History of the Lourdes Grotto at the Franciscan Sisters' Wisconsin Convent

With this photo, we share a bit of Franciscan Community history about our own Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto found at our Motherhouse and a tradition we hold of presenting a single yellow rose at the time of each of our Sister’s death.

Our Franciscan Community Archivist Sister Teresita Kittel wrote: “To many visitors, one of the most inspiring spots of our convent is Our Lady’s Grotto.

The building of our little Lourdes started in the spring of 1939, while Mother Perpetua was Vicaress. It is a memoria to Mother Generose on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee. The pattern used may have been merely a magazine picture. The reason for the present grotto and its largeness was so that Mary might bless the entire countryside, rather than have just a private grotto for the community alone.

Most of the work was done by our workmen, especially Robert Klingeisen. The rocks in the frame work came from our farm and farms as far distant as St. Nazianz. The large rock in front, with holes in it was brought from the Frank Fessler farm, the first farm on Highway 151 as you turn right to go to Manitowoc. This family felt honored to have donated this rock, for Frank Fessler is a nephew of the Father Joseph Fessler who helped found our convent.
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