The vision for this contemplative sacred space was conceived just before the untimely passing of Jim Skerl ’74, an alumnus and longtime faculty member. When presented with the concept of this project being constructed in his memory, Jim embraced the idea of a grotto, where faculty, staff, and students could encounter Christ and the Blessed Mother through prayer and meditation. It was built in his memory and that of his longtime mentor, veteran Theology teacher Michael “Doc” Pennock ’64. The Marian Mall includes a stunning grotto with the eight Corporal Works of Mercy embedded within it. Planted in the ground facing the statue of Mary is a bronze casting of Jim Skerl’s size 15 feet–perhaps where he would have stood were he still alive today.