The Grotto Story
The name “Grotto Network” is inspired by the stone grotto at the University of Notre Dame campus. There are similar grottoes across the globe, where Catholics commemorate the apparition of Mary to a young, sickly peasant girl named Saint Bernadette Soubirous at a grotto in Lourdes, France. Some grottoes are made of stone, some are made of shells. Some are big, some are quite small.
The grotto at Notre Dame is a unique type of spiritual space. It’s not a church. It’s not a chapel. It’s pretty easy to wander up to the rocks, pause for a few moments in prayer or reflection, and walk away feeling at peace or inspired. For years, thousands of people have visited the grotto at Notre Dame and lit a candle in the night. Whatever their spiritual background, whatever their religious belief, it's a place to find hope without judgment.
It seemed only right that Grotto Network should be named for such a unique and beautiful space. With all of our stories, videos, resources, and more, we hope that people feel similarly welcomed to reflect, share their hopes, and leave feeling a bit closer to God.
We live in a world where young people understandably question institutions of all kinds, including religious institutions. For many, it can be hard to walk into a church. It is our hope that Grotto Network — like the space we are named for — can be a first step for those who still feel some spark of spirituality. We’re here to help you nurture that spark and assure you that you’re not alone. Like all the candles that light up the grotto on the darkest of nights, we’re on this journey together.