When a local priest on his day off at the seminary noticed that a garden area around a statue of Our Lady of Grace in the back of the seminary grounds near the pool was in need of attention, an idea was sparked and a project was born----let's spruce it up the area, fix the irrigation system, and install some new landscaping. But where to start?
A parishioner from Saint Cecelia's parish in San Francisco introduced the priest to her cousin, a landscape architect. The architect, who last visited the seminary as an altar boy 50 years prior, not only provided guidance, but also donated a full-scale architectural plan that included over 400 plants and a new pathway. This professional plan was critical to the fundraising for the project. Eventually, $35,000 dollars was pledged to pay for grading, a new drip irrigation system, over 400 plants, new lighting system, and the installation of the brick pathway. The project management was handled by a volunteer from Saint Veronica Parish. Much of the materials for the pathway portion were donated by vendors, including the 18 pallets of brick pavers and the necessary base rock and sand.
During the process, it became clear that the existing statue of Our Lady of Grace was too small for the size of the new garden area. Eventually, a five-foot tall marble statue of Our Lady of Fatima was found and local donors offered to fund the cost of purchasing the statue.
In the end, a relatively-easy "spruce up" became the creation a significant shrine honoring Our Lady of Fatima. The local priest is convinced that it was the desire of the Blessed Virgin Mary to have this project realized. Only through combined effort of many people and companies was this new shrine possible. Great things can happen when the people of the Archdiocese take an active partnership in the future of the seminary. Thank you for everything you do for St. Patrick's Seminary.
Please look at the slideshow before to see the progress of the project and the before and after photos. God bless!