Legacy of Our Lady of Lourdes Erath Grotto

ERATH’ S OUR LADY OF LOURDES GROTTO TOUCHES HEARTS (Article was written in 1999 for Erath's Centennial)

A familiar and memorable sight for many Erath residents is the grotto located near Erath's Catholic Church. The Church grotto built as a memorial honoring Our Lady of Lourdes, has captured the hearts of many children and adults through its life. The blue and white Our Lady of Lourdes statue stands encircled within a wall of large stones, above the small pond of water with its tiny bridge. Through the years, the grotto's legacy has won the hearts of many area children. With fond embedded roots, it has become a memorable landmark in the Erath community. Many are able to testify to the excited squeals of children heard after each weekend mass. Echoes of excited young voices asking parents or grandparents, "can we go see the fish now?" Though the grotto's statue, small bridge and goldfish captured the attention of the youngsters, it's the bond of sharing cherished moments with friends and family that gently touched souls. In the mid fifties, Mrs. Edward (Helen) Suire Sr. was responsible for the promotion of building of the grotto at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Upon completion, the grotto was then dedicated in honor of Father Justin Mirat, the Pastor at the time. Father Mirat, a native of France served the Erath Catholic Church from 1932 until 1956.

An inscription stone located near the Virgin Mary Statue reads:
NOTRE BIEN-AIME
PASTEUR-PERE JUSTIN MIRAT -SES PAROISSIENS
LE 9 0CTOBRE,1955

(To Our Good Friend, Pastor Father Justin Mirat Your Parishioners, October 9, 1955)

Still located on church grounds, the grotto has become a memorable structure for many Catholic Erath residents. With memories still alive in many sacramental photographs, as well as in hearts, many find themselves returning as parents now, sharing memories with their own children. Though just a simple small replica of the Lourdes Structure in France, this tiny grotto somehow, seems to own a part of the heart, of those who grew up in the Erath Catholic Church community. It's a place located just outside the doors of Erath's Catholic Church. It is a place which memories of family and tradition solidified through the years. A place which is truly embedded in the heart of Erath.

 

Erath High School

808 S. Broadway Street

Erath, LA 70533

Phone - 337-937-8451

Fax - 337-937-5109

 

Website URL http://www.vrml.k12.la.us/ehs

 

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