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Called to Participate: The Dedication of GC’s Grotto

Pictured+are+students+from+XBSS+and+Student+Council.
Pictured are students from XBSS and Student Council.

Pictured are students from XBSS and Student Council.

Cabigas-OLGCHS

Cabigas-OLGCHS

Pictured are students from XBSS and Student Council.

Eliza Henne, News Editor

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Last Friday, December 8, students, faculty, staff, and numerous school donors came together to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception, where Dr. Barker shared some remarks with the community. His address covered the historical origins of the Grotto at Our Lady of Good Counsel, and how the idea became a reality.

 

2013 marked the beginning of the project: Mr. John Poulos, GC’s director of grounds, proposed the concept and began researching grottos, and came up with preliminary designs of the circular stone base with an arch set on one side. Andy Cocozzella, class of ‘73, was responsible for completing the final stonework, constructing the base a little ways from the entrance to the school stadium.

 

But the grotto was still missing a centerpiece. For the sculpture, two artists’ designs were considered. The task went to Tim Schmalz, whose contemporary design depicted Mary holding both the baby Jesus and a scroll that flows outward onto a table. Throughout the creation process, Mr. Schmalz released very few pictures of his progress, but the sculpture started in 2015 was finished two years later, cast in a specific type of bronze and weighing a total of 2,173 pounds.

 

Dr. Barker then shared some interesting facts about the grotto. For one, the sculpture of Mary is angled slightly towards the school building and, by extension, towards the students. Another key aspect, as Dr. Barker put it, involves how the statue “demands that you make a decision” to interact with it; the scroll of images and the seats around the table invite the viewer to almost become a part of the statue.

 

Following the conclusion of the service, Dr. Barker, Father Tom, the various donors, and several current GC students and staff headed out into the chilly wind and gathered around the grotto for the dedication. Father Tom blessed the little alcove and its statue, encouraging all those present to “look to [Our Lady] as a model” in times of need. The donors and students were then photographed to mark the occasion.

 

In his remarks to the students, Dr. Barker told the gathering that the grotto was built both for the current Good Counsel community and for the “falcons of our future.” It is indeed a powerful thought that this grotto will stand as a pillar within GC’s history for generations of falcons to come.

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Called to Participate: The Dedication of GC’s Grotto