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A Cave of Candles: The Story Behind Notre Dame's Grotto Paperback – November 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

For those who may be interested in learning more about the University of Notre Dame, Dorothy V. Corson also has an Internet website titled: The Spirit of Notre Dame: Its History, Legends and Lore. The newly published book, A Cave of Candles: The Story Behind Notre Dame's Grotto originated on that website. It became a reality in book form after continual requests from website readers asking if the historical research was available in bookstores.

Dorothy's 1994 first person journal of research, A Cave of Candles: The Story Behind the Notre Dame Grotto - what she found and how she found it -- went online on Lourdes Day, February 11, 2000. It was accompanied by a shorter third person 1995 version titled Notre Dame's Grotto which was condensed and rewritten in chronological order focused on Our Lady's influence on the campus from Sorin's arrival.

The second more focused version became the newly published book under the title of the original journal, A Cave of Candles: The Story Behind Notre Dame's Grotto.

During the 15 years of her research, Dorothy found herself taking interesting side paths researching little known legend and lore stories she happened upon by chance during her search. Soon they became just too irresistible not to pursue so she recorded them along the way.

She felt it would be a shame not to share them too on her website. Yet there were so many that preparing them to go online would be a humongous job. She had only one alternative. Learn to be a webmaster and add them herself or leave them unshared. The answer was obvious, but she would need a new main page for her website that would encompass all the new things on it.

The next day, she awoke with an idea for the perfect name -- The Spirit of Notre Dame: Its History, Legends and Lore - and she was hooked! She knew her Notre Dame odyssey would not be complete until that last mission was also accomplished.

Her new The Spirit of Notre Dame main page, which now includes "Fr. Corby's Favor Granted at Lourdes" and her "Notre Dame Legend and Lore" stories - went online on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2003.

In the spring of 2006 work began on the third person published book version of her online research. Most of the photographs were redone at a much higher quality, and more were added along with a new "Author's Personal Epilogue."

A Cave of Candles: The Story Behind Notre Dame's Grotto has at last become a reality. It arrived in bookstores on December 13, 2006.

Voila, mission accomplished!

From the Author

Many years ago, Fr. Charles Corcoran, C.S.C. and I were discussing Lloyd C. Douglas, a favorite author of mine. I had just quoted an excerpt from a book he had shared with me called, Enthusiasm by Ronald A. Knox:

There is a kind of book which you may say, almost without exaggeration, that it is the whole of a man's literary life, the unique child of his thought . . . Strange, that a thing which is so much a part of oneself should go out into the world, and lie in shop windows, and be handled by reviewers! Yet this venture of paternity must be made, in the hope that there is some truth here worth telling; or, if not that, tinder at least to catch the sparks of another man's fire.

"I wholeheartedly believe that," I said. "You know if I could only do that for one human being, tell how it has been with me and fan someone else's fire, even if just in one other person's life, then I'd know the torch had been passed on."

Father Corcoran, always a creative listener and a perceptive and keen observer, looked up at me and very seriously replied: "WHY DON'T YOU!"

Enveloped in the silence of my own thinking, I wondered: Could I? The words of Fr. Corcoran and Lloyd Douglas have been my inspiration ever since:

Once you've found the Way
It will obsess you . . .
But it will be
A Magnificent Obsession!

-- Lloyd C. Douglas

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Dorothy V. Corson (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933858117
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933858111
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #994,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James E. O'Brien on January 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Dorothy Corson's "A Cave of Candles: The Story Behind Notre Dame's Grotto," is one of the most fascinating and interesting books I have read in recent years. If you love Lourdes, if you love St. Bernadette, if you love the Grotto at Notre Dame, or if you simply love history, then this IS THE BOOK for YOU!! Loaded with in-depth research (interesting, not boring), top quality photographs, and an obvious love for her subject, Dorothy takes the reader through Fr. Sorin's love for Our Lady of Lourdes to his unending desire to construct a replica of the world-famous Grotto in the United Stares, notably on the Notre Dame Campus. The book discusses the trials and hardships encountered along the way, the tremendous faith in God and His Heavenly Mother Mary, to the realization of a dream as well as the impact the Grotto has had on countless numbers of students, religious, and anyone touched by its presence!

Dorothy manages to share stories of Indians, the "Legend of the Sycamore," workers involved in the Grotto "project," and constructs for us the life and times of the people of South Bend as they live and work amidst the building of Notre Dame and its most hallowed spot. You can't help but want to keep turning page after page as the story unfolds. Dorothy's compilation of photographs, vintage and contemporary, allows the reader to experience the "Grotto" from a beautifully visual perspective. If you're like me - one who loves photos - you'll love the selection of images that compliments the text on almost every page! You actually feel as though YOU ARE THERE as the dream of a "Grotto" comes to fruition.

As for me, I lived in Mishawaka, Indiana for nearly a year. During my time there I visited the Notre Dame Grotto MANY times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By fredmoh on August 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book shares an in depth history of Notre Dame's founders and growth. Well researched and put together. If you like Notre Dame, you will love this book. Note that it is not about football.
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