By Fran Stang, St. Mary Parish, Macklin
Catholic Saskatoon News
The faith community of St. Mary Parish in Macklin, SK, welcomed Bishop Mark Hagemoen on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, as he joined the parish community at the grotto in St. Joseph’s Park to celebrate the feast day of their parish with Mass and a special ceremony to dedicate a new feature in the park.
St. Joseph’s Park has been in existence since the 1930s when the Sisters of St. Elizabeth built the former St. Joseph’s Hospital on the property and added the park as a place of respite and prayer for the Sisters. The grotto was built in 1932 with a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes (carved in Oberammergau, Germany) as the focal point.
Over time, as the number of Sisters living in St. Anthony’s Convent and nursing at St. Joseph’s declined, upkeep of the park was neglected. In 2009, a committee was formed to restore the park and make it available to the residents of St. Joseph’s Health Facility as well as the public.
Many hours of work have been spent in rejuvenating, enhancing and maintaining the park to make it a place of peace and serenity as once was the vision of the Sisters. There is a paved walkway along which are the Stations of the Cross. The thirteenth station is marked with a statue of the pieta.
The park committee in conjunction with Macklin-Denzil Pro-Life decided that a monument to St. Mother Teresa would be a fitting addition to the park. St. Mother Teresa was a great advocate for unborn children and the poorest of the poor. She said that the world’s greatest poverty was abortion. Generous support from donors enabled the successful completion of the project. A statue of St. Mother Teresa was commissioned and placed in the park.
The celebration Sept. 8 started with the unveiling and blessing of the statue of St. Mother Teresa by the bishop. Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Hagemoen and Fr. Binu Rathappillil, VC, followed by a barbecue and fellowship in the parish hall.