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National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes Announces 60th Anniversary Celebration


e-Nnovation grantEMMITSBURG, Md. (August 7, 2018) – The National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes will celebrate its 60th anniversary on Saturday, September 8, with a day of liturgy, fellowship and other festivities in honor of the holy shrine to the Blessed Mother that attracts more than 400,000 pilgrims annually.

Archbishop of Baltimore William E. Lori will celebrate mass at the Grotto Cave at 12 p.m., presiding over the Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary, an exercise as set forth by St. Louis Marie de Montfort to increase the faithful’s spirituality and ability to truly serve our Lord Jesus Christ. Mass will be preceded at 10:45 a.m. by Adoration in St. Mary’s Chapel and Reconciliation in the Confessional near St. Mary’s Chapel.

“Nearly all who come to the National Shrine Grotto find their hearts and souls strengthened through prayer, the sacraments and the silence of this sacred place,” said Lori Stewart, director of the National Shrine Grotto. “It is our mission to continue to grow awareness of Our Lady, for our loved ones who are searching for peace of soul and consolation during times of affliction.”

Rev. John DuBois, the founder of Mount St. Mary’s University, built St. Mary’s Chapel on the Hill church in 1806 on the site of the present Pangborn Memorial Campanile, two years before he began building the college at the foot of the hill. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and Rev. Simon Brute were also early stewards of this sacred space that was merely a secluded but special corner of the college campus that was rarely visited by outsiders until 1958 when the Archdiocese of Baltimore proclaimed the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes as a Public Oratory and National Shrine. The Archdiocese also appointed Monsignor Hugh J. Phillips as director and chaplain of the National Shrine Grotto.

Msgr. Phillips, who also served as president of the university from 1967 to 1971, restored and enhanced the National Shrine Grotto, including the building of the Pangborn Memorial Campanile crowned with a 25-foot, gold-leafed bronze figure of the Virgin Mary that overlooks Mary’s Mountain and the university. He also opened the National Shrine Grotto to the public, drawing millions of national and international pilgrims over the past 60 years and personally ministered many of the visitors as chaplain until his retirement in 2001, three years before his death.

“Faithful to Msgr. Phillip’s vision for the National Shrine Grotto, growth and restoration is again necessary to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims brought here by the Blessed Mother,” Stewart said. “We have embarked on a vision to preserve the serenity of these holy grounds and to nurture them as a place of prayer and consolation through restoration and growth. We carry the proud tradition of the past and look to a bright future into the next 60 years.”

 
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