The Grotto to the Archangels was completed and dedicated in the summer of 1998. After much prayer and discernment, Barbara felt a need for spiritual protection of the Archangels on the property. With the support of generous donors, the project was underway. The Archangels were designed by a young Architect from Lansing, MI, Michael Creaser. Local Architect Dan Gorman also helped with the Grotto design. After many confirmations and much prayer, Barbara felt called by the Lord to build the design came to the young architect.
In Michael Creaser’s words:
“In May of ’97, I finally received the inspiration for the design of the Shrine. I was in the library on the campus of Franciscan University when I decided to pull out a blank scrap piece of paper and start to sketch something that came to me.
I had heard a priest from Opus Sanctorum Angelorum speak on the campus on the Holy Angels. He said that there were two purposes for the Holy Angels [the Archangels]:
1) to adore and praise God
2) to help humans obtain their salvation.
He also said that all the Holy Angels are gathered at the throne of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Cross at Calvary, and that it is also what happens in the Mass!
This struck me as something very important for the design of the Shrine. If you remember, at that time ‘angels’ had become very popular in our society, even if they were not holy angels. There were angel sculptures, cards, t-shirts, key chains, bumper stickers and anything else you could imagine.
And so I wanted to make sure that whenever someone saw this Shrine they would know without a doubt that these were the Archangels and Angels of the One True God, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
I remembered seeing a holy card that had God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, Our Lord Jesus on a cross of Light, Our Lady off to the side and with the words, “Grace and Mercy” on it. I thought to myself that this was it and it needed to be a central part of the Shrine because it included everything in our faith. I came to know that the holy card was a vision of the Holy Mass given to Sr Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima and who is now a Carmelite nun. [Lucia passed away February 13, 2005. The 13th of the month]
I was so excited that I could hardly contain myself. I quickly copied the sketch of the Archangel Shrine that seemed to have just flowed out of my hand and sent it up to the Marian Center.” ~ Michael Creaser.
The Archangels were commissioned by a statuary company out of Chicago, IL. After several months they were ready to be shipped to the Marian Center. The three magnificent, 10 foot Archangels were bubble-wrapped and transported to the Marian Center on a flatbed trailer. You can image the surprise of those traveling on the highway that day!!! Three large angels cruising down freeway. Horns honked in support and drivers did a ‘double-take’ in disbelief of the image before them.
The Grotto was built and the Archangels were installed. Today they stand as a testimony to the strength and power of God, for our Spiritual Protection and warfare. They have become tremendous intercessors for all of us on the grounds.