Today marks the beginning of the second half of May, a significant month for many reasons here at Notre Dame Prep. May signifies the winding down of another school year as our teachers ready students for final exams, the warming weather signifies summer’s approach, and our school prepares to say farewell to another senior class. For Catholics, May is also the month of the Blessed Mother, Mary— a time when we honor a woman whose example of humility, obedience, and service has inspired NDP girls past and present.
Blessed Mary figures prominently on the Notre Dame campus, and in particular, in the Middle Level Prayer Garden. Thanks to the generosity of Ruthjane Barock ’56 and her husband, Don, this lovely space features a beautiful statue of Mary and a seating area. This space provides our youngest students with a lovely place to learn, play in the sunshine, or seek out moments of reflection.
In the Fall of 2018, we shared a story about the prayer garden in Pillars, our annual report. Read more about this special gift, below!
A place for peaceful contemplation and prayer is now permanently nestled in a sunny patch of grass between Notre Dame Preparatory School’s main building and the convent. The Middle Level Prayer Garden was dedicated in May 2018 following the installation of the Our Lady of Grace statue, a powerful donation from alum Ruthjane Barock ’56 and her husband, Don. Sister Patricia McCarron, headmistress, led the dedication prayer service which was attended by all Middle Level students, teachers, and staff. Prayer was coupled with song as the statue was blessed and messages of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Barock, who were unable to travel for the dedication, were placed on the pedestal.
The statue, cast in Italy, sits atop a base emblazoned with the words of “The Memorare” the Barocks’ favorite prayer and one they say they have turned to in good times and in challenging ones. “We are so appreciative for the gift of Ruthjane’s Notre Dame Preparatory School education and are truly blessed,” said Sister Patricia. “We hope that this gift enlightens and inspires today’s students as they spend their days on campus and especially in the prayer garden.”
The entire NDP community thanks the Barocks for their generous contribution to Notre Dame Prep and their selfless sharing of faith, which will live on in our girls and on our campus for generations to come.
“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother;
to thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.”
By Jennifer Caine ’86, Stewardship & Outreach Associate