Door County Catholic landmark gets recognition

The Wisconsin Historical Society will be installing a historical marker dedicated to the Brussels Cemetery grotto. Father Edward Looney credits Patrick O'Hern, a member of the St. Francis and St. Mary's congregation, with being the point man for the recognition campaign. He was able to showcase several improvements made to the site, including installing a level walking path topped with brick pavers to help make the grotto more accessible to visitors. 

The cave looks similar to its original form, except for one modification. The crucifix was removed two years ago. Looney says the church hired an outside contractor to create a mold to replace the concrete statue, but it failed. The new cross is made from ironwood trees. Looney says other grottos in the state have gotten historical markers, and it is only appropriate for the Brussels one to be held in the same esteem.

The grotto commemorates the apparition of Mary at Lourdes, France. Looney says he has made the pilgrimage to that site and is bringing one of its powerful traditions to Door County.


The ceremony will be on October 29th, the 85th anniversary of the grotto's initial dedication.


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