“Tis the month of our Mother, the blessed and beautiful days.”
This month, besides being the month of Mother’s Day, my own mother’s birthday, and the feast of our Lady of Fatima on May 13th, it is the month of our Mother Mary.
Amidst the pandemic crisis - living in the new reality of wearing face masks, staying in place, numbers rising for death and sickness, and social distancing - there has been an increase of prayer, of generosity and appreciation of those working to give of their time and money and skilled directions to make our lives safe.
At Sacred Heart Monastery and Villa St. Benedict, we have been blessed with grounds that include a spacious grotto, providing ample opportunity to let us experience God’s beauty while sheltering in place. I am privileged to play a part in its maintenance and thus usually get to meet and greet the many residents that come here to sit, walk, chat or pray the rosary.
Over the years April showers that bring May flowers have kept our grass green. Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto area has remained a quiet, prayerful and colorful space. On occasion, residents have gathered to pray the Rosary.
This year the grotto’s beauty has been enhanced by some outstanding efforts. Maintenance man, Eric Shumaker, has done a miraculous job of repainting the Saint Bernadette statue. Bob Carr, the Greenhouse Manager at Cantigny, gave us flats of spring flowers that could not be planted because the park is closed. And lastly, generous donors have helped purchase plants. Due to pandemic restrictions many individual faithful volunteers have not been able to be on campus to help plant, water and weed. However, Arlene Malloy, who assists part-time in our Development Office, has been devoting even more (solo) time and energy this year to help maintain the grotto.
In 2005 a security fence was added, and in 2011 the Sisters moved the fence line nearer the grotto and added memorial bricks and a sidewalk. Memorial bricks include (and can still include) names of living or deceased sisters, family members, alumnae, and our Villa residents and staff.
I conclude this sharing by asking your prayers for an end to this pandemic. Pray the rosary, love our Blessed Mother, and let her continue to be our intercessor and loving advocate.
Sister Mary Bratrsovsky, OSB
Cell Phone: (630) 750-6010 or email@example.com