Top 15 Secrets & Surprises
Quirky things that locals love
University of Notre Dame, South Bend
Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
For Notre Dame students and alumni, the grotto is a special place to spend a few quiet moments. During football weekends and finals, you might have difficulty finding a candle to light! Hundreds of students have proposed marriage here; outdoor Masses are celebrated regularly; and the Rosary is prayed every day at 6:45 p.m.
Father Edward Sorin, Notre Dame’s founder, vowed to reproduce the famous French shrine on the campus of his new university after visiting the grotto in France where the Virgin Mary was reputed to have appeared to Saint Bernadette on 18 occasions in 1858. Notre Dame’s grotto is one-seventh the size of the French shrine. Boulders from surrounding farms, most weighing two tons or more, were used in its construction. A small piece of stone from the original grotto in France is located on the right-hand side of the Notre Dame shrine, directly below the statue of Mary.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart
The spires of this magnificent church rise above the Notre Dame campus, nurturing the university’s Catholic identity. Step inside and you’ll see up close the inspirational stained-glass windows, first installed in 1873, giving Notre Dame the largest collection of 19th Century French stained glass in the world. Tours detail the building’s incomparable art and give you a chance to view cherished artifacts that date back centuries in church history.
Daily and weekly Masses are celebrated both in the main body of the church and in its basement Crypt Chapel. Student choirs sing at various Masses. Confessions, or the Sacrament of Reconciliation, are offered frequently, as are other sacraments, including Matrimony. Many alumni return here to be married in this grand setting.