On Monday March 5, the Mount community participated at the ground breaking ceremony for a new visitor’s center at the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes. After raising funds for a number of years, the Grotto staff, which is on the campus of Mount St. Mary’s University marked the ground breaking for their new building with a joyous celebration in which the seminarians participated in full. The grotto chaplain, Fr. Thomas Smith a 1982 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, began the occasion with a brief prayer of invocation followed by a rousing speech by university president, Thomas H. Powell. Later each of the members of the university’s board of trustees, along with seminary rector Msgr. Steven P. Rohlfs dug up a small piece of earth to initiate the building process. Msgr. Rohlfs even received some assistance from seminarian Eric Bolek (S’ 15, Peoria) in pushing his shovel into the ground. At the conclusion of the ground breaking ceremony, the seminary schola sang a piece for the the pleasure of all present. More information about the future visitor’s center can be found on the Grotto’s website at the following address, http://www.msmary.edu/grotto/visitor_center/.