Madeline Nugent, CFP
Confraternity of Penitents
May 23, 2017 // Special

Mary’s Glen and prayer chapel blessed

Madeline Nugent, CFP
Confraternity of Penitents

On Monday, May 8, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades blessed Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii Prayer Chapel as well as Mary’s Glen, a spiritual oasis for prayer in Fort Wayne, developed by the Confraternity of Penitents.

The grounds on which Mary’s Glen is located were donated to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend by the Paul and Donna Schoenle family. Members of the family participated in the Procession of Blessing.

The blessing of Mary’s Glen was preceded by a Mass offered under a tent by Bishop Rhoades and concelebrated by Father Francis Chukwuma, pastor of St. John Bosco Church, Churubusco,  and by Father Augustine Mugarura, associate pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Fort Wayne. Following the Mass and blessing, the Confraternity of Penitents hosted a potluck luncheon for the approximately 40 attendees.

Members of the Confraternity of Penitents and visitors begin to assemble before Mass around the new Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii prayer chapel, a prominent structure in Mary’s Glen.

In his Mass homily, Bishop Rhoades said: “I pray that this will be a place where people may encounter and experience the love of the Good Shepherd; that people who walk these grounds and pray here will be refreshed in their souls. This outdoor place of prayer in the middle of a busy city is a place for people to grow in their relationship with the Lord, to be reminded that Christ came that we may have life and have it abundantly. It is a place for not only Catholics and those who are part of the sheepfold, but also for others, those people about whom Jesus says: ‘I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.’ He says: ‘These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice.’ So I pray today also for those who will come here who perhaps do not know the Lord or belong to the church, that they might hear the loving voice of the Good Shepherd here at Mary’s Glen.

Bishop Rhoades sprinkles with holy water the interior of the new prayer chapel.

“This place is named in honor of the Blessed Mother. Reflecting today on Jesus, her son, as the Good Shepherd, I invite you to consider one of her many titles: ‘Mary, Mother of the Good Shepherd.’ The Good Shepherd, when he was laying down his life for his sheep, when he was hanging on the cross, gave us his mother to be our mother, to look after us with maternal love and care. As she loved and cared for her beloved son, the Good Shepherd, so she also loves and cares for us, the sheep for whom he laid down his life. She wants us to receive the life he came to give us and to have it abundantly. So we also ask our Blessed Mother, the mother of the Good Shepherd, to intercede for all who come here to Mary’s Glen. May she lead them to her son, to know and experience in their hearts that he is the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for them.”

In addition to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii Prayer Chapel and its icons, Mary’s Glen also features a rosary walk, outdoor Stations of the Cross, fence sections featuring 100 different saints, a replica of the Holy Family’s house, and various grottos including Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Joseph, as well as a pet memorial grotto dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. Prayer benches, a large picnic table, a swing glider, campfire area (used by advance arrangement only) and gazebo with cocktail tables and chairs complete the glen.

Mary’s Glen resides on diocesan property at 2514 Reynolds St. Visitors are welcome from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To inquire about hosting a special event or evening event at the glen, call 260-739-6882, email [email protected] or send a letter to Mary’s Glen, c/o Confraternity of Penitents, 1702 Lumbard St., Fort Wayne IN 46803.

The Confraternity of Penitents is an international, nonprofit, canonically approved Roman Catholic private association of the faithful whose members, lay men and women, both married and single, live in their own homes and follow a modern update to the Rule of 1221 that St. Francis of Assisi gave to the laity of his time. A local chapter of the confraternity meets monthly. For more information visit
Click here for additional photos from the event.

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