Public invited to blessing of new Marian grotto on May 8 at Peoria Notre Dame

The statue of Mary in the new "Fountain of Grace Grotto" at Peoria Notre Dame High School. The grotto will be blessed in ceremonies that include a rosary procession at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 8. (Provided photo)

Peoria Notre Dame High School will soon have another place of prayer on campus — a Marian grotto, which is being constructed near the library patio. It will be blessed on Sunday, May 8, at 2 p.m.

The public is invited.

In addition to the blessing, the ceremony will include a rosary procession and reconsecration of the whole school to Mary. Light refreshments will be served.

The grotto was the vision of Sister Sara Kowal, SCTJM, principal.

“While standing on the patio one day last year, an area between the building and a set of stairs revealed itself as a perfect place for a grotto,” Sister Sara said. “Our school patron is the Blessed Mother, and it’s only fitting that we have a special place to come speak to her. In this place, we can let her love us, and we can love her back.”

The grotto is meant to remind people of the grotto in Lourdes, France, where Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.

“It is my hope this grotto will not only draw out students, faculty and staff deeper into the faith, but will also be a tranquil place for our larger PND family and Catholic community to visit for comfort, protection, and guidance by our Blessed Mother,” Sister Sara said.

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