St. Caspar's Shrine And Prayer Garden History


Specially Honoring:

The Grotto of Our lady Of Lourds
The Stations of Jesus Christ in His Passion and Death
Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel
St. Jude, St. Francis, and Our Lady of the Snow

Our Shrine


Located on the grounds of
St. Caspar's Catholic Church, Wauseon, Ohio

The History Of The Shrine

Peter and Maria Hunzinger were Romanians who had been taken prisoner during Word War II. Together they made a promise to the Blessed Virgin Mary that, if they escaped from Europe and got to the United States safely, they would build a shrine to Mary. After living through the war and chaos in Europe, Peter and Maria came to Wauseon, Ohio on April 13, 1950. Maria's stepmother lived in this town and thus they chose this area. Immediately, Peter and Maria got jobs, learned English and became active in St. Caspar's Parish.

In the winter of 1963, the Parish decided to buy land to build a new church on 40 acres of land. Peter notes: "I went to see it with great curiosity. And, I made a small grotto on the southeast corner of the property. This was my first 'thanks' to Mary. By July, I could walk into the woods on the back of the land. This became the turning point of my life." The pastor, Fr. O'Grady, told Peter that he could have excess stones from the church building project and he could have the land he needed in the woods for his shrine. "Indeed it would be very hard and difficult work to clear the land and to build the shrine: but I never gave this the slightest thought."

Volunteers from the parish joined in the project, clearing the brush and building the first grotto. At that time the statuions were hung on the trees. Every year things continued to be improved. To pay expenses, Maria baked bread, noodles and cookies to sell. Peter improved the area every year until he had the grotto beautifully completed.

To this day, St. Terese Rosary/Alter Society Circle maintains this beautiful shrine. Flowers are planted annually. About nine people mow, trim and weed, water and rake the area. Money for maintenance is raised in many ways. It is very gratifying that many visitors find this shrine a place of prayer and serenity.


        >History Of The Shrine

        >The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes

        >Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel

        >The Crucifix In The Chapel

        >The Chapel For St. Jude Thaddeus

        >St. Francis Of Assisi

        >Our Lady of the Snows