Parishioners of St Francis of Assisi parish in Maida Vale are eagerly awaiting the official opening of two new parts of the church grounds.
The grotto, as well as a “Memorial Wall for the Unborn,” was built by parishioner Len Harrison and church neighbour, Tom Hogg.
Parish deacon Trevor Lyra said the grotto’s construction was providential.
“We were trying to get somebody to give us a cheap quote to build the grotto,” he explained.
“The guy living opposite the church, a non-Catholic, just happened to make conversation with Fr Elver [Delicano] who was telling him we were looking for someone who can do stone work to build this grotto.”
A few days later, Mr Hogg offered to build the grotto for no charge, much to the amazement of Fr Elver and Maida Vale parishioners.
“He started work almost immediately and in about two weeks it was all completed,” Mr Lyra said.
The parish is now awaiting the delivery of the statue to be installed, and plans to officially bless and open the grotto on the feast of the Assumption of Mary on August 15.
The Shire of Kalamunda has also recently approved the construction of a “Garden of Remembrance” in the Maida Vale church grounds.
Work is about to commence on the columbarium, which will hold the cremated ashes of more than 100 deceased parishioners and their families.
Mr Lyra said Maida Vale parishioners have participated in several fundraisers to help cover the costs of building the grotto and the garden.
“We’ve raised close to $70,000 so far,” he said. “We had a cake stall last Sunday and raised another $2,000 there.”
It is hoped the Garden of Remembrance will be ready by the feast of St Francis of Assisi on October 4.
Our Lady of the Mission in Whitford also intends to construct a columbarium later this year.