Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A place of peace for the faithful in Waterville September 30, 2016




I AM NOT of the Catholic faith.






Still I appreciate the strong, artistic visuals that hold great symbolism for those who are Catholic.




On a recent visit to Waterville, I discovered the grotto at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. While there’s no comparison to the renowned Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa, this southern Minnesota grotto is worth appreciating.




Here, in this farming community, field stones were harvested and crafted into a religious shrine in 1929 that honors Christ, Mary and the archangel Michael. One can only imagine the labor and love invested in creating this quiet space of prayer and peace.




Nearly 90 years later, this parish still cares for this place. Plants ring the shrine. Stones remain secure. And in 1992, the walls and floors were constructed and a time capsule installed.




Faithful devotion endures through the generations at Holy Trinity Grotto in Waterville. I see that in this shrine.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling