Bringing to mind Bernini’s colonnades of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, like welcoming arms, each colonnade extends from the front of the Shrine and is topped by a marble sculpture depicting a group of children protected by a guardian angel.

The west colonnade (bottom, left) features a statue of Father Baker himself. Its sculpting was a secret, withheld from the humble priest, who, as the story goes, was angered and embarrassed when the statue was completed and placed!

On the east colonnade (bottom, right), the children are led by a nun, representing the Sisters of St. Joseph, the order that has been a part of OLV’s mission since the 1850s.