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Pop in at a shrine on your summer holiday — Part 4: New England


Courtesy of St. Kateri Shrine

Larry Peterson - published on 06/23/18

Including the birthplace of St. Kateri and the world's oldest shrine honoring St. Therese (yep, it's here in the USA not in France)

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Part IV in our series on Catholic shrines takes us to the Northeast corner of the country. We’ll begin in western New York State and head East toward New England. Some magnificent shrines await.

Part 1: Upper midwest

Part 2: Eastern coast

Part 3: Western USA and Texas

Buffalo, New York

  • Sacred Heart Diocesan Shrine   Sacred Heart Church was founded in 1920. By 1925 it had a school and a convent. Then the men of the parish built a 1.5-story shrine dedicated to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Conception. Located on the highway, it became a welcome respite for travelers and people looking for a place to simply pray.

Auriesville, New York

Courtesy of Auriesville Shrine

  • The National Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs (aka North Amercian Martyrs)  The shrine is devoted not only to the Blessed Mother but also to the first saints of North America, including St. Isaac Jogues and his companions. It is on these grounds that the first recorded recitation of the Rosary in North America took place. The date was September 29, 1642. This is also the birthplace of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

US saints

Read more:
List of Saints from the United States of America

Fonda, New York

  • National Shrine of St. Kateri Tekakwitha  Born in Auriesville, New York, Kateri Tekekwitha was a daughter to an Algonquin mom and a Mohawk Indian chief. She was baptized by the Jesuits in 1676 and only lived until she was 24. She was canonized a saint by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012, and is the Patroness of Peace and Ecology.

Lackawanna, New York

Shinerunner | CC BY-SA 3.0

  • Our Lady of Victory Basilica and National Shrine Truly a magnificent church, the Shrine of Our Lady of Victory must be counted among the most beautiful of the shrines. Built under the guidance and inspiration of Venerable Nelson Baker, it began to rise in 1921. Father Baker did this as a gift to the Blessed Mother. It is now a minor basilica. Father Baker’s remains are interred within the church.  

Youngstown, New York

  • Our Lady of Fatima Shrine This shrine was built by the Barnabite Fathers to bring some of the beauty and mystery of Fatima to the people in America. Started in 1954, it now covers several acres and is considered one of the most beautiful shrines in America. On top of the magnificent glass-covered domed roof stands a granite statue of the Blessed Virgin. The statue is 13 feet high.


Read more:
Rarely seen photos of Fatima visionaries, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco

West Haverstraw, New York

  • National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians  The Salesians of St. Don Bosco built a Rosary Way at this site in 1954. Fifteen life-size marble statues were positioned along the wooded path. There is also a 48-foot bronze Rosary Madonna statue, and grottoes depicting the apparitions at Fatima and Lourdes.

New York City, New York

Beyond My Ken | CC BY-SA 4.0

  • St. Frances Cabrini Shrine Amidst the noise and frenetic pace of upper Manhattan, the Shrine of Mother Cabrini stands surrounded by tranquility overlooking the Hudson River north of the George Washington Bridge. Across the way are the magnificent Palisades of New Jersey.  Mother Cabrini passed away in 1917. Her remains were moved to Mother Cabrini High School in 1933. Pope Pius XII canonized her in 1946, and so many pilgrims came a new shrine was built. It opened in 1957.


Read more:
The patron saint of immigrants who was almost sent back to her home country

Boston, Massachusetts

  • St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine  The shrine was established on May 3, 1945, and is the official Archdiocesan Shrine of Eucharistic Adoration. Mass and Adoration is offered on a daily basis. The Oblates of the Virgin Mary staff the shrine. It is also the home to Our Lady of Grace Seminary where new priests and brothers are trained.
  • Madonna, Queen of the Universe National Shrine  The incredible shrine with its 35-foot statue of the Blessed Virgin overlooks Logan Airport. The huge statue was built in 1954 by the priests of the Don Orione order. The priests wanted to create a devotional work comparable to their charitable work at their nearby nursing home. The large statue represents Mary’s God-given power over the universe.

Stockbridge, Massachusetts

John Phelan | CC BY-SA 3.0

  • National Shrine of Divine Mercy The National Shrine of Divine Mercy is a ministry of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Located in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, it is nestled into 350 acres known as Eden Hill. Work on the shrine began in 1950 and was completed in 1960. It is truly a beautiful site to visit.

Lowell, Massachusetts

  • St. Joseph the Worker Shrine St. Joseph’s Parish was established in 1868 by Father Andre Marie Garin, OMI. The purpose was to serve the immigrants working in the mills and factories of Lowell. As time went by the church developed into a “Workers’ Shrine,” and in 1956 Richard Cardinal Cushing rededicated the site to St. Joseph, Patron of Workers.

Roxbury, Massachusetts

  • Basilica and Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Built in 1871, this shrine features an altar made of Carrara marble and was dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The church was named a basilica  in 1954 by Pope Pius XII. After more than 100 years, devotions are still held every Wednesday.


Read more:
What is the difference between a basilica and a cathedral?

Fall River, Massachusetts

Kenneth C. Zirkel | CC BY-SA 4.0

  • St. Anne Parish and Shrine  St. Anne Parish was founded in 1869 to serve the French-Canadian immigrants of the Greater Fall River area. Father Charles Bernard Sauval, who became the pastor in 1891, began organizing pilgrimages to St. Anne’s. As the principle center of devotion to St. Anne in the Diocese, the Shrine offers a full range of activities culminating with a solemn observance of the saint’s feast day on July 26.

Nasonville, Rhode Island

Courtesy of St Therese Shrine in Nasonville

  • The Shrine of the Little Flower This is the oldest shrine in the world dedicated to St. Therese of Lisieux. The shrine was started in 1923, only four months after her beatification. In addition to the church, a rectory, school, and outside altar were built. There is a statue of Our Lady of Peace on top of a fountain, and thousands upon thousands of pilgrims visit every year.

Enfield, New Hampshire

  • Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette Replicating the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette, in France, in 1846, this shrine was founded in 1951 in Enfield, New Hampshire. The site has a replica of the apparition at La Salette, a Rosary pond, the outdoor Stations of the Cross and a Calvary scene with Holy Stairs followed by a peace walk.

Litchfield, Connecticut

  • The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Litchfield  The shrine is the Grotto of Our Lady built from local fieldstone and modeled after the grotto in Lourdes, France. It was built during the Marian year of 1955 by the Missionaries of the Company of Mary. Highlights of the shrine are the Way of the Cross and Shrines of the Sacred Heart, St. Michael, St. Jude, and St. Louis de Montfort.
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