Restoring the Shrine
The Shrine of Our lady of the Woods was dedicated in 1955 and quickly became one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state. Today, sixty years later the shrine still stands as a glorious tribute to our Blessed Mother, but the elements have taken their toll on the statues, grottos, and tons of limestone used to build the structure.
In 2015, the parish of St. Mary's Catholic Church, caretaker of the Shrine, developed and launched a comprehensive plan to excavate and address the water runoff that is damaging the grottos, replace the limestone that has become brittle over the years, repair and detail all statues, and make other necessary improvements. The restoration is an ambitious 6-phase project estimated to cost $1.2 million.
Phase 1, 2, & 3 are nearing completion. The work was focused predominantly on the back side of the shrine replacing brittle limestone, repairing statues, addressing weather damage inside the Family Shrine and Our Lady of Czestochowa grottos, and refortifying the water barriers above them.
Our generous parishioners and other sources have completely funded all three phases out of their dedication to this important Catholic Landmark, but other sources are needed to complete the restoration. Much remains to be done.
The remaining phases are the most difficult and costly of the entire restoration. They include completing the repair and replacement of broken limestone on the back side of the Shrine, on the entire front of the Shrine, and the surface limestone that provides the steps and approaches to the front facade.