Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, recently celebrated the grand opening of a visitors center at the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The Shrine, which is located at the University, was built in 1875 and is the oldest known replica of the revered French shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The visitors center opened on June 1 with a public Mass of Thanksgiving at the Grotto. The facility houses administrative offices, a gift shop, and a gallery depicting the history of the Grotto.
The center is named after University patrons, alumnus Richard Miller and his wife Mary Lee.
Richard Miller graduated from Mount St. Mary's in 1974 with a degree in business. Today, he is the chief executive officer of Virtua — a non-profit, multi-hospital healthcare system headquartered in New Jersey. In 2011, he received the Mount St. Mary's President's Medal in recognition of his leadership in health care.
“The Grotto is a place of healing, prayer and serenity,” said Mr. Miller. “It is a place where we have always found comfort in times of need, a place where we feel very close to the Blessed Mother and a very special place to pray. I am honored that my family and I will help to enhance the experience of the millions of people who visit the Grotto in times of need or just for peaceful reflection.”
University President Thomas H. Powell, said:
“We have a glorious national shrine on our campus and now we are blessed to welcome the hundreds of thousands who annually visit the Grotto,” said University President Thomas H. Powell. “The generosity of the Miller family enhances the historic landscape of our blessed Grotto and also creates a glorious space for the community — providing a year-round destination spot for the region.”
Mount St. Mary's University is recommended at TheNewmanGuide.com for its strong Catholic identity.
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