St. Mary’s Grotto
Designed and built in 2009, this design creates an outdoor prayer area reminiscent of the Grotto of Massabielle in Lourdes, France. Utilizing the sloped hillside, this garden creates a secluded area for contemplation and view of the Madonna Della Strada statue in the church’s interior. In addition to providing an area for reflection, the natural stone grotto is extensively utilized by the parish for weddings, photos, and small events. A blue and beige color theme creates consistency among many of the project components.
Antique barnstone was chosen for the gently curved focal retaining wall. This focal wall includes an original sandstone church sign that had been in storage for over 20 years, as well as an inset cross and shelving for prayer candles. Granite benches arranged for ceremonial seating complements the patterned bluestone patio. An engraved paver and stone walkway and barnstone water feature leads visitors to the peaceful space. A dedicated rose garden and natural composition of evergreens surrounds the grotto further creating a sense of an enveloping reflective outdoor room.