As is our annual tradition as a Catholic and Lasallian school, the DeLaSalle community opened the 2019-20 school year with the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit on August 30, celebrated by Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and school chaplain, Fr. Bruno Nwachukwu. Friday’s liturgy was all the more impactful as the Christian Brothers of the Midwest joined DeLaSalle and president, Barry Lieske, in recognition of two of the most significant benefactors in school history and announcing the addition of a prayer grotto to be built on our campus.
At the end of the Mass, Pat `53 and Sandy Baldwin received “letters of benefaction” from the Brothers of the Christian Schools for their lifetime support of the Lasallian mission at DeLaSalle. Through the past several years, Pat and Sandy have supported dozens of DeLaSalle students through their family scholarship fund, provided one of the lead gifts for the 2016 construction of the new “D building,” and now will provide support for the installation of the new grotto.
The Baldwin Family Grotto, named in honor of Pat and Sandy, will offer a space for quiet prayer and reflection in a courtyard between the B building and Christian Brothers’ Hall. When it is completed in spring 2020, the grotto will feature a paved surface with several benches and a lifesize statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Baldwin family, school leaders, and a delegation of Christian Brothers gathered at the site of the prayer grotto following Mass for a blessing led by Bishop Cozzens and Fr. Bruno.
DeLaSalle alumnus and renowned sculptor, Brother Jerome Cox ‘56, FSC, will serve as an artist-in-residence this school year and work with Honors Art students to create the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the grotto. The sculpture will show Mary with her arms outstretched embracing a group of DeLaSalle students. The project follows the same collaborative model from last school year when DeLaSalle Hall of Famer and world renowned graphic artist Joe Duffy ‘67 partnered with students to create a mural in the lobby of the A building depicting significant moments in the history of the school and region.
By virtue of the “letters” bestowed at the liturgy, the Baldwins are now recognized as Benefactors of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (BFSC) and can use the BFSC honorific after their name, similar to the AFSC honorific that DeLaSalle President, Barry Lieske, can use to signify his status as an affiliated Christian Brother.