HISTORY – Visit – Church Grounds
“FOR GOD AND NATIVE LAND” 
written by Father Richard Ober
NOTE: As of 2013, many of the items described below are no longer in existence.
Works of lighter vein about the front and side of the Church and within the convent garden please the eye. They command attention by their very novelty. Between the convent chapel and south portico of the church, rest on a graceful pedestal of shells a cross of natural amethyst and blue shell from the Atlantic coast, its arms extending some four inches above a chalice with suspended host. The chalice is formed of New England stone taken from the seminary grounds of the Holy Ghost Fathers, in Ferndale, Connecticut. Within the fence enclosure, at the intersection of Monroe Avenue and St. Antione Street, is a large sign. Because of its peculiar location in the downtown district, a sign of some kind was deemed necessary for the church. Framed in small stones the whole is made firm and rests in a large star designed in the same material. Glinting bits of quartz and mica relieve the eye. As we approach the parish house along Monroe Avenue, we note a striking bit of work to either side. The first to excite interest is a group of deer and rabbits about a raised garden. In the center of this grouping, drawn by a willing gander, is a well-proportioned stone cart. Over the shell plumage of the fowl is fitted an appropriate set of leather harness, the lines caught up in the paws of a rabbit. These dumb creatures are on an errand bound. The would convey to all the world the message of archangel Gabriel. Upright in the cart is a large circular float, adorned with shells, bearing in gilded letters the salutation: “Ave Maria”.
Bordering the rectory garden on the far side, is a wall of singular pattern. Sixty feet in length, it is formed of a series of panels alternating with low pillars, an inverted bell-shaped stone formation crowning each. The panels are filled with various designs of circle and arch. The central pillar rises higher, and is proportionately larger than the five that parallel it on either side. A white and crimson cross of stone surveys its height. At its base two semi-circular blocks of colored stone bear the legend: “Pro Deo et Patria” “For God and Native land”. A sculptured head on either side gives unity and completeness to this unusual construction. On an inclined base, at the foot of the wall, the eagle perched above, the American flag unfurls its stars and stripes. The flag is of generous proportions and reproduces in lasting color the red, white, and blue. The raised shells that border it emphasize the Nation’s colors. Beyond the eagle, through several tiny arches and circles of the wall, a good view is had of the statue of St. Joseph, the Divine Child in his arms, resting in a neat Chapel-like niche. Ere we leave, we take a comprehensive view of the wall and the flag, of the eagle and the cross, and we are touched. The deepest depths of human emotion have been sounded: love for God and love for country. As ever in the bosom of the Church, faith and patriotism embrace.