The “Back Porch” • 2015–2016 Alumni Project

BackPorchThe late-summer 2015 meeting of the Alumni Coordinating Council began with a celebratory visit to the Shrine to toast the recent completion of the informative walls there. They will help to educate pilgrims about the  woman who is buried in one quiet corner of that edifice. Alumni Donations made that dream a reality!

The south wall traces the story of Philippine Duchesne  life from her departure from France through her years in Missouri and Kansas. It ends with her death in the little cell on our campus. The north wall describes the two burial paces that preceded her present, inconspicuous tomb in a corner of the Shrine. It goes on to proclaim the legacy that her pioneer spirit secured in the United States and, indeed, by its missionary enterprise, into the whole world. Parabolic sound domes in each corner offer additional historic narratives that enhance the story of our saint.

Now we are ready to move down the hall to Phase III of our Alumni Project. We will be addressing “Philippine’s Back Porch.” Not only was this the exterior part of the original 1835 convent, but it derived new importance in 1951 when Philippine’s remains were carried in from the “round house” in the front yard and kept here in simple reverence until the Shrine was ready to receive her sarcophagus. This area will be modestly restored with appropriate signage this year to add another dimension to the pilgrim experience.

Many thanks for considering a gift  to this year’s Alumni Project!  CLICK HERE to donate.