OUR LADY OF LOURDES GROTTO


Inspired by the miracle in Lourdes, France where Our Lady appeared to a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous,  this Grotto has preserved the spirit of our faith in our Parish.  The first Parish Priest, Reverend Pierre Pineault, named the Parish "Our Lady of Lourdes" in her honour. The project to erect the Grotto was sponsored by the Catholic Women's League under the direction of the then President, Mrs. Geraldine Collier, as testimony to our devotion for our Blessed Lady and to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Parish in 1987.  While the site is a natural rock formation, the Grotto itself was built into the existing rock face by a local stone mason and parishioner, the late Mr. Michael Flavin, as he believed he was instructed to do so by Our Lady.  To the left of the Grotto, water trickles over the rock face to represent the stream at the site in Lourdes, France.  This stream enables visitors to repeat the gesture which Our Lady said to do:  "Go and drink from this stream and wash in it."

A few years after the initial construction of the site, a Grotto Committee of local volunteers was formed to continue with the beautification of the site.  A large pair of rosary beads was custom made by another parishioner, Mr. Adolphe Lainey, from fishing buoys, and placed on the site.  The rosary has been placed over the rock face and is a beautiful addition.  A small waterfall cascades down the rock face between  the Grotto and the beads with an almost spiritual tranquility.  The Grotto property is now surrounded by a "Memory Walk," adorned with 87 decorative posts, each donated by an individual or organization in memory of deceased members of the Parish.  The Memory Walk allows visitors to stroll the grounds and view the "In Memoriam" plaques attached to the posts, a piece of history in itself.  These posts were also constructed gratis by Mr. Michael Flavin, Ben Sheppard, Alf Smith and Monte Drake. The Memory Walkway has recently being upgraded with concrete patio stones to further beautify the site.

In 2008, the Stations of the Cross were constructed on the grounds surrounding the Grotto by Mr. Lindsey Bennett, a Stonemason from Stephenville, assisted by Grotto volunteers, where visitors can now experience the "Way of the Cross."  Walkways and benches allow visitors to visit the Stations and relax in comfort.  A large statue of "Jesus the Redeemer" completes the site.  Fresh flowers and shrubs abound everywhere and recently a row of trees has been planted along the Memory Walk.  A large "Arch", constructed of brick and wrought iron and designed by Reverend Terry Boland and Francie LeCointre, marking the entrance to the Grotto, was installed early July 2014 and blessed shortly thereafter in a ceremony by our present Pastor, Rev. Gerard Patry. Five "In Memoriam" granite benches have also been installed. The Grotto Committee are on the grounds daily over the Summer months to ensure that visitors to the site have the ultimate experience.

Over the years the Parish and its people have maintained a strong devotion to Our Lady.  Our beautiful Grotto is testimony to this devotion and the site has become a place of solace and comfort for our Parishioners and the thousands of visitors to the site annually.  With the support of parishioners and organizations alike, we anticipate that the site will continue to grow as a place of devotion and dedication of the people of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish as a whole.

                                                                    

                                                                            GROTTO COMMITTEE

                                Sylvia Smith (Chair)                                                             Cynthia Skinner 
                                Gail Skinner                                                                           Francie LeCointre
                                Mavis Drake                                                                           Shirley Snook
                                Ben Sheppard                                                                        Alf Smith                                
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  




                                                                     Click for larger image .........    

Grotto Brochure (English/Fench)
             (Click to view)

  "Saint Bernadette, Teach Us How to Love and Serve"

This page last modified on Saturday, October 15, 2016

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