UPON THESE ROCKS WHEN JESUS ESTABLISHED HIS CHURCH,
He gave his apostle Simon the name Peter—literally, the “rock” upon which he would build the faith of his followers.
Holy Cross Men for generations had their own “rocks of faith”—the beloved grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on our school’s historic campus. It’s where students, faculty and alumni gathered, alone or in groups, for quiet moments of prayer, contemplation, even weddings and baptisms. More than a gathering place, the grotto became a touch¬stone of their faith – and a lifelong connection to Holy Cross. Now, those rocks will once again anchor the faith and formation of Holy Cross Men. We are rebuilding the historic grotto on Holy Cross’s new campus! It will be named “The Founders’ Grotto” and will include plaques honoring those who “built” Holy Cross. We invite you to become a “rock” for Holy Cross.
Gifts by check and pledge forms should be sent to:
Office of Institutional Advancement
Holy Cross School
5500 Paris Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70122
Click here to download a pledge form
Groundbreaking for the Founders' Grotto took place on February 17, 2017 with an intimate ceremony of major donors, faculty, staff and administration. The Foundation Board and Campaign Committee honored Charles DiGange’s contributions to Holy Cross for the past 13 years as Headmaster, rebuilding the school after Katrina. The Founders' Grotto serves as a parting gift to Charles and Myra DiGange and will be dedicated to all those Founders who came before in the legacy of the school. The statues from 4950 will return to campus at the completion of construction.
Construction will commence mid-July, and the dedication of the new grotto is anticipated to take place at the start of school. We have raised enough money to break ground and prepare the site for construction.
We would like to graciously acknowledge the following donors:
If you would like to join the wall of honor*, please click here to download the pledge form or click DONATE ONLINE to make a gift. When making a gift online, please type "GROTTO" in the box under “Other Information—This gift is in memorial or tribute for.”
Ron Blitch, class of 1971, has designed the new grotto, which will be constructed of architectural rock that has a natural appearance that blends with the hundred-year-old oak landscape on the south side of campus with pathways that lead to a quiet meditative sanctuary. We are pleased to have on board a company specializing in the fabrication and installation of artificial and themed environments with the use of sculpted shotcrete, GFRC, FRP, Epoxy, and polyurethane. CemRock has been in the business for more than 40 years for clients like the Audubon Institute. We would like to thank Lou Lanza, class of 1972, who will be laying the foundation for the grotto, and Alfortish for storing and restoring the statues from the original grotto from 4950 so that we can finally bring them home to Holy Cross School.
Conceptual Rendering, CemRock
History of the Grotto at Holy Cross
The Marian grotto was built on campus in 1954 and was a careful replica of the Massabielle grotto at Lourdes. Sixteen and a half feet high, eighteen feet deep and thirty feet long, it stood at the foot of the levee facing the Main Building until it was dismantled in 1966 to make room for the new dormitory. Conceived as the Marian Year project, the grotto began to rise in November 1954 with the help of Brothers Edward Boyle, Melchoir and Mary Joseph Siok. Student helpers included Thomas Pipitone, Daniel Sentilles and Ronald Schappe. They hauled broken concrete from the demolished Southern railway station to supplement the broken concrete donated by the city. Some students were dragooned into the project in lieu of punishment for infractions of school rules.