such a thing,” Matthews said. “She looked so cold and abandoned. That’s when I heard a voice saying, ‘Will you deny me? Will you deny my mother? It all happened so quickly. I knew I had to do something.”
Matthews took the broken statue home and took it upon himself to put it back together. Even through his restoration of the statue, the cracks and fractured hands remain. He believes the defects of the statue, which he calls Broken Mary, are symbolic of human flaws, or humans that are in need of healing.
“She reminds me of me,” Matthews said. “She is broken. I’m broken.”
Matthews had Broken Mary blessed by a priest and he said soon after that was when miracles started to occur. His story hit the bookshelves in February of 2017 when “Broken Mary: A Journey of Hope” was published.
Although he grew up Catholic, Matthews returned to a more active practice of his faith after finding Broken Mary. He shares his story by traveling across the country with Broken Mary, visiting prisons, drug rehabilitation centers, hospitals and hospices.
Broken Mary has touched countless lives, including those who are sick, those struggling with addiction, and those serving life in prison.
“We are all broken,” Matthews said. “It’s humbling to go to Mary and say, ‘Please be my mother’.”