Welcome to the St. Anselm Parish Prayer Garden! The idea for the garden arose at our Parish Assembly in 2008. As we surveyed the plot of land behind the Spirituality Center (formerly the convent), we noticed that there were a lot of challenges ahead of us, if the garden was going to become a reality. There were overgrown bushes, an abundance of weeds, and a whole forest of poison ivy and honeysuckle climbing through the entire fence. We also noticed that the ground was filled with gravel, because buses used to park here.
Despite these challenges, we decided to begin construction in the Fall of 2008, putting it under the patronage of Saint Francis. We created the entrance walkway of the garden in the form of a Cross. In the center is a birdbath taken from the convent yard, and each quadrant of the Cross is filled with perennial flowers.
In the Spring/Summer of 2009, the next phase of the construction took place, with the addition of the “Rosary Walk”. On the path, we have included all five decades, so someone could pray an entire Rosary while walking on this path. We also installed a beautiful “Pieta” statue at the base of the Rosary, and planted a dogwood tree, many rose bushes and 500 tulips inside.
In the Spring/Summer of 2010, we completed the next two phases of the garden construction by adding a waterfall garden/patio area, and the outdoor Stations of the Cross. Each station is a beautiful icon of the last events in the life of Christ. On top of the waterfall is an impressive Cross-the sign of our salvation. Next to the waterfall is a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, reminding us that Mary is never far from us on our own spiritual journey through life.
In Fall of 2010, we added the grotto with Saint Francis, along with a running fountain. It was placed directly opposite from the waterfall area.
The garden was made possible by the generosity and collaboration of so many good people. Through the sale of memorial bricks and some generous donors, we were able to construct the garden without the help of parish funds. This has truly been a parish project in every way. We are grateful to all who have helped to bring this sacred place to fruition and all those who maintain it throughout the year. May it be a place of prayer for our whole community for many years to come!