**Please join Fr. Bob White from St Victoria, for an 8 am outdoor Mass in our St. Nicholas Prayer Garden this Friday, September 13. We will gather by the Grotto of Our Lady of Guadalupe. For your comfort, please bring your own lawn chair. Following Mass, there will be refreshments and garden tours available.**

Welcome to the St. Nicholas Prayer Garden! Located on the bluffs of Carver, Minnesota, the garden is founded in the spirit of St. Nicholas, St. Mother Teresa, and many holy men and women. Our Prayer Garden features giant boulders that support one another as an affirmation of how we support one another. With its circular pathways and winding characteristics, the St. Nicholas Prayer Garden reminds us of Jesus' desire to welcome, envelop, and embrace everyone in His circled arms. Our historic church in Carver thrived over the past century by remaining authentic to old traditions and adapting with new ones. Like Our Lady of Guadalupe welcoming Juan Diego on the hills of Tepeyac, you too will feel welcomed at our Prayer Garden. Pope Francis deeply desires that all be soaked with God's love. At this place of prayer, you will be drenched in God's love. Whether you are physically present or visiting the St. Nicholas Prayer Garden online, you become part of the strength of this endeavor, just like the strength of the rocks that hold our Prayer Garden together. Your participation will enable you to be a spiritual and symbolic boulder. Those who visit the St. Nicholas Prayer Garden return home smiling. St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta often said, 'Let no one come to, going away, not feeling, better and happier.' Your willingness to lovingly support this place of prayer makes other pilgrims feel better and happier. May the words that Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, spoke to Juan Diego also be the words you hear in the garden: 'Am I not here, I who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection?’ Welcome to ‘God’s City set on the hill.’

Pope Saint John XIII said,  "Vox Populis, Vox Deus...Voice of the People is Voice of God."
The Prayer Garden is exactly this--people's hands and help, desire and devotion coming together, marrying each other.  No doubt, we carried many Crosses, faced obstacles of weather, struggled to find resources, etc. Just like St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, irrespective of her internal turmoil, she always had a smiling face.  May Mary Our Mother, and our Patron Saint Nicholas intercede so we always keep our smiles alive as St. Mother Teresa did with the help of God. Today, as we see a smile on all your faces, that is the purpose of our St. Nicholas Prayer Garden. It is to put a smile on all of our faces and thus we can live the words of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta:  'A smiling person is the sunshine in the eyes of God.'  It is great that the passion and love Fr. Magnus Mayr, the first pastor of St. Nicholas, and the people at that time had is the same passion we still have after 147 years. How else would you describe it except by calling it a miracle?


The recipient of the 2016 Carver Heritage Preservation Award was St. Nicholas Catholic Church located at 412 Fourth Street West in downtown Carver. The award is given annually for the year’s best preservation work in the Carver Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. St. Nicholas was originally constructed in 1868 under the direction of Father Magnus Mayr in a rural European Gothic Revival style with a trace of Greek Revival elements. It features gothic arched windows and a three-story shingled bell tower. Inside, the altar area occupies a half-octagonal extension to the east, and stained glass windows surround the church. During November and December, nominations were solicited from Carver citizens. At the December meeting of the Carver Heritage Preservation Commission, nominations were reviewed and the Commission selected the year’s best preservation work or contribution to the Carver Historic District. The award was then presented by the Mayor and City Council at the January 3, 2017, regular City Council Meeting. Tony Lotzer (Trustee) and Jodee Korkowski (Business Administrator) accepted the award on behalf of St. Nicholas Catholic Church.

St. Nicholas’ restoration projects included: replacing the aging roof with architectural shingles, cleaning the exterior brick, and tuck pointing the brickwork with appropriate and color correct mortar. Interior work was also completed that involved: replacing failing roof trusses, plastering, repainting, woodworking, and reframing the ornate stained glass windows. A large landscaped prayer garden was also added northeast of the church. The St. Nicholas Church Board and parishioners moved forward at great cost and effort to complete these projects that have added to the beauty of the church and the Carver Historic District.

We are grateful to the City of Carver and the Carver Heritage Preservation Commission for this honor and recognition of the work that we did to restore and maintain our facilities. The award is on display in the front of the church along with our Honor Award from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. The sign near the driveway will be with us until the end of 2017 and will then travel to next year's winner of the Preservation Award.