St Columba Cemetery Grotto Refurbished

Blessing the grotto and the graves.

The Grotto on the Hill

The grotto was originally constructed to house the Holy Family by volunteers in 2002-2003.

It continues to be maintained by the Cemetery Committee and regular volunteers today.

The grotto has been completely refurbished.

Cumac Landscaping was engaged to do the restoration of the grotto.

Thanks to the County of Vermilion River for providing some grant funds to help with the grotto refurbishment.

Many volunteer hours have also been spent recently to repair and restore the entire cemetery.

The Statues

The statue of St. Joseph belonged to Mrs. Anne Lawrence and her family and was brought to Clandonald by wagon when they moved from Red Deer Alberta in the summer of 1930.  

The Lawrence men helped quite a bit at the convent in Clandonald and ended up giving the statue to the Sisters of St. Joseph. It was positioned on the south side of the convent.

When the convent closed in 1968 or 1969, the statue was moved to the north side of St. Columba Cemetery behind Father McPhee’s grave and remained there until it was incorporated into the grotto where it now stands.

In the summer of 2020, the president of the cemetery, Kevin McCormack, took the statue to Gloria Sen in Vegreville to be repainted. Gloria had to do quite a bit of repair work as the cement was crumbling in places, which is not surprising as it is believed to be approximately 100 years old.

The statue had been totally white until the repair and painting was done.

The statue of Mary was purchased from a local masonry in Vermilion at the time the grotto was established. 

The Blessing of the Grotto and the Graves

Saturday, August 21, 2021

The newly refurbished grotto was blessed as sunset approached after 7:15 mass at St Columba Church.

As the sun set after the blessing, there were desserts and beverages, and a time of fellowship.

Catholic Parish of the Holy Name