Diocesan News

Rosary Garden Dedicated at Cathedral

LINCOLN (SNR) - Bill Carr believed in the power of prayer.

He prayed the Rosary on his daily walk for years, treasuring the gift of faith that he had been blessed with. Mirroring his optimistic and positive outlook on life, Mr. Carr always prayed the Joyful Mysteries, traditionally offered on Mondays and Saturdays.

When he died last year, it was no surprise to his family that the rosary for his funeral fell on a Monday.

Inspired by Mr. Carr’s devotion, his loved ones recently donated a Rosary Garden in his memory to his parish, Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln.

Mr. Carr and his young bride joined Holy Family Parish – precursor to the Cathedral – in 1960 and continued their membership as parishioners of the Cathedral of the Risen Christ after it was built in 1965. Their three children were baptized and raised in the parish.

The Carr family said the Cathedral will always be their spiritual home. After Mr. Carr’s passing, their goal was to provide the parish community a unique and shared experience of praying the rosary in memory of Mr. Carr and his example of honest, loving devotion.

During the process of designing and completing the garden, the family relied on Monsignor Robert G. Tucker’s guidance and leadership. The family said he was instrumental, offering support throughout the process and serving as a consultant in every decision that was made.

Family members agreed that the garden should be planned with great respect for the original vision of the Cathedral itself, which was designed by Leo A. Daly architects of Omaha. The Carr family consulted with the firm for help in creating an elegant, understated space that retains the expansiveness of the lawn area and emphasizes the grandeur of the Cathedral.

The Rosary Garden is designed for walking meditation and contemplative prayer. It also serves as a teaching tool for children and RCIA candidates.

Each stone in the Rosary Garden represents a prayer or bead in the Rosary.

Granite stepping stones were selected because of their durability. The Carr family settled on colors of white sardo and absolute black because they complement the Cathedral.

The Our Father stepping stones are engraved with Celtic knots to represent the Holy Trinity, with a dove in the center to represent the Holy Spirit. The dove is an exact replica of the dove in the alabaster window behind the Cathedra Petri (or "throne of St. Peter") at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Installation has been completed in stages. The granite stepping stones were set in the fall of 2011. Roses, landscaping and benches were added last spring.

Three of the benches were set up as a "teaching corner" to serve as an outdoor classroom for the Cathedral students. Other benches throughout the garden provide place to for meditation. For those requiring a little more privacy, two benches are situated in front of a statue of the Blessed Mother.

Initially, the Carr family had wanted a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary for the garden. They searched for months, but were never able to find the right one in terms of style, size, price and other parameters.

The family finally settled on a statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Admittedly, it felt like a bit of a concession until Sept. 14, the day Bishop James Conley was announced as the ninth Bishop of Lincoln.

At his press conference that day, the bishop said, "… I want to thank, in a special way, our Blessed Mother, under her title of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Diocese of Lincoln. She is our life, our sweetness and our hope. Of course, I wish to consecrate my ministry here in Lincoln to the Blessed Virgin Mary."

That’s when the Carr family realized with great joy that they had been led to the "right" statue for the Rosary Garden.

Just weeks later, on Saturday, Sept. 29, Msgr. Tucker presided over the dedication of the Cathedral of the Risen Christ Rosary Garden.

The Rosary Garden is a memorial to Bill Carr’s tremendous faith. The Carr family hopes that others will carry on in his "footsteps" and pray the Rosary.

October has been dedicated to the Holy Rosary since Pope Saint Pius V attributed the defeat of an attacking Turkish fleet on the first Sunday of October in 1571. All are welcome to observe this celebration by visiting the Cathedral to pray this devotion in the new Rosary Garden.

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