I loved the shrine at our church when I was a child, and we often walked over from the church after Mass. My sister and I had to wear our Sunday dresses and hats, and our brothers also dressed in their Sunday best, since they were often serving as altar boys. My one brother is missing from the photo, so maybe he was the one that took it. The shrine still watches over Route 523 in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, by Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church. The shrine grotto was patterned after the one in Lourdes, France and was built by the parishioners.
One of the most significant events during Father Wade’s pastorate was the building of the grotto by the Holy Name men. Ground was broken on February 11, 1953, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and on November 7, 1954, Bishop Ahr dedicated the grotto [Source: http://ollwhs.org/Our-Parish/Parish-History%5D.
My mother had saved a newspaper clipping from when the shrine was blessed in 1954.
This below was saved from the Centennial Year of Our Lady of Lourdes.
I love seeing the baskets of flowers all over the shrine, and even on the very top. I remember singing Immaculate Mary at many Novenas, and that is printed on the back of this four page devotion.
This photo below of the grotto is more current, but I think my family’s black and white photo shows the size and scope of the stonework better.
It is mind boggling to think of how the parishioners donated so much time, labor, and the equipment to build the shrine. How the men hauled the large boulders from the nearby Cushetunk Mountain, and then fitted all of the rocks together. Such are labors of love!
Happy Sunday! Copyright 2017 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.