University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
The Grotto
Photography by Robert F. Ringel

The Grotto It's quiet and shady there. Just what there is about the place can't be described because it's different for everyone. . . . From the great Golden Dome of her University Our Lady reigns as our Queen. Yet at the Grotto she seems to have stepped down a little closer to us that she might emphasize the other side of her personal relationship with us -- that of Our Mother.

-- John E. Fitzgerald

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The canopy of trees, digging their roots into the unhewn rock, is the proudest grove on campus. And rightly so. These trees are a garland of green on a crown of rocks. They have lived up to all the beauty of Kilmer's poem . . . as all trees must. But these have done more. They have listened to May songs; they have watched flickering vigil lights; they have stood as silent sentinels while anxious prayers and burdened hearts lifted hopeful eyes to Our Lady. The trees of the Grotto -- if they could speak -- would speak only in a whisper.

-- Thomas J. O'Donnell, C.S.C.

To those who find adversity smothering their hopes, who long for the soothing words of a mother far away, the Grotto is always a source of inspiration.

-- Notre Dame Scholastic, 66:12.

Every university has a place where students hang out for their social life, libraries where they study, and playing fields where they play sports, but how many have a praying place?

-- Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus

© 2001 by Robert F. Ringel.
All rights reserved.