A Marian grotto at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Sarona was blessed June 30; the dedication was one of Fr. Bala Showry’s last acts as parochial administrator of the small rural parish. (Submitted photo)

At Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Sarona, a statue of Mary, which has been a part of the parish for a great part of its history, has been given a new home.

Due to a deteriorating base, the statue was taken down from the bell tower and replaced with a new one four years ago. Parishioners kept the statue with hopes of creating a “quiet place of prayer” on the church grounds.

That became a reality this spring through a generous contribution by the John Geiger family in memory of his parents. Ben and Samantha Zemaitis offered their time and equipment to dig the foundation and prepare the construction site.

The many weeks worth of work that went into the building of the split fieldstone grotto was donated by an experienced man who wished to remain anonymous. The rock was also donated by County Materials of Rice Lake.

Parishioner Rosemary Zaloudek said, “As the plans for the grotto unfolded, many volunteers and donations followed and the shrine was built for our Holy Mother for God’s glory.”