A powerful exterior symbol is the bell tower near the entrance. As a vertical element, it symbolizes the connection between God and humanity. It serves as a visual marker to the community of a sacred space. Emanating from the tower are mechanized musical bell tones which are "rung" just prior to each Sunday morning Mass.Paving the way to the main doors of the church is a geometric-designed concrete gathering area. The colored design complements the roof tiles, adding to the contemporary Spanish/Mediterranean style. The design draws people naturally to enter and is scaled to welcome, not overwhelm.
The outside grounds have several areas that encourage parishioners to reflect on their faith and the beauty of the Mandarin community. The Mary Garden, a spacious bed of roses and other plants reminiscent of our Blessed Mother is located in close proximity to the Marian Center and the parking area. The Mary Garden provides an appropriate point for outside meditation. The St. Joseph's Garden Club worked with the landscape architect to design this inspirational prayer garden. The area also features a grotto containing a statue of The Blessed Virgin created by sculptor Ken Pacetti of St. Augustine. The sculpture was cast in a sandstone-colored material following a lengthy design and molding process. "In Mary, I wanted to create a warm expression with the beginnings of a smile which would inspire a joyful and pensive mood," said Pacetti.