The Grotto

                                   

What distinguishes Saint Gabriel’s Convent from the other houses on Seaview Avenue is the large white cross that adorns the front lawn and the beautiful grotto dedicated to Our Lady. And if the statue of our Lady could tell you a story I am sure she would inform you of her journey here and how it finally became her home in August of 2006.I think this is what she might say.

“I  first belonged to a Deacon when he purchased me for his home in 1995.When he became a member of the Committee planning for the Marian Gathering that year, he donated me to the Gathering. Permission was obtained from a metro University to place me in the Grotto there, since this was the place where the Gathering was happening. When the Gathering was completed I remained in that Grotto.

Devotion to Me, the Blessed Virgin soon developed and people would often leave fresh flowers and candle lights. Eventually a permanent light was placed at my Grotto. After a few years, the authority of the university requested that I be removed as my presence offended the secular status of the University and some minority groups. When I was removed I was placed in the garage of the university. Not happy about my residence, some faithful Catholics, God Bless them, took me to the basement of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church where I remained for a time. And with yet another move I ended up at Saint Paul’s Parish in Herring Cove.

Now when these beautiful Sisters from Africa were getting ready for their first mass in the Convent in 2000 they realized they needed an image of me. One of the ladies helping them get ready remembered where I was and called the pastor of Saint Paul’s. Not long after, I was moving again-this time to the inside of Saint Gabriel’s Convent. There I remained until May of 2006.

Through a generous benefactor, the construction of the Grotto on the property of the Convent was made possible. On the memorial of the Queenship of Mary, August of 2006, I was driven to Saint Michael`s Parish in Spryfield , where a beautiful mass was celebrated and  a blessing was given by Archbishop Prendergast.

Imagine my surprise when I found myself being carried outside after mass and through the streets of Spryfield accompanied by over 100 faithful Catholics to my final place of residence-the Grotto of the Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, (that had to be a challenge for those carrying me that distance.)When I arrived they reverently placed me in the Grotto and I was crowned followed by the faithful singing to me.

I have to say that I am happy here in my new residence-with a permanent light for the night and the garden placed there with love. I often see people of faith dropping by for a prayer or a quiet time of reflection.

During the months of May and October on Monday evenings the Sisters are joined by their Associates and Friends to pray the rosary. How happy that makes me.“

“Please drop by for a visit to my new home-any time-I would be elated to see you-say a pray or the rosary or come during the months of May and October and bring a friend-to join the Sisters in praying the rosary.”