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Beacon of Hope

Beacon of Hope

Grotto of Lourdes News

processionA memorable devotion centered about the old Grotto was the annual Corpus Christi procession. It was during Archbishop Purcell's term as president of the college (1829-1833) that these annual processions to the Grotto over Brute's paths began, or at least began to be chronicled, and another charm was added to the Mountain.

The "Story of the Mountain" contains a number of articles by Mountaineers who try to put into words the unspeakable joy of their memory of these holy occasions. Reading them, we are reminded of the comment of the poet Miles: "Who can wonder that we turn with overflowing hearts to Mount Staint Mary's and speak to her with a tenderness that makes a worldling smile."

The lovely road between the site of the old church and the Grotto is still called the "Aisle of the Corpus Christi Procession."

duboisThere is a legend that Dubois, on one of his pastoral journeys, was attracted by a light on the mountain and found this blessed spot, one of the loveliest in the world, and there erected a rude cross in 1808.

Those of a more practical mind may surmise that Father Dubois was seeking the source of the stream which flowed out of the ravine into the valley below. In any event, John Dubois found the Grotto site, a dell of breath-taking beauty. It is worth a trip from the other side of the world just to see the natural beauty of the spot. 

Just what did John Dubois find on his day of discovery? He climbed a steep ascent through a rocky ravine along a tumbling torrent, which was much broader and more unruly than at present. About 500 yards above the present Mount St. Mary's University Main Campus, the priest came upon a lovely clearing, a masterpiece of natural beauty.

Sharply sloping hills from almost every side formed a natural amphitheater where nature "displayed itself in all its wild and picturesque beauty." In the center of the clearing, where now the Corpus Christi Chapel stands, Father Dubois saw a mound, shaded by the branches of an ancient oak. Such huge oak trees are seen even to this day on the mountain. With the passing of time, the earth had been washed out from beneath the great, gnarled roots of the oak. A recess or grotto was thus formed underneath the great trunk and the thick roots which overhung the bed of the stream. 

In the summertime when the stream was low, one could enter the grotto and find there a rustic room. Here John Dubois erected his cross, the symbol of the holy work he was undertaking. This was the original Grotto. 

DeafPriest'Inspiring' priest who is deaf leads inaugural pilgrimage in Archdiocese of Baltimore

May 19, 2014

By Jessica Marsala
EMMITSBURG – The Archdiocese of Baltimore's inaugural pilgrimage for people who are deaf May 17 was a rare opportunity for more than 80 Catholics who are deaf and partially deaf to learn more about their faith and to more actively participate in Mass.
Father Michael Depcik of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales and the Archdiocese of Detroit, one of the few Catholic priests in the United States who is deaf, led the pilgrims to the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and then the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, both of which are in Emmitsburg.

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(Photo: Father Michael Depcik, one of the few priests in the United States who is deaf, gives his homily during Mass at the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Emmitsburg May 17, part of a pilgrimage for people who are deaf coordinated by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. (CR Staff | Jessica Marsala))

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)
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