The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is dedicated to the continuing work of evangelization, to bring people to Christ through Our Lady. Over time the Shrine has grown from a simple, forested hillside, to a pilgrimage destination, and word about its beauty and spirituality has spread.
Faithful to the message of the Blessed Virgin Mary through her appearances on the American continent in 1531, we serve 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.
Answering Mary’s Call will support two primary projects: growing and strengthening our endowment, and constructing a retreat house on the grounds of the Shrine. When the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe was founded, the first pilgrims and benefactors made sacrifices in order to fulfill a need for a devotional home to honor Mary. It is now our turn to invest in, and commit to, the ongoing expansion of the Shrine so those in need of rest, renewal, reflection, and healing have a home. With your help, we can take the first steps towards making this dream possible.
To realize the full vision of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a phase-by- phase building process has been laid out, and is scheduled to begin following the success of the Answering Mary’s Call campaign.
The project will begin with the retreat house and include the expansion of our spiritual location where pilgrims can spend extended time in prayer and reflections upon the mysteries of God and the truths of the Faith, uninterrupted by the need to leave the grounds.
The Saint Juan Diego Retreat House will serve as home to pilgrims who come to the Shrine for prayer, devotion, and spiritual growth. In addition to offering 38 rooms for pilgrims, it will also provide opportunities for extended retreat activities and conferences. Where in the past, attendees would stay overnight in La Crosse, pilgrims will now stay onsite.
The retreat house will be a two-story, 19,925 square foot structure, with 38 rooms for a total estimated cost of $6 million.
The Marian Catechist Apostolate headquartered at the Shrine exists to form and nurture heroic catechists with sights set on restoring, revitalizing, reforming, and converting countless others who have yet to receive the gift of faith. Clearly, its mission is integral to the entire mission of the Shrine, making known God’s merciful love.
The long-term goal for the Apostolate and the Shrine is to construct a 50,325 square foot center connected to the Saint Juan Diego Retreat House to keep the archive left by Father John A. Hardon, S.J., along with the materials that support the formation and study of catechists. The center will also be able to offer community programming and conferences to broaden the Apostolate’s ministry.
The Shrine must be an enduring spiritual destination for pilgrims from all over the world, who yearn for the peace, love, and compassion that Our Lady of Guadalupe promises. To ensure this, investments in the endowment are essential.
Through the support of our regular faithful and the generosity of pilgrims and benefactors, the Shrine currently operates on a balanced budget. The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe Endowment was started in 2010 by very generous and forward-thinking supporters. It has grown and today is valued at over $3 million. Before the Shrine is able to use the endowed investment for operating support, it must first reach $10 million in total value.
Once fully funded, the endowment would supplement current operational costs and provide opportunities for future growth. An increased funding allocation for operational expenses would also provide for marketing funds to help increase the awareness of the Shrine and its mission across the country. Answering Mary’s Call will secure the remaining funds necessary to reach this benchmark.