All are Welcome!

Sometimes it’s an exclamation like “Wow!” or “Oh, my!” Sometimes it’s a reach for a camera, a rush to capture the feeling that is whirring through the brain. And, other times, it’s silence, an awestruck gasp or a slight whisper of prayer.

Whether a child or a senior, a local or someone from another country, a devoted church-goer or someone who just decided to drop by on a lunch break, the wondrous OLV National Shrine & Basilica has a way of generating a reaction from all who enter its doors.

One of my favorite things about it is the fact that you may visit every day for 10 years and still be surprised by something new — a detail you may have missed or a story you may not have heard. It is for this very reason, as the Shrine turns 100 years old, that ALL ARE WELCOME to visit it again (or for the first time).

Sit in a pew and just look around. Close your eyes and bask in prayerful silence and peace. Take a breath and try to set aside the worries of the day or, better yet, hand them over to God so that you leave unburdened and with a renewed sense of purpose! For that is exactly what Father Baker intended when work began on the Basilica more than 100 years ago. 

Thank you for your interest in this gorgrous tribute to the Blessed Mother, and, as we celebrate its Centennial, I hope you gain an even deeper appreciation for one of Western New York’s most inspirational places. 

May Father Baker intercede for you and Our Lady of Victory protect you. God bless you!

Pastor & Rector, OLV National Shrine & Basilica