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Bourg Mulatresse grotto refurbished and blessed

Deacon Malcom Joab and parishioners of Mary Immaculate Queen of the Universe (MIQU) parish, Bourg Mulatresse celebrated their patronal feast of the Queenship of Mary on August 21.

Archbishop Jason Gordon blessed the recently restored grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes at 5.30 p.m. followed by Holy Mass at 6 p.m. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only four persons accompanied His Grace. Parishioners, however, did not miss the occasion as they watched the evening proceedings via Facebook.

One of the highlights of the evening celebrations was the blessing of the grotto which was built in 1987 by former Parish Priest Fr Casimir Colm Graham OP and parishioners of MIQU.

Over the last 33 years, the maintenance of the grotto was a challenge and was done by parishioners who occasionally volunteered their time, labour, and money. Restoration works continued in 2018 and onwards by committed parishioners but with major changes being undertaken:

  • Replacement of wooden benches with concrete benches
  • Construction and installation of the sleeping St Joseph statue surrounded by angels and concrete benches
  • Major maintenance work of cutting overhanging tree branches
  • Planting of four long beds with lawn, flowering plants, and greenery to enhance the ambience of the grotto
  • Electrical repairs to lights and restoration of three water fountains
  • Repainting and restoration of all the statues in the grotto

The parishioners worked feverishly during this period of pandemic 2020 to 2021 to construct and instal a marble altar, credence table and lectern and installation of a stone-paved floor of the sanctuary.

During the blessing, His Grace spoke about the wedding feast at Cana (Jn 2:1–10). He said the Grotto is a shrine that God has given to us, all who have served in the parish of MIQU and all who have worked to renew the grotto. He asked God’s blessing that the grotto be a place of prayer and for the community to worship and to become holy and set aside for sacred use.

The homily at Mass was on Luke 1:26–35, The Annunciation. His Grace highlighted the importance of asking Mary’s intercession and her relationship and status with her son, Jesus. He said in 1st century Jewish culture, the Jews understood that the Queen Mother was held in high esteem and high dignity and because of the fact that Jesus as king descended from the line of King David.

— A parishioner