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Beacon of Hope

Beacon of Hope

Grotto of Lourdes News
Date: Jan 2014

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.

Grotto Student AmbassadorsWe are providing opportunities for seven Mount students as ambassadors of the mission at the Grotto. Our students assist with creating a pleasant experience for our visitors through the compassion they offer and the personal attention they give to each Grotto pilgrim.

Michael’s mom, Karen, told me, “With all of the worries of college life, we feel Michael and the students at the Mount have some special protection with Our Lady's arms stretched out over the beautiful campus!” 

St. Bernadette's ShoppeOn June 1, 2013, the Miller Family Visitors Center and St. Bernadette's Shoppe opened. We received an overwhelming positive response to the addition and consider it a blessing to the grounds. I agree with Msgr. Steven Rohlfs, Rector of Mount St. Mary's Seminary, who said, "We finally have a place where people can gather and learn about the University, the Seminary, and the Grotto, and also to purchase mementos of their visit to Mary's Mountain."

The St. Bernadette's Shoppe has unique, custom items of our Grotto that can be found only here. There is always something new and exciting. The Shoppe is open seven days a week and will accept phone orders.

The 4,000 square-foot facility provides a great resource for meetings, speakers/presentations and retreats. We are working on a plan to implement retreats and pilgrimages beginning this summer. Have an idea for a pilgrimage? Please call us!


We have five Mount St. Mary's seminarians assigned to the Grotto this year for their priestly formation.

It is an honor to be around these young gentlemen who are so in love with Jesus and passionate about the mission of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Grotto gives them the opportunity to meet and pray with many people of God from various faiths and cultures.

Seminarian Tuan (Andy) Mai has told me numerous times that his mission at the Grotto helps him to become a better priest who listens to the people of God to whom he will be ministering in the future. Seminarian Mai is currently studying in the fourth theology class and was ordained a deacon on December 7, 2013.

Monsignor Phillips next to Campanile while being builtOn May 1, 1964, the 95 feet high bell tower crown with a 25-foot, gold-leafed bronze figure of the Blessed Mother was dedicated to the visitors of the Grotto of Lourdes as a gift of the Pangborn Foundation of Hagerstown, Maryland. The Pangborn Memorial Campanile stands on the site of Father John DuBois' original Church on the Hill, which burned down on July 4, 1913. Fr. DuBois founded Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary.

The bell tower is seen for miles across Pennsylvania and Maryland and draws thousands of people to stop and discover the Grotto. The image of Mother Mary shines as a beacon of hope for those who pass this sacred spot. The bells in the tower ring out every 15 minutes to remind us of Our Lord's light and inspiration.

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