(Lander, WY) – A dedication ceremony was held on August 22nd for a new community prayer garden that was built off of Leedy Lane between the Holy Rosary Catholic Church and the Wyoming Catholic College residence halls.
The Rosary Garden was created in memory of Christine Allen, a WCC student who died in 2013. It is open to the public and her parents, Andy and Debbie, encourage the community to visit it often.
Christine was traveling from Lander with her family back to their home in California after finishing her freshman year at the college when she died in a rockslide while they were camping near Moab.
The WCC class of 2014 gifted a statue of St. Therese of Lisieux with hopes of it becoming part of a Rosary Walk someday. Christine’s class of 2016 gifted a memorial bench to the college as well as provided the labor to grade and lay down the original stones for the walk.
The site for the garden was donated by the church, and two local businesses, Sprouts Greenhouse and the Eagle Bronze Foundry, also contributed.
Griff Sprout, owner of Sprouts Greenhouse, shared the Allens approached him last summer about this garden project to create a sacred place in the community for everyone to go.
Griff shared he wanted to see this happen for the community, so he partnered with the Allens, who were funding most of the project. They worked hand-in-hand to see this vision to fruition.
This is a community space that is kid-friendly, he explained. A place to contemplate and reflect.
With tight deadlines and a few setbacks, they still managed to finish this deer resistant garden in time for Sunday’s dedication.
Owners of the Eagle Bronze Foundary in Lander, Monte and Beverly Paddleford, had committed to donating a scultpure to the college years ago, but it had fallen by the wayside over the years; the Rosary Garden revitalized their promise.
“We were really happy to do that,” Beverly told County 10 about gifting a bronze statue of Mary.
The Allens selected the sculpture of Mary standing for the garden. Beverly has created two Mary sculptures, one standing and one sitting. Both can be seen in prayer gardens across the U.S. and one in Canada.
“I am honored to get to be part of it,” Beverly said. “I think it’s an amazing contribution to our whole community and I encourage people of all faiths to go there. It’s a beautiful setting and quiet place for prayer.”
The statue of Mary in the Rosary Garden has been officially named and dedicated as “Our Lady Seat of Wisdom.”
Eagle Bronze also sandblasted the stones in the walkway which were designed by Jacob Foster, who is also an artist at the foundry.
The Rosary Garden will continue to grow and expand. The Allens shared that maybe even a gazebo could be in the future.