I am a Fourth Generation Conch, born and raised on the island of Key West and my grandmother attended the Convent at the turn of the century. She was fortunate enough to be one of Sister Louise Gabriel's students and was part of the contingent of students who helped her gather the rocks along the school grounds that would eventually mold the grotto into the unique site that it is today. I hold stories she told me as a child close to my heart and each year my family and I always give special thanks to Sister Louise Gabriel along with the many prayers of others here in town that we continue to be blessed.

My heart goes out today to those coastal residents along the Gulf Coast especially along the shores of Texas as they face this year's monster storm IKE! My prayers are with them.