One of the oldest shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States is staffed by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. The Sorrowful Mother Shrine was founded in 1850 by Rev. Francis de Sales Brunner, C.PP.S. Since then hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have journeyed to this peaceful place.
There are several chapels and over 40 smaller grottoes on the wooded grounds. Several walking paths throughout the 120 acres of forests. Five Missionaries provide pastoral care to pilgrims from all over the midwest. Much of their work is devoted to accompanying different Catholic ethnic groups, such as Italian, Chaldean, African-American, and Polish, who come for pilgrimages.
Rev. Scott Kramer, C.PP.S., the rector of the Sorrowful Mother Shrine, commented that since the opening of the Year of Mercy, the Shrine has been even busier. He writes, “Since our Holy Door opened on December 13, there has been a noticeable increase in grace-filled moments for both our pilgrims and staff. The past month has brought an increase in the number of confessions heard. We celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation daily and have extended the time to an hour before every Mass.
The shrine has always been holy ground where people come to deepen their faith. The quiet beauty of the place helps pilgrims to feel a nearness to our Lord and his Mother…[various programs] have served to catch the attention of our pilgrims and help them to reflect on their spiritual journey and the path of conversion. They also provide us with opportunities to be present to and assist our pilgrims as together we walk the path of conversion and faith.”
More information can be found at http://sorrowfulmothershrine.org