This spring, I took the boys and another family we’re in a pod with to Ave Maria Grotto in my hometown of Cullman, Alabama. It was a gorgeous day, the azaleas were in full bloom, and we took what felt like a thousand pictures.
At the end, though, a surprise — we were invited by a volunteer to enter Brother Zoettle’s workshop — the space that the artist/creator of Ave Maria Grotto utilized to make his pieces. It’s being cleaned, organized, and restored, and we got to see the tools and collections that were used to construct his original works.
The Grotto website explains that Br Zoettl was a Benedictine Monk of St Bernard Abbey here, and that he grew up in Landschutt, Bavaria-Germany. The Grotto has hosted people since 1934 to see his works in miniature.