TROY to present free screening of Ave Maria Grotto documentary "Brother Joseph and the Grotto"

Posted: Tuesday, 02 June 2015

DOTHAN - Troy University and St. Columba Catholic Church will co-host a screening of the documentary "Brother Joseph and the Grotto" followed by a discussion featuring the film's director Cliff Vaughn and producer Carol Anne Cross on Sunday, June 14.

The event will be held starting at 2 p.m. at St. Columba Catholic Church in Dothan. Admission is free and open to the public.

"Brother Joseph and the Grotto" is about Benedictine monk Brother Joseph Zoettl who built Ave Maria Grotto at Saint Bernard Abbey near Cullman, Ala. Brother Joseph began building the grotto in 1918 as a miniature Jerusalem, but in 1932 the Abbey asked him to expand it in a different location. Opened in 1934, the grotto consists of approximately 125 miniature models including Rome's St. Peter's Basilica and Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Alamo, the Tower of Babel, Noah's Ark, and many others.

Director Cliff Vaughn of Red Clay Pictures has multiple documentary films to his credit. One was awarded Best Documentary at the International Black Film Festival of Nashville, and another aired on more than 130 ABC-TV stations. He holds a doctorate in American culture studies from Bowling Green State University.

Producer Carol Ann Cross holds a doctorate in history from Auburn University, and teaches at Samford University. She has served on the boards of the Alabama Poverty Project, the Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform, the Leading Edge Institute, and the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation.

This event is part of the public programming planned by the local hosts of "The Way We Worked," a Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition on display at Troy University's Dothan Campus library through June 25. The local hosts are TROY and The Cultural Arts Center of Dothan. For more info, visit, or contact Dr. Martin Olliff at

Wade M. Burford