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Beacon of Hope

Beacon of Hope

Grotto of Lourdes News

Pangborn Campanile with FireworksThe Pangborn Memorial Campanile was dedicated to the glory of God and His Blessed Mother in May of 1964. It was a gift of the Pangborn Foundation, Hagerstown, Maryland. The tower is 95-feet tall and is adorned with a 25-foot gold-leafed bronze figure of the Blessed Mother. It can be seen from miles away and marks the spot where Father John DuBois founded the original church on the hill in 1807. Inside, it contains 14 cast bronze bells which ring the Angelus and other melodies every hour.  

Join us on Sunday May 4, 2014 at 12p.m. for a mass commemorating the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Pangborn Memorial Campanile. We hope that you can take the time to come and celebrate this special occasion with us!

(contributed by Matthew Graham)

St. Joseph Alumnae Reunion
About 100 alumnae from St. Joseph College, Emmitsburg (classes of 1954-1974), had a delightful time on Friday, March 28, 2014, gathering at the Grotto for a reception hosted by Mrs. Irene Powell. St. Joseph College, Emmitsburg, was an all-girls, 4-year liberal arts College. It closed its doors in 1974, but the St. Joseph College Alumnae association remains strong. Mount St. Mary's College, then all-male, opened its doors to women in 1972. The ladies commented that the serenity and graces they had remembered from their college pilgrimages to Our Lady’s Grotto were rekindled there as they once again strolled the pathways which were once walked by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, their foundress.
Many of the ladies were married to Mount St. Mary's men, known as "Mounties." Here is a quote from one of the Golden class of 1964:   Little did I appreciate then what came to be the most wonderful gift of my life.....a long loving relationship based on the values enriched by our college experience.
(Contributor: Kathleen Hollenbeck)

Old Grotto SacristyWe are excited to start the long-needed renovations to the Grotto sacristy this week. The building was originally erected in the mid-1960s. Since then, the existing sacristy is in desperate need of expansion to make room for a:

  • priest and seminarian vesting area,
  • confessional,
  • sacrarium,
  • vestment and Mass supplies storage

With these updates, our priests and seminarians will have room to vest and prepare before Mass. Likewise, they will have the ability at the end of the Mass to remove their vestments and appropriately store any of the vessels used during the Eucharistic celebration.

We will have appropriate storage for the Grotto's vestments (such as the handmade albs and chasuable), sacred vessels and St. Mary's Chapel on the Hill's furnishings such as altar linens and the monstrance.

Along with needed storage, a suitable sacrarium will give the ability to properly prepare and dispose of holy water and wine. The drain will flow directly into the ground to prevent sacred items such as used holy water from being washed into the sewers or septic tanks.

A confessional will be conveniently placed in the sacristy near the entrance of St. Mary's Chapel on the Hill. The confessional will give the precious opportunity to pilgrims to engage in additional sacraments as never before.

We are grateful for the generous donations to this project. Because of our benefactors, the Grotto has been a light of hope for thousands of pilgrims each and every year, and we continue this grace for many years to come.

Healing Mass

In celebration of Our Lady of Lourdes Feast Day on Tuesday, February 11th, a special Mass of Healing and Anointing of the Sick was held in St. Mary’s Chapel on the  Hill. Over one hundred people attended the Mass and many more braved the frigid temperatures to visit the Grotto throughout the day to honor our Lady on this special feast.

Father Tom Smith, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, was the celebrant for the Mass.  He gave a moving Homily about how God heals us in many ways beyond just our physical nature and reminded us that we need to trust in God’s providence. The Anointing service was very moving and left attendees spiritually renewed with a sense of peace and tranquility.

We look forward to having another Mass of Healing and Anointing of the Sick this summer. Stay connected with us online, in the mail, and in person to keep up to date on the latest happenings at the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.   

New parking graphicWith all of these exciting additions, we are experiencing growing pains. More and more visitors are coming to the Grotto to seek comfort in a time of need or to search for peaceful reflection. It is not unusual to see large groups of pilgrims (as seen in this picture) visit the Grotto especially on weekends.

Because of these exciting developments, we have devised a new parking plan. The parking area between the new Mother Teresa Shrine and St. Mary's Chapel is becoming more of a walkway rather than a place to park. It has become unsafe for our visitors, so we are moving all parking (except for a few handicap spaces) to the lower parking lot. You will need to walk a little bit more, but we promise you, it is worth it!

Daily drop-off/ Pick-up transportation to and from the lower parking will be available once the new parking plan goes into effect.

16300 Old Emmitsburg Road | Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Map & Directions | | 301-447-6122
Frederick Campus | 5350 Spectrum Drive | Frederick, MD 21703
Map & Directions | | 301-682-8315