Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine
Immaculate Conception Church
732 US 20
PO Box 218
New Lebanon, NY 12125
Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto
New Lebanon, New York
People of New Lebanon Carry Stones for Shrine for Our Lady of Lourdes
Father LeFebvre Designs Grotto Similar to Famous One in France - Hundreds Take Part in Contributing Stones - Drive for Funds To Be Started - Chimes Planned - May Become Famous Shrine
By wagon and by truck, by child's. cart and by hand, great stones and little stones, red stones and white stones have been trundled across the countryside of New Lebanon, N.Y. to grow into a pile, background and setting for a shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes to be erected in New Lebanon valley. The- work has been going on for seven months, with persons from the valley and from near and far away, contributing their stones, or if unable, their funds.
The shrine to be erected is the 'brain " child of Rev., John LeFebvre, pastor. of the Immaculate Conception church;in. New Lebanon. He gained hls idea from the peculiar nature of the countryside with its mountains to the east and brooks running into the valley. The most striking point was that the church, to which he came was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception which in mind brought it close to Lourdes, where, according to legend; the Virgin announced herself to Bernadette.
The fact was mentioned to both parishes of Lebanon and Stephentown and the pastor asked the parishioners to furnish the material for the bulding of the grotto.
The people began to respond by bringing field stones from a radius of 20 miles. Wagon loads and truck loads were brought in day after day. So Intense did the devotion increase that old people and cripples carried their stones for miles to place them on the rapidly growing pile: Little children with kiddie carts and push carts came from three or four miles away and carted their offering with much devotion. Not only the people of Lebanon have contributed to the pile of stones, but people for many miles around have done likewise. One person has even ordered a carload of stones from Coral Cables, Florida. From surrounding cities people in their automobiles brought field stones and those who could not do so left their offerings to help with the construction of the shrine.
This grotto to our: Lady of Lourdes was designed by Father LeEebvre himself. It is his own conception. and he intends to erect the most beautiful affair of this kind in this part of the country.
It will be 40 feet in width, 36 feet in height and 32 feet in depth and will Have Five Chambers.
The five chambers which lead gradually to the niche will be constricted with selected stones of their natural color producing a rainbow effect throughout the arches. In the foreground of the five chambers is the altar where mass will be celebrated and parishioners and tourists who are passing by may stop and pay tribute to the Blessed Virgin. Other ceremonies will be celebrated at the shrine and the very rituals of the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France will be celebrated.
The cost of erecting and maintaining the shrine will amount to a very large sum of money. A start is being made and as time goes on other additions will be added such as a set of chimes which will peal throughout the Lebanon valley. Such a set of chimes will cost inthe neighborhood' of $20,000- alone.
Many friends of Father LeFebvre in Berkshire county have shown a great interest in the proposed shrine. People from all over he United States who have been crippled or affected with some serious disease or, illness have traveled many miles to that famous shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre. Then again many have gone to the shrine of St. Joseph at Montreal.
Many who would have liked to have gone to the Lady of Lourdes in France could not because of the lengthy trip and the expense of taking such a journey.
Many Contributions Received
It is hoped by the friends of Father LeFebvre who are trying to assisit him in his efforts that what St. Anne de Beaupre and the shrine of St Joseph has done for Canada, the shrine at New Lebanon will likewise do for Lebanon valley and Berkshire county. Many contributions have been received.
Source: unknown newspaper article. Probably 1929.
This shrine is supported by the parishoners and donations from visitors. Please visit the shrine and help support it.
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