December 10

Liz Trantowski ’96

Hear Liz Trantowski ’96, Alumni Association Board President-Elect, relate the story of a longstanding ministry of volunteers praying for others at the Grotto.

“I think of the people who submit a prayer and what might their stories be as they ask for physical, emotional, or spiritual healing for themselves and their loved ones. They express profound gratitude and deep sorrow. I am humbled and inspired by their faith as they ask Our Lady for her intercession. It reminds me of how connected we are to each other through our trust in God and his mercy.”

The motto of the Congregation of Holy Cross is “Hail the Cross, Our Only Hope.” This Advent, marked as a season of hope, may we take courage that through the hope of the cross, things are never hopeless, even in our darkest hour and greatest suffering.



  1. I can’t begin to express enough of my gratitude for this volunteer service being there for myself, my friends and my family during our time if need! There is comfort with each and every prayer as well as my daily ritual of waking up to read my FaithND!

    Thank you!

  2. Thank you for your wonderful ministry. Grateful to know how are prayers are read at the grotto and the tradition and work behind this.

  3. Thanks Liz!
    Over these many years, your work, and the work of the Notre Dame Prayer Team, has been a great blessing to me, to members of my family, and to my friends and their families. The Grotto was a very special place to me during my years at Notre Dame, and through your efforts, and those of the Prayer team, the Grotto continues to be both a special, and a sacred place.
    Your Sacred Story that you shared today is also an inspiration, and your closing comments are particularly meaningful.

    Thank you so very much,
    Dennis G. Bonucchi, N.D. 1976

  4. Having submitted a prayer on several occasions, I am so grateful to those that prayed for Our Lady’s intercession on my behalf. I include the prayers of our community in my prayers this Advent season, our season of hope.

  5. Liz, thank you for being a part of this wonderful prayer ministry and for sharing your sacred story so that others will know about it. How inspiring!! The Grotto is, no doubt, a holy place of prayerful supplication, but I never knew just how beautiful the history of prayers offered there on behalf of others all over the world really is. Your story will enrich my future times spent at the Grotto as I will reflect upon your prayer ministry and the many lives prayed for by your team, and offer a prayer on behalf of all. May your Christmas be peaceful and joyful.

  6. Thank you so much for doing this ministry. I have submitted prayers many times and they have always been heard. Patrick ND ‘72

  7. Liz, I am in South Bend often and walk to the grotto everyday. I did not know about these prayers but will pray for all the requests each and every morning I stop by. I feel the presence of our Lady at the grotto like no other place I have been snd feel humbled and honored to spend time there. God Bless you snd this ministry.

  8. “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing. You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.”
    Psalm 30:11

  9. For all of us for whom the Grotto is so special and are so seldom able to visit, thank you for your physical and prayerful presence on our behalf. I am and will continue to be humbled for the many prayers I have submitted and will continue to submit. Advent Blessings to all the volunteers.

  10. Liz, thank you for what you do for Notre Dame. It is folks like you who keep our University Great.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Tom Mariani, Class ’57

  11. What a wonderful thing – Thank you for taking up the mantle of prayer so that others may experience the healing power of Christ.

  12. As a ’53-’54’ resident of Breen- Phillips I have the fondest memories of my 1st home at ND. I wonder if Rm #203 even exists today. Thank you so much for your prayer ministry work at the Grotto.

  13. Liz…please accept my thanks and appreciation for all your prayers and words of wisdom on behalf of the ND family. You truly represent everything that is good about our beloved University of our Lady.

  14. Liz…please accept my thanks and appreciation for all your prayers and words of wisdom on behalf of the ND family. You truly represent everything that is good about our beloved University of our Lady.

  15. Liz, thank you for being part of this ministry and for sharing its history. I had always wondered how it started. I have submitted prayers throughout the years and have always felt the love and healing when receiving that personal note from the volunteer who prays on my behalf. I live on the west coast and this is such a beautiful way for me to stay connected to others in our faith at my favorite spot on campus! Merry Christmas and May God bless you and all the prayer volunteers.

  16. “Things are never Hopeless.” I appreciate this timely and seasonal reminder. The grotto is a tremendous symbol of how we are All Connected. Words are inadequate to express my love for the Grotto and my appreciation for those that carry prayer intentions to the Grotto on behalf of others.
    Janet and Carol you are not alone.
    Thank You to each of You!

  17. Thanks Liz for offering prayers for those going through Cancer treatments. We met years back at the Chicago Club Board Meetings. Your friendship then and now is a great comfort to me.

  18. Liz & Our dear ND prayer ministers,

    Thank you for continuing this beautiful ministry at Our Blessed Mother’s grotto. I too have submitted prayers, and give thanks my daughter is a part of the wonderful ND Alumni. Class of 2021.

    Peace and Love to you all. Thank you Coach Stone for inviting her on your Women’s Rowing Team, a terrific honor and gift.
    With a grateful heart,
    The Parsons Family

  19. There have been many times that our family has submitted prayer requests to the Grotto. The request is always met with a heartfelt, personal response. I still pray some of the response prayers that were sent back to me. Many thanks to all who take these supplications to the Grotto on our behalf. Your work does not go unnoticed, and knowing our prayers are being heard in such a holy place brings a sense of peace.

  20. Thank you, Liz and all the other volunteers who share this ministry. I, too, have requested prayers many times, often for my father and brother, Notre Dame men who are deceased and who loved the Grotto. When I get that response back, I do feel a sense of peace and joy that they are being remembered at their special place.

  21. My friends have been comforted by the caring response that is emailed to them in their grief after losing a a family member.Thanks to all the volunteers in this mission.

  22. Liz! It was wonderful to see you here and loved hearing about the beautiful work of the grotto prayer ministry!

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