Name of Church Chapel of Mary, The Grotto
Address 8840 NE Skidmore Street, Portland, Oregon 97220
Phone number (503) 254-7371
Mass times Depends on the time of the year, call or check the website. Sundays, 10 a.m. and noon (May through October). The noon Mass is held in the outdoor Grotto Plaza, weather permitting. Weekdays, noon. Saturdays, 8 a.m. There are also Masses for special events, such as first Saturdays at noon, St. Peregrine Mass. Most Masses are celebrated in the Chapel of Mary, an old church on the lower level of the property, although there is an outdoor grotto area nearby with an altar where Sunday noon Mass is celebrated during the summer, weather permitting.
Confessions Saturdays, 11 a.m. – noon. (Additional confession times added in Lent.)
Names of priests The Grotto is overseen by the Servite order. Fr. Richard Boyle serves as rector of the shrine.
Special activities There are many special seasonal activities; they are known, for example, for their magnificent Christmas Festival of Lights. There are also many special devotions. For example, Fridays at 3 p.m. you may participate in Via Matris (The Way of Our Sorrowful Mother). On first Fridays and the Fridays of Lent 12:30 -3:30 p.m. (except Good Friday), they have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction at 3:30 p.m.
Fellow parishioners Serves the local community, as well as many tourists.
Parking Free, park in the lot on the lower level.
Additional observations The Grotto is a 62-acre shrine operated by the Servite order in East Portland. It was established by Servite Father Ambrose Mayer in 1923; he built it in thanksgiving to the Blessed Mother for her role in sparing the life of his mother years before when she nearly died after childbirth. He began by carving out a grotto and building a stone altar where outdoor Masses could be celebrated. In 1955, the shrine’s church, the Chapel of Mary, was dedicated by the Portland Archbishop. The Grotto was designated a National Sanctuary in 1983. It has two levels. The entry/lower level has a gift shop (which, along with donations, funds the facility), the outdoor grotto plaza where Mass can be celebrated and the Chapel of Mary. The chapel has many beautiful works of art, including works depicting the seven holy founders of the Servite Order. For $6 general admission, you can take an elevator to the upper level, which has beautiful gardens, streams and ponds, hundreds of statues, the Servite residence, and, of course, the tall fir trees for which the Pacific Northwest is famous. There’s also a great view of the city from the upper level. It’s a wonderful place to bring a rosary and prayer book, and spend the day walking around, enjoying the beauty of the grounds and (mostly) traditional Catholic art. There are many unique and special pieces; for example, on the upper level, look for the bronze statue of Our Sorrowful Mother blessed in the Vatican by Pope Pius XI in 1934. You can walk the Stations of the Cross, or see images of the Mysteries of the Rosary. As the Servites are devoted to the Blessed Mother, you can see many Marian works of art. You also may see a Servite friar or two walking the grounds.