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The Grotto is significant to the university and the Dominican Sisters. It was heavily used in earlier years by the many sisters that lived and/or were educated at Dominican University, formerly Rosary College. It is a place for reflection, which is an important aspect of Dominican life and teaching and is carried through the university planning and teaching. Students would visit the Grotto daily for reflection, peace, and prayer. The Grotto will undergo a significant restoration over the next two years to highlight the history, mission, and schools at the university.
Rosary Sunday, the first Sunday of October, was started by the RC Auxiliary, a group of women who dedicated services to the Chapel. That Sunday, dedicated to the Feast of the Holy Rosary, was originally celebrated on the front porch of Rosary House. When the Chapel opened in 1926 and the Grotto was built in 1929 with the blessing of the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes on October 6, 1929, Rosary Sunday was celebrated at the Grotto with a procession from the Chapel to the Grotto, with processors carrying roses and saying the Rosary.