Earlier this week, as we drove through Paola, Kansas, I noticed an old stone structure that looked like a Middle Ages European castle. Of course, I had to investigate. As I walked through one of its doorways (three sides have doorways), I noticed a plaque in the stone wall. Built it 1916 by the Ursuline sisters, when they established their convent and school. (I will share that story in a future article).
|A look at the altar|
The small shrine, which probably measures little more than a fifteen-foot square, is constructed of petrified-formation stone brought from the bottom of Lake Erie, and is a replica of the Rheinstein Castle in Germany. It housed a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that stood on a small altar at one end.
There's more to the story. Over the years vines and weeds grew up around the shrine and it was sadly neglected. In 1976, David Watson, a young Boy Scout, offered his services for his Eagle Scout project. The mother superior suggested he clean up the shrine. He took it upon himself to restore the shrine and statue to their original condition.
Now, forty years later, the grounds still showcase the shrine. If you drive by 901 E. Miami St in Paola, it will capture your attention. Stop and walk into it. The statue is gone, but the stone and workmanship are worth your time.