News - Kane County

Catholic Corner to feature religious art, Grotto Shrine tours during Geneva Arts Fair

Knights of Columbus to host Grotto shrine tours in partnership with Catholic Corner

The Grotto Shrine is located on a walking trail behind the Kane County Government Center that dates back to the 1930s when the property was Sacred Heart Seminary. Bob McQuillan will lead tours to the Grotto during the Geneva Arts Fair July 23 and 24, from a religious art display and sale at The Catholic Corner, 4 S. Sixth St., Geneva.

GENEVA – The Catholic Corner, 4 S. Sixth St., Geneva, will offer religious art for sale and will partner with the Knights of Columbus to offer tours of the Grotto Shrine during the Geneva Arts Fair July 23 and 24.

The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will have 70 to 75 pieces, including paintings, sculptures and woodcarvings on display, as well as guided meditation sessions on based on religious art.

“We’re going to have it here on the lawn of our house, three blocks west of Third Street,” The Catholic Corner co-owner Judy Gay said.

The Knights of Columbus, which are in the process of restoring the Grotto Shrine, will lead tours to see it, a shrine located on a walking trail behind the Kane County Government Center. The Grotto Shrine dates back to the 1930s, when the property was Sacred Heart Seminary.

“The shrine was built by a German priest who was a Sacred Heart father, and it was constructed of stones and rock from the local area,” said Bob McQuillan, a member of the Knights of Columbus. “Over the last several years, the Grotto was hit by graffiti and also started to deteriorate because of its age. Last summer, all graffiti was removed and now we are in the process of restoring some of the stones that have fallen out.”

Sculptor Joseph Camaioni, who created the statue of Pope John Paul at St. Peter Church in Geneva, will have some of his work on display, as will Russell Berringer of Elburn, who does scroll work of crosses, Nativity scenes, puzzles and children’s toys.

People leave memorials to loved ones at the Grotto Shrine behind the Kane County Government Center. Bob McQuillan will lead tours to the Grotto during the Geneva Arts Fair July 23 and 24, from a religious art display and sale at The Catholic Corner, 4 S. Sixth St., Geneva.

“Scroll work is when you cut on the inside of a piece of wood to cut out shapes or pieces. It’s a more intricate type of woodworking,” Berringer said. “It’s more of a hobby for me. It’s very relaxing. It’s probably close to 15 years that I’ve been doing this.”

Michael Murschel will lead two, half-hour sessions of Visio Divina, Latin for “divine seeing,” at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. both days, Murschel said.

“It is an experiential form of contemplative prayer and is related to the prayer form Lectio Divina – divine reading – but instead of using Scripture as its focal point, this form of prayer uses visual elements,” Murschel stated in an email. “Pictures, sculpture, art of almost any sort, to help set your mind on prayer, and allow God to speak to your heart and soul through the image.”

Participants will be seated in chairs while Murschel leads them through a piece of artwork with a religious or spiritual component to it.

“Myself as the facilitator will ask questions, getting people to go deeper in to look for the religious or spiritual aspect of that piece of art,” Murschel said.

Murschel has offices in Geneva and Elgin, providing spiritual direction in the Catholic tradition.

People leave memorials to loved ones at the Grotto Shrine behind the Kane County Government Center. Bob McQuillan will lead tours to the Grotto during the Geneva Arts Fair July 23 and 24, from a religious art display and sale at The Catholic Corner, 4 S. Sixth St., Geneva.

The Catholic Corner used to be located in the Berry House, and was known as Pax Vobiscum – Latin for “peace be with you,” Gay said.

It changed names to become the Geneva Catholic Shop, then when the previous owners retired, and Kim May came in as a partner, they reorganized during COVID to become The Catholic Corner, a nonprofit, Gay said.

They found a larger space to rent, expanding what they could offer in the evenings, which they could not do while sharing space at the Berry House.

“[What] we wanted to do was create a gathering place of hospitality, and be an open place for Catholic culture. We have five rooms for book clubs and studies and Rosary Guild,” Gay said. “We have evening events, like Jane Austen night with wine and cheese. We had a Hobbit night where everyone came in costumes. There’s no limitations here.”

The Catholic Corner is not just for Catholics, Gay said.

“We get people in all the time who are shopping for someone Catholic, or for a Bible study or they just come in to talk,” Gay said.