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Ashley Furniture donates grotto to Holy Family Catholic Church

A religious and historical structure was donated this month by Ashley Home Furniture and the Wanek family to Holy Family Catholic Church in Arcadia.

The structure was built in the 1950s at the former site of St. Joseph’s Hospital. It  was erected to serve as a place of reflection for patients and guests of the hospital.

Ashley purchased the hospital from Mayo Clinic Health System after it sat empty for six years. The facility has since been remodeled as the company’s Chapel Hill Advanced Technology Center.

The grotto was included in the purchase of the property. 

 “The grotto has been a part of Arcadia for nearly 70 years, we are very happy to see it moved to a location that better suits its meaning and allows the community to utilize it for its intended purpose,” stated Ron Wanek, Founder & Chairman, Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. “The Franciscan Sisters made it their lives work building the hospital and serving the community in a time of need, this donation is in memory and honor of them.”

“Our parishioners have expressed gratitude for the move of the Grotto to the Church,” said Father Sebastian Kolodziejczyk, Holy Family Parish. “Many of our members remember visiting the Grotto growing up, and truly appreciate its new home and that this piece of history will be preserved.”

Every effort was taken to preserve the delicacy of this historic structure throughout the moving process which had an estimated moving cost of $70,000 which was paid for by the Wanek family. A professional moving company was hired to load the grotto onto steel beams and was then transported through town to its new home at the church. Landscaping will conclude this week as the finishing touch to the grotto’s new location.

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