For any community, its cultural treasures come in different forms. Sometimes the treasure is a distinctive building or place in nature and sometimes it comes in the form of a living cultural treasure. Today’s SUN has two stories, somewhat related, about cultural treasures in the city. One story details the effort underway to restore and preserve the Way of the Cross at the Lady of Lourdes Grotto behind the Franco American School. Sen. Steve Panagiotakos is leading a campaign to raise $150,000 to fully restore this extraordinary sacred space. People of all faiths and spiritual persuasions value the “Stations” and the Grotto as a place to meditate and reflect. This is an internationally known religious site due in large part to Jack Kerouac’s writings about it. Read Rita Savard’s article here, and consider subscribing to the SUN if you appreciate the writing. Donations to the community fundraising campaign can be sent to the Franco American School, 357 Pawtucket Street, Lowell, MA 01854.
In a related article, Nancye Tuttle profiles Cecile Provencher, the 2010 Franco American of the Year, a well-deserved award for a woman who has contributed in many ways to the preservation of French Canadian-American culture in the community. Read the article here.