The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, faithful to the message of the Blessed Virgin Mary through her appearances on the American continent in 1531, serves the spiritual needs of those who suffer poverty in body and soul. It is a place of ceaseless prayer for the corporal and spiritual welfare of God’s children, especially those in most need.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in fidelity to its mission as a place of religious pilgrimage:
- Pays homage to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and Star of the New Evangelization;
- Honors Our Blessed Mother as the Patroness of the Unborn;
- Is a fitting and efficacious instrument of the New Evangelization;
- Is a place of sacramental encounter with Christ, especially in the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation;
- Is a place of thanksgiving for God’s many blessings, especially at the time of the reception of the Sacraments or at personal milestones;
- Offers solace and strength to the physically and spiritually afflicted;
- Provides a place of rest and renewal for the weary;
- Educates adult Catholics in their faith and its practice; and
- Applies to daily life the teachings and guidance of the Catholic Church, especially through the words of Our Holy Father.
A Place to Draw People Closer to God
From the day he was named Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke reflected upon and prayed about the pastoral needs of the entire diocese. He spoke about his concern both for the family, which has suffered so many assaults in recent times, and about the violence which more and more marks American culture.
In November of 1995, then-Bishop Raymond Leo Burke met with a small group of people to discuss his ideas for a Marian shrine.
Through what many attribute to divine providence, a beautiful site of approximately 70 acres was gifted by the Robert Swing family. It was the desire of the late Mr. & Mrs. Swing that the tract of land which they had cared for so well might one day become a place that would draw people closer to God.
- February 22, 1995: Bishop Raymond L. Burke is installed as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse.
- July 1999: Bishop Raymond L. Burke announces plans for the construction and establishment of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe to be located in La Crosse.
- June 17, 2001: Official ground breaking for the Shrine complex .
- December 12, 2002: Dedication of the Pilgrim Center and the Mother of Good Counsel Votive Candle Chapel.
- May 13, 2004: Official ground breaking for the Shrine Church.
- December 9, 2004: Dedication of the outdoor Stations of the Cross.
- February 25, 2005: The Shrine purchases 30 acres of land adjacent to Tepeyac Road. The Shrine grounds total approximately 100 acres. The site is part of the rich history of the Coulee region.
- May 19, 2005: Cornerstone laid for the Shrine Church. Pilgrims submit petitions to be buried behind the cornerstone.
- June 14, 2005: The Saint Benedict medal is buried in the crypt level of the Shrine Church in the area under the proposed main altar. Father Paul Czerwonka and Father William Blazewicz, priests of the Diocese of La Crosse, officiate at the ceremony.
- September 21, 2007: Dedication of the devotional area to St. Joseph the Workman.
- December 8, 2007: Dedication of the Rosary Walk.
- July 30, 2008: Dedication of the devotional area to Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.
- July 31, 2008: Dedication of the Shrine Church. Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Founder of the Shrine, was the main celebrant at the Mass of Dedication. Cardinals Justin Rigali (Philadelphia) and Francis George (Chicago), and over twenty (20) archbishops/bishops and over one hundred (100) priests, joined the hundreds of faithful inside the new church. Over sixty (60) Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre and over twenty-five (25) Knights of Columbus Honor Guard were also present.
- December 12, 2008: Dedication of the Memorial to the Unborn.
- November 20, 2010: Benedict XVI elevates Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke to the College of Cardinals.
- September 23, 2011: The Marian Catechist Apostolate officially establishes its international headquarters at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
- December 12, 2012: Dedication of the statue of Blessed John Duns Scotus in the exterior alcove of the Blessed John Duns Scotus Friary.
- December 12, 2014: Dedication of the statue of the Guardian Angel in the Memorial to the Unborn.
- December 12, 2015: Dedication of the Way of the Cross Archway.
Explore the Shrine:
Areas for expressing our devotion to or love for God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.