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Carolyn FortinoMay 22, 2017, 5:45 pm

Cardinal Dolan blesses John F. Kennedy Catholic High School grotto

The grotto was dedicated for Sister Barbara Heil, a member of the Sisters of Divine Compassion, who passed in a 2016 car accident

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Sister Barbara Heil, a beloved member of the Sisters of Divine Compassion, tragically passed in a car accident in 2016.

Today, a dedication ceremony was held in her honor, with Timothy Cardinal Dolan coming to bless a beautiful grotto and memorial in her honor.

Cardinal Dolan spoke during the ceremony:
"Probably the best way we could honor her is with a Grotto to our Lady of Lourdes, because when Mary appeared at Lourdes to save Bernadette it was with a message of Divine Compassion. So he said let's have this right at the entrance to our school, so that our students can connect with Jesus and Mary but also so that we'll never forget Sister Barbara."

The grotto contains a plaque with a prayer for Sister Barbara, a memorial bench for prayer, and water leading up to a statue of Mary.

The dedication and prayer service was particularly special to the fellow Sisters of the Divine Compassion, who are still mourning the loss of Sister Barbara.

"Sister Barbara is a legend here,” said Sister Laura Donovan. “She taught Latin, math, was a seamstress for the plays, she just did everything and had such and energy. And people loved her energy."

"It’s a wonderful tribute,” added Sister Jane Keegan. “It’s a bonding for us and a remembrance, and a wonderful sense of community, unity and presence."

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