Our Lady of Lourdes’ worn statue is a testament that thousands had once come to pay homage and seek the Blessed Mother’s guidance and intercession in this reverent century old Grotto.  Join in passing on the faith by restoring and preserving this Grotto so it can be reopened to the public for the Sacraments, Rosaries, Benediction and other devotions.  Help revive this Albany Marian shrine to be the place of pilgrimage and spiritual nourishment it once was.

In 1858, Our Blessed Mother appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France asking that a church be built there so people can come to seek her intercession.  Today the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, a replica of the grotto in France, has stood for the past century in the heart of Albany to serve in the same mission.

Built as the cornerstone of the Vincentian Institute, this Grotto was a flourishing place of Catholic worship, celebrating the Sacraments for the students who attended, as well as the nearby community.  Although the VI high school closed in 1977, thousands of VI alumni still have a special place in their hearts for the Grotto.

Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton, whose canonization process has begun, often prayed and asked for Our Blessed Mother’s aid here during the start of his global campaign to promote the Family Rosary in the mid-1940s.  Through Our Lady’s intercession, he received the resources he needed to spread the Rosary devotion across the country and eventually, worldwide.

For decades, this treasure of exceptional sacred art and architecture has remained hidden away, unable to serve the Catholic faithful as it was designed to.  By the grace of God, many of the Grotto’s artistic gems are capable of being saved and preserved for future generations, but we cannot afford to delay.

“This is a Hidden Gem!”
– Bishop Edward Scharfenberger

With the support of Bishop Edward Sharfenberger, we can work on once again opening the Grotto to the public as a place to celebrate the Sacred Liturgy, offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation and pray the Rosary along with other devotions.

Join in the effort to restore, preserve and promote the grotto as a place that gives honor to Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception and solicits her mediation for the needs of the world.  Let’s bring the miracle of Lourdes here.

Restoring the Grotto and reviving this Albany Marian Shrine as a place for catholic worship can only be made possible with your prayers and generosity!

Donate now by clicking here:

Or to avoid surcharges for a large donation, mail a check payable to ‘Friends of the VI Grotto, Inc’ to:

Friends of the VI Grotto
Grotto Restoration
P.O. Box 8896
Albany, NY 12208

If you are unsure if we received your donation, check here in a week or two.

Your tax deductible contribution will go directly towards funding the following Grotto needs:

Immediate Necessities

◊ In order for the Grotto to once again be open to the public for Masses, Confession and other devotions and services, a wall for the back entryway needs to be constructed.  This will give the Grotto a needed second exit and prevent entrance into the De Paul apartments, ensuring the safety of its residents.  This is the number one essential that needs to be completed in order for complete restoration to become a possibility. Please consider a donation concerning this $40,000 expenditure.

◊ Such a sacred place with beautiful unique art and architecture should be properly lit in order to highlight its wonderful characteristics of the Catholic faith.   Presently, all of the original century old braided wiring is still in place and needs to be upgraded for all of the wall fixtures, chandeliers, and panel and electrical.  As a potential fire hazard, this is another essential expense that needs to be addressed.  Please consider a donation towards this $35,000 cost.

Interior

 

◊ The high altar with Celtic furnishings and lovely mosaics immediately grabs your attention as it displays the tabernacle.  A professional cleaning would help to emphasize and preserve its magnificence.

◊ What would a Lourdes Chapel be without a fount of healing water? V.I. students reminisce of the peaceful sound of water gently trickling from beneath the statue of Our Lady.  With a fount of the actual Lourdes’ healing spring water, this chapel could become a beautiful place of pilgrimage for those experiencing illness and unable to travel to the Lourdes Shrine in France.
In order for the sound of the water to once again echo through the walls of this Grotto, the entire fount mechanism needs to be replaced.

◊ The painted glass windows in the Grotto are exquisite and transform the glare of daylight into an envelopment of reverence and solemnity. Their current state does no justice to how bright and uplifting they could once again become with a cleaning and tightening. The outer plexiglas also needs to be replaced in order to protect the windows and allow more daylight to pass through. Together, this is estimated to be a $25,000 expense.

◊ The Grotto’s wood carved confessionals have endured the last century in great shape, offering a safe place for thousands to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation.  In order to maintain their use and beauty, their screens need to be replaced and the wood needs to be rehydrated and oiled.

◊ After all the wiring has been upgraded, in order to light up the Grotto and all of its artistic gems, the lights for the altar and stations of the cross need to be replaced.  New lights also need to be placed over the Blessed Mother in the cove and the vestibule statues.

◊ Let us honor those who fought for our country with a professional cleaning of the vestibule 1950 shrine of Our Lady of Peace and the plaques dedicated to parishioners who had served in WWII.

◊ Restoring and preserving the historic unique details of the grotto to ensure its longevity for generations to come is also a priority.  It would require cleaning the brass fixtures, mosaics and statues, retouching the painted wood, striping, repairing and refinishing the cork floors, and replacing the angel light coverings with glass.

Exterior

◊ The outside of this hidden grotto also needs an upgrade in order to be easily identified and given the proper respect.  Currently, the corner of Yates and Ontario where the grotto entrance is located, isn’t well lit during the night.  Bright LED lighting with timers would change that, and allow activities at the Grotto to continue even when it gets dark out.

◊ An outdoor display case for posting information on events, activities, and updates would help keep visitors informed and involved.  An electronic card entrance would ensure the safety of visitors and protect the Grotto in anticipation for a time when the grotto may hold perpetual adoration through the night.

◊ In order to preserve and protect the chapel, some additional plans for the exterior include cleaning the marble perimeter, realigning the front stoop, and enclosing the side door entrance and outside step with a fence.

◊ An awning made of copper or rod iron and a duplicate inside door for the exterior would help to identify the grotto from the outside, as well as hint of its beauty within.

Additional Costs

◊ Updating the Sacristy

◊ Fix swinging interior doors

◊ New lighting in foyer

◊ New Altar rug

◊ Vestments – 2 full Sets with cope and humeral veils (1 simple and 1 solemn)

◊ New runners/carpets in vestibule

◊ New Organ designed for the tune and pitch of the chapel $150,000

◊ A/C Unit $150,000

 

Total Cost Estimates = $850,000

By the grace of God, the Grotto has survived a hundred years.
Thanks to your prayers and generous contribution, this gem can be restored to her original shine and reopened for public worship.
Every dollar received will go towards restoration.
Thank you to all our generous contributors so far and please keep this endeavor in your prayers.

 

Thank you Helen-Jo K. for your generous contribution!

Thank you Anonymous ’56 for your very generous donation of $2,000!

Thank you John O. for your $100 donation!

Thank you M. J. L. for your $100 contribution!

Thank you Deacon Jim O’Rourke’70 for your $100 donation!

Thank you James’56 & Veronica’58 Blendell for your contribution!

Thank you Kerry K. L. for your donation!

Thank you James O. for your $100 contribution!

Thank yuo Bob Ward for your generous donation in memory of Ruth, Charles and John Ward!

Thank you Theresa Schweigert for your contribution!

Thank you J. K.’59 for your donation!

Thank you Sally Abriel Rook for your contribution in memory of Mary Downes Horan!

Thank you Maryann Zimmer Markham’59 for your donation!

Thank you Layne J. L. R. for your contribution!

Thank you James F. Horan’73 for your donation!

Thank you James O. for your $100 contribution!

Thank you Leicht Family (Bill, Nancy, Mary, Ray, Ken, Clare, Laura and Ann) for for donation in memory of Ann Miller Leicht’42, William Leicht and Barbara Leicht’64.

Thank you Mary & Edward Cross’59 for your $100 donation!

Thank you Kathy C.’60 & John’62 Harrison for your contribution!

Thank you Joseph C. Fitzsimmons’40 for your donation!

Thank you Barbara A. Zell’59 thank you for your $100 contribution!

Thank you Kathleen Hurley K.’66 for your donation!

Thank you Tim O’Sullivan for your contribution!

Thank you Donna L. Haggerty-Bianchini’69 for your generous donation!

Thank you Rita O’Sullivan(Nee Connell)’42 for your contribution in memory of your family!

Thank you Lorna M.’58 for your donation!

Thank you Anonymous for your contribution!

Thank you Maureen L. M.’54 for your donation and be assured of our prayers for your great grandson.

Thank you Venter Family for your $250 contribution in memory of
James & Anna Venter married at the Grotto in April 1941

Thank you James O. for your donation!

Thank you J. L. K. for your contribution!

Thank you Susan H. D.’65 for your $100 donation! And Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary!

Thank you Stana W., Zena C., Rachel G., Ernie A., Laura M., Jonathan L., Rachel R., Aaron F., David P., Aaron B., Sura L., and Katie S. for your contribution in memory of Mary Downes Horan!

Thank you Judith Coffey’75 for your contribution!

Thank you Brian Murphy’72 for your $100 donation!

Thank you Joseph G. for your donation!

Thank you Kathleen C. for your donation!

Thank you Gayle F. for your contribution!

Thank you Mildred Smith’59 for your very generous donation!

Thank you Teresa S. for your $100 contribution!

Thank you Mary Lou’62 & Jim Carney’62 for your donation in memory of Veronica Carney’53

Thank you Jim’58 & Ellie’60 McMahon for your $100 donation!

Thank you Carol Campbell Toomey’60 for your $100 contribution!

Thank you Tom’67 & Lyn Tobin for your $75 contribution!

Thank you Adrienne’59 for your $100 donation!

Thank you Anonymous for your $1,000 donation!

Thank you Nancy G & Guy Tortorici for your $100 contribution!

Thank you Thibodeau family for your $50 donation in loving memory of Elinor Moran Thibodeau

Thank you Joe’64 & Mary’67 Gecewicz for your $100 donation!

Thank you Maureen Fitzgibbons Cellery’59 for your donation!

Thank you Rhonda C. for your $100 donation!

Thank you Br Edward Boyer, CSC for your $200 contribution!

Thank you Jessie & Naomi Tropp, Peggy Lynch-Brennan ’68,
Patricia Dwyer, Mr & Mrs Tony Maio, Kathy C’60 & John Harrison’62,
Erin Haite ’63, Rose & Charlie Murphy, Maura Leary, Paul Richer & Family,
Ned & Connie OBrien, Madeline Santulli and Mary’s friends at the
Albany Medical Center Outpatient Physical Therapy for the
Memorial donations made in loving honor of Mary Downes Horan ’63

Thank you Thomas A. G.’51 for your donation!

Thank you John O. for your $1,000 contribution!

Thank you Paula F. for your $100 donation!

Thank you Gregory M.’72 for your generous contribution!

Thank you Anonymous for your generous donation!

Thank you Hazel Prelow for your $500 contribution!

Thank you Dorine D. for your $25 contribution!

Thank you Anonymous for your donation!

Thank you to the VI Class of 1967 for your generous $3,000 donation!

Thank you Mary Theresa and Charlie Mirabile for your $100 contribution!

Thank you Michael and Cathy (Cordon) Lamanne for your donation!

Thank you Susan R. for your $100 donation!

Thank you Carol R. for your $20 contribution!

Thank you Christina C. for your donation of $50!

Thank you John J. Masko III and Gabriela Masko for your $500 donation!

Thank you Fernando Agcaoili for your $50 donation!

Thank you Anonymous for your contribution of $100!

Thank you Hazel Prelow for your contribution of $500!

 

 

 

 

If you wish your name or amount donated to remain anonymous please email albanygrotto@gmail.com stating so.