A Place of Sanctuary
Bringing The Grotto to You
Daily Spiritual Reflection

“I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.” John 12:46

The pandemic can feel like a darkness over our lives. Missing the many aspects of life prior to the pandemic, we feel confined to a prison of restriction because of nothing we did wrong. We can feel scared, angry and hopeless. We may even wonder if God is present.

Uncontrollable events in life cause us to feel helpless and the darkness of uncertainty can weigh heavy upon our minds and hearts. Yet, our hope is that God’s loving presence is the light in our darkness.

God has proven this fact. During the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised land, God provided a pillar of fire by night to reassure them that He, their God, was ever close.

Faith is our ability to see the Lord’s light in our darkness. Jesus promises that our faith in Him will always produce the ability to see and feel the warmth of His light. The question of faith is, ‘do I want to see the Lord’s light?’

Today the pillar of fire that is the Lord’s light fills our lives. It may be in the love of a spouse, in the care of a neighbor or in the sunrise of the morning. Jesus promises that we will not remain in darkness. His light fills our lives today. All we have to do is look for it. Our search for His light will not take long. 

Fr. Don Siple, OSM, Rector of The Grotto
Light a Candle at The Grotto

Purchase a candle to be lighted at The Grotto. Your candle will burn for seven days in the outdoor cradles by The Grotto.

Your support will help The Grotto continue its ministry through this difficult time.

Bringing The Grotto to You

We will continue to share a piece of The Grotto with you each day until Masses resume and our gardens open. We hope this feature brings you joy.

Please share our emails with friends and family. Help spread the word that The Grotto is here, and looking forward to the glorious day when we can reopen our gates.
Day 52: A Year at The Grotto
The Grotto through the year

As 2020 isn't quite what we expected, and we aren't quite sure when things will return to "normal", we thought we would take you on a tour of The Grotto through the year.

Please enjoy "A Year at The Grotto."
January

The Christmas lights from the Festival are taken down and stored for next year.

Rainy days make the sanctuary even more peaceful. If you haven't walked through the Upper Gardens in the rain you are missing something. The sound of the raindrops adds to the tranquility.

And there is perhaps nothing more beautiful than The Grotto in the snow. Once the roads are safe we open, and if you time it right, you are treated to something truly wonderful.
February

The winter continues, but there is usually a stretch of days with blue sky and crisp air. On those days, the view from the overlook and Meditation Chapel are spectacular.

The camellia's begin to bloom.

The annual Crabfest is held in The Grotto Conference Center.
March

The Grotto celebrates Lent with special concerts, retreats and liturgies.

The Upper Gardens begin to bloom.

The greens of the gardens get brighter.
April

The Grotto celebrates Holy Week with special liturgies and opportunities to pray the Stations of the Cross.

Easter at The Grotto is a joyous occasion, with people coming from around the region.
May

The flowers spring to life in spectacular fashion. The azaleas and rhododendrons seem to come in every color.

The Grotto, the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, is a special place to be on Mother's Day.

We celebrate with the Filipino community at the annual Santacruzan.
June

The gardens are gorgeous in June, and the Rose Garden by the Monastery comes to life.

With the warmer weather, outdoor Mass on Sunday becomes the norm.

Weddings are celebrated on Saturday afternoons throughout the summer.
July

This month is full of celebrations, beginning with the annual Freedom Day celebration, organized by the Vietnamese community.

The annual Blessing of the Animals takes place on the third Sunday in July each year.

We celebrate with the Filipino community at the Dambana Festival.
August

Summer is in full swing in August. The weather is great and the gardens are beautiful.

We celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary with an evening outdoor Mass and Candlelight Rosary Procession.

In August, our guests visit us from around the world.
September

As summer winds down, we are still left with a month of warm evenings and bright skies.

The Grotto celebrates its anniversary at the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. We are 96 years old this year, and look forward to a very special celebration in four years.

In September, the leaves begin to turn, and the gardens take on new colors.
autumn_leaves.jpg
October

Outdoor Masses wind down as the cooler months arrive.

The crew starts preparing to install over two million lights for the annual Christmas Festival of Lights.

The gardens, and especially the front parking lot, are ablaze with fall colors.
November

Christmas Festival of Lights installation is in full force in November.

Opening night is always the day after Thanksgiving.

The Grotto still operates its normal day schedule in November and December, and Mass is still celebrated every day. It is actually a very nice time to visit the Upper Gardens.
December

The season of Advent is upon us. Along with the liturgical celebrations, including Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, The Grotto celebrates Christmas with the annual Christmas Festival of Lights.

The Festival began in 1988. Known as the World's Largest Christmas Choral Festival, choirs from around the region perform in the Chapel of Mary, with its cathedral-like acoustics. Last year 6,194 performers from 157 choirs generously shared their talent with Festival guests.
A Prayer for the Seasons

Gracious God of All Creation,

You have blessed us with the beautiful and amazing world around us.

Each season of the year shares the glory of your loving hand.

Spring bursts with scents, colors and the sounds of birds nesting.

Summer radiates the warmth of your tender mercy and boasts our growing season.

Autumn brings harvest and the vibrant colors of the leaves before they fall from the trees.

And winter provides the rain and snow needed for the upcoming spring.

Although many plants look dead, your new life is below the surface - making its way to share the good news of new life - at the appointed time.

Thank you God for each and every season, for the lessons they teach and the challenges that they bring.

Help me to welcome change, challenge and growth, knowing that you are the Lord of all things.

I ask this through Jesus, in union with the Holy Spirit.

Amen.
Mass Enrollment Cards
Perpetual Enrollment in The Grotto’s Guild of Masses and Prayer honors yourself, your family or your loved ones, and provides support for The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother.

The Grotto Gift Shop

The Grotto Gift Shop is open for curbside pick-up or online shipping during our closure.

If you do not see what you are looking for, feel free to contact our director of retail operations by  clicking here .
Mother's Day Shopping

Looking for something for Mother's Day? How about a Gift Certificate to The Grotto Gift Shop? They are available online or for curbside pickup.
The Series

We hope you are enjoying our daily feature A Place of Sanctuary: Bringing The Grotto to You.

Week 1
St. Francis of Assisi
Celebrating St. Patrick's Day
St. Anne's Chapel
St. Joseph's Grove
The Marilyn Moyer Meditation Chapel
Spring in the Garden
Our Lady's Grotto

Week 2
St. Jude Thaddeus
Statue of Mary, Our Mother
The Pollinator Garden
St. Philip Benizi's Retreat
Pathways of The Grotto
St. Peregrine Shrine
The Servites

Week 3
Here Light Shines
The Peace Garden
Dambana
Looking Up
Feast of Our Lady at the Foot of the Cross
The Rose Garden
Palm Sunday, The Christus Garden

Week 4
Crosses and Crucifixes
Sacred Heart Statue
Angels of The Grotto
Holy Thursday of The Lord's Supper
Good Friday, Stations of the Cross
Holy Saturday, Via Matris
Easter Sunday

Week 5
The Forest
Blessing of the Animals
Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine
Colors of The Grotto
Mysteries of the Rosary
Lighting a Candle
Chapel of Mary

Week 6
Come to the Water
Our Lady of Lavang Shrine
Celebrating God's Creation
Our Lady of Lourdes
The Labyrinth
Looking Out a Window
How The Grotto Began

Week 7
The Cliff and Elevator
Lithuanian Wayside Shrine
The Grotto by the Numbers
Music at The Grotto
May Flowers
Take a Closer Look
Outdoor Mass

Week 8
The Feast of St. Peregrine
Celebrating Your Favorites
Today: A Year at The Grotto
The Grotto
The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother

NE 85th & Sandy Blvd.
Portland, Oregon

503-254-7371