Larry and Irene Hames believe in miracles. Irene suffered a major health concern, and Larry and the family sought Mary’s intercession, especially through the Rosary. In thanksgiving for Irene’s recovery, they wanted to honor Mary. The entrance, with a series of 9 pillars, depicting Mary’s life and apparitions and a statue of Mary was their way of giving thanks to Jesus through Mary.
The Little House of Mary
This simple little cabin was built along with several other cabins. It was set away from the others as if predestined for greater things! And so it was. The land it stood on was set aside for the Lord with no plan in sight. The Rosary Makers decided to use the cabin to meet in and make Rosaries and PRAY. And there the Shrine got its start. Through ideas and prayers, the Shrine took shape starting with the 3 Crosses and continues to this day. The Little House of Mary is a reminder of the origin of the Shrine and is used as a place of Prayer. A beautiful stained glass window is found here. The window is of Mary surrounded by the Rosary with the Holy Spirit hovering over. It is hand-beveled crystal designed by Nick Brogenrief. This was a state Catholic Daughters of the Americas’ project with a variety of donors from across the state.
A statue of St. Joseph was sculpted and erected by Frank Yaggie. It stood welcoming visitors and keeping an eye on the Chapel for 30 years, and has now been retired to the Little House of Mary. A marble statue of St. Joseph, donated by the English family in 2009, now welcomes visitors and keeps watch over the Shrine. Bishop Swain blessed this statue in July 2010.
Chapel of St. Joseph
A priest said a Chapel was needed—so, a statue of St. Joseph was buried on the proposed location. When excavation of the basement was underway and the Rosary Makers were praying in the Little House of Mary, they remembered the buried statue. There was St. Joseph on the dirt pile—another confirmation to the mission. Bishop Hoch blessed the Chapel. A wood furnace was the first heat source, and folding chairs the seating. The Cross was designed by Marvin Miller, a Baptist neighbor. Fr. Reidelsheimer, the first Spiritual Director, donated $600 to start the Chapel. The basement was dug by Delmar Christiansen in exchange for the black soil; the brick laying was donated by Wayne Pascco’s crew. Catherine Logan bought the nails, and pounded the first nail as construction began.
Three Rosaries have been placed at the Shrine. Originally a Rosary of roses graced the hillside. Mr. & Mrs Ben Peterka constructed a large 15-decade wooden Rosary which winds through the trees.
The Rosary Pond
A Rosary Pond in the shape of a heart representing the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is made of field stone with rock beads, and was one of the first sites built at the Shrine. Each October a Rosary Rally is held and the Rosary is prayed in candlelight around the pond.