Dedication At Ave Maria Grotto

The middle of last month at Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, they held the dedication of the statue of Brother Joseph, so we went to see it. They were also showing off the renovation and addition of the visitors’ center:

It’s *so* nice inside. They carry honey that the Brothers harvest, plus candles from their candlemaking shop at the Abbey. Of course they have a huge selection of rosaries and books etc etc etc.

The grotto was beautiful as always:

I love taking the boys here and one nice thing is that they are now doing family memberships so that you can pay a yearly fee for unlimited admissions.

I grew up in Cullman and know that my love of self-taught art came from visiting Ave Maria Grotto – the way Brother Joseph used cast-off items like jars, plumbing supplies, old costume jewelry, and tile to make the most magnificent creations was and still is so inspiring.

This is the new statue of Brother Joseph that Ira Chaffin made:

Besides working in bronze, Ira has just opened a new carousel woodcarving school in B’ham.

After we left the grotto, we took the boys to see the small chapel closeby:


My set of previous Grotto pics, like these below, are here on Flickr.

Ave Maria Grotto, Cullman AL

Colisseum in Miniature at Ave Maria Grotto, Cullman AL

The Temple in Miniature at Ave Maria Grotto, Cullman AL

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