Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, when he established the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist prior to his arrest and crucifixion. It also commemorates his institution of the priesthood, and the faithful service that is to be carried out by all his followers.

The Last Supper of Jesus

Jesus celebrated the dinner as a traditional Jewish Passover feast. Christ would fulfill his role as the Christian victim of the Passover for all to be saved by his final sacrifice of his life on the Cross. The Last Supper was the final meal Jesus shared with his Disciples in Jerusalem. During the meal, Jesus predicted his betrayal.

The central observance of Holy Thursday is the ritual reenactment of the Last Supper at Mass, “The Mass of The Lord’s Supper.” This event is celebrated at every Mass, as the Liturgy of the Eucharist, but it is specially commemorated on Holy Thursday.
Holy Thursday Hours of Operation

Gardens and Gift Shop 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Upper Gardens admission sold until 5 p.m.

Masks must be properly worn at all times while visiting The Grotto. Please maintain six feet of space for social distancing and follow all instructional signs.
Outdoor Mass at 7 p.m.

Rain or shine, this service will take place outdoors in The Grotto Plaza. Click below to register.

Bring an umbrella and a towel to wipe your seat if it is rainy or damp.
When God "walked through"

Our first reading on this Holy Thursday explains the meaning of the Passover which was celebrated by the Israelites. The word has the root 'psh' from a Semitic family of languages (including Arabic, Ugaritic, and Hebrew) which means "to walk through."

Through this Passover ritual, the Israelites later would remember a very important event in their history when God saved (“walked through”) them from slavery in Egypt. This event celebrated the climax of the liberation of the people of Israel, when God gave the tenth plague in the form of the death of the firstborn of all Egyptian families except in the household of Israel. This celebration was in the form of the sacrifice of the lamb whose blood was written on the door of the house of the Israelites, so that they would avoid the death of the firstborn (verses 7,12,13). The lamb is then roasted and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter vegetables. They must eat it fully clothed to travel. This shows the haste and readiness to leave Egypt. Later when this celebration is repeated, it should be followed by a week-long celebration of the day of unleavened bread. The Israelites were ordered to do a dramatic return to what had happened at that time in Egypt. Remembering this event means that they will always remember God's love for them in the history of the salvation of the Israelites.

This Passover event is a way of reminding the Israelites in Egypt and their descendants that God was really present, punishing the Egyptians, and saving the Israelites. God became real in this incident.

Likewise in Jesus Christ, God's presence is real. In Jesus Christ, God is present in the hearts of those who believe in Him. Christ is the Passover lamb who atones for the sins of humankind (John 1:29). After washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus asked the question, “Do you realize what I have done for you?” The washing of the feet helps the disciples to clean their hearts and motivation in following Jesus. The feet symbolize the willingness to act, so that they would be ready to act and testify.

Holy Thursday is a celebration that invites us to act in humble service for one another that when God walks through, He will know that we are Christ’ brothers and sisters, and His children.


Almighty God, in your greatness you humble yourself to show us what love really means. Help us learn from you in our humble service to one another. Do not let pride win over us but let your Spirit work with and in us that we become your witnesses in spreading and sharing your love in all our words and deeds. For you live and reign forever and ever.


Fr. Leo Hambur, OSM
Holy Week Mass Schedule

Holy Thursday of the Lord's Supper
Outdoor Mass in the Plaza (rain or shine)
7 p.m.

Good Friday
Outdoor Service in the Plaza (rain or shine)
3 p.m.

Easter Sunday
Outdoor Masses in the Plaza (rain or shine)
10 a.m.
12 noon
2 p.m.

Service to others ... reflecting the Gospel

The humble gesture of self-giving service exemplifies the whole of Jesus’ ministry and teachings - and in a small way prepares the hearts of the disciples for the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.

Humble service is at the heart of the Servite life. Mary’s faithfulness all the way to the cross challenges each of us to humbly follow where the Lord Jesus leads, and to give fully of ourselves ... give our time, our compassion, our skills and abilities, to serve indiscriminately all those around us.

Below: Fr. Edgar Benedi-An, OSM, helps load clothing and blankets collected for the Portland Rescue Mission.
Thank You

A huge thank you to everyone who has participated in our community service drives during Lent.

  • Our blood drives since Lent began collected 89 unites of blood. Each unit has the potential to save up to three lives.

  • We collected approximately 3,000 lbs. of food and personal hygiene items for SnowCap Community Charities.

  • We filled five heaping pick-up trucks worth of clothing, blankets and gear for Portland Rescue Mission.

Thank you to all who donated and spread the word.
Upcoming Blood Drives

Friday, April 23
10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
The Grotto Conference Center

Wednesday, May 19
10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
The Grotto Conference Center
Food Drive for SnowCap continues this weekend

We have placed barrels in the Gift Shop and the Visitor Center where we will continue to collect non-perishable food for SnowCap Community Charities during Lent.

To learn more about SnowCap Community Charities, please click here.
Special Announcement

Fr. Richard Boyle, OSM, has been given permission by his Servite superiors to retire from the responsibilities of full-time ministry and has transferred to another Servite Community in Southern California. The Grotto thanks him for his service here these last five years and wishes him many blessings and good health in his retirement.
Plaza Office Hours

Monday - Saturday (Not available Thursday)
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
3 p.m. - 5 p.m.

A Friar will be in the office attached to the Visitor Center during the above hours.

They gladly await your request for confession, spiritual guidance and blessing of articles. You may also set up an appointment for a blessing with the relic of St. Peregrine.

Masks and social distancing are required.

You are also welcome to contact a Friar directly at the emails listed below.

Fr. Vidal Martinez, OSM
Rector of The Grotto
Fr. Ignatius Kissel, OSM
Fr. Leo Hambur, OSM
Fr. Edgar Benedi-An, OSM
Remembering a year ago:
Bringing The Grotto to You

One year ago, in response to the growing pandemic, we began a series of daily emails called "A Place of Sanctuary: Bringing The Grotto to You." We closed completely a short time later, and that closure lasted for months.

The "Bringing The Grotto to You" series highlighted a feature at (or about) The Grotto each day. The series lasted for 88 days, the length of our closure.

We hope you enjoy this feature, "Looking Back", where we will share a piece of those emails every day for 88 days. Click the link below to view today's feature, which was originally shared on Holy Thursday in 2020.

Click on the video and take a moment to relax and experience the serenity of the sanctuary.

Today, enjoy the beautiful wood carvings of the Via Matris (Way of the Mother) located in the Upper Gardens.

Join Fr. Vidal Martinez, OSM, Rector of The Grotto, for a daily stroll through the garden.

Each day, enjoy photos and videos taken by Father Vidal, often during hours when the grounds are closed.

Today, take a walk to the Calvary Statue, located at the entrance to The Grotto.

Gift Shop Hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Let The Grotto Gift Shop be your resource for all your Easter needs, including books, rosaries, cards, medals, jewelry and gifts.

The shop also carries a great collection of items for Confirmation and First Holy Communion.

Light a Candle for Easter
If you are unable to visit in person, you may purchase a candle to be lighted at The Grotto. Your candle will burn for seven days in the outdoor cradles.

Your support will allow our sanctuary to continue its mission of being a place of peace, prayer and natural beauty for all.
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.