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The Times
  • Prayer garden is a hidden treasure in Frankfort

  • The S.S. Maria Addolorata Prayer Garden is a hidden treasure in the village of Frankfort.

    The garden, off Sheldon Avenue, is a gem of the Addolorata Society which gives adoration to S.S. Addolorata, the blessed mother. The garden features flowers, a water fountain, granite park benches and statues and shrines that pay tribute to the blessed mother and other religious figures.

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  • The S.S. Maria Addolorata Prayer Garden is a hidden treasure in the village of Frankfort.
    The garden, off Sheldon Avenue, is a gem of the Addolorata Society which gives adoration to S.S. Addolorata, the blessed mother. The garden features flowers, a water fountain, granite park benches and statues and shrines that pay tribute to the blessed mother and other religious figures.
    The garden consists of a memorial walkway full of pavers that list those who have donated to the garden. The path starts at the chapel and leads to the outside altar which features a statue of the Lady of Sorrows. Surrounding the altar are the stations of the cross, a crucifix, a rosary replica, the four mysteries and the ten commandments.
    Society President Angie Caiola said many people do not realize the garden is in existence.
    “The prayer garden and indoor chapel is open to all — seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” she said.
    Also featured on the property is a clubhouse which is used for meetings, prayer and meditation.
    Although the garden is a quaint paradise close to home, it seldom has visitors.
    “I don’t think people realize the prayer garden is here,” said Caiola, who has served as society president since 2006, adding the garden is for everyone to enjoy. “I hope more people come here to see the beauty within the garden, as well as use it as a place of prayer or meditation.”
    The story of Our Lady of Sorrows began well over 733 years ago in Florence, Italy. The village’s tribute and devotion to S.S. Maria Addolorata began in 1917. Several women under the direction of Gabriella DePalma chose S.S. Maria Addolorata as their patron saint and honored her with feasts and ceremonies. The male members of the women’s families followed suit and the society was born.
    In 1926, Blaise Thurston, a local carpenter, built a chapel for the society to use as a private sanctuary. In 1952, the society obtained land on Sheldon Avenue and moved the chapel and built a clubhouse on the property. Many celebrations took place at the clubhouse, until the late 1970s when the society could no longer continue to sponsor festivals. However, the members still kept the society together to honor S.S. Maria Addolorata by celebrating an annual outdoor mass.
    This year, the Addolorata Society will celebrate its outdoor mass at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, at the prayer garden. Father Alfred Lamanna will officiate the ceremony along with Father Leo Potvin and Deacon Jim Bower. Refreshments will be served after Mass, which will be open to the public.
    Rosary prayer, led by Mike Dziurais, meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. at the prayer garden.
    All of the garden’s attributes have been made possible with the help of donations. If interested in becoming a member of the society or to make a donation to the prayer garden, e-mail Cailoa at caiolaa@yahoo.com.

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