LACKAWANNA, NY (WKBW-TV) — There is no other building like it in Western New York. As Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica marks it's 100th year, it's more than "a building" that is being recognized.
Msgr. David LiPuma, pastor of the Basilica says he is inspired by the grit and determination of Father Nelson Baker, the man who made it a reality. He adds "I am motivated by his faith. A man of his stature was able to do all of this because he had such profound faith in the intersession of our blessed mother-and in the providence of God."
The cornerstone was set in 1921 by Father Baker and the construction lasted five years. As communications director John Pitts points out "Father Baker wanted the building seen from everywhere."
Since the construction lasted five years, the centennial celebrations will too. There will be a variety of events including a speaker's series, concerts as well as repairs to the building. Official tours are suspended because of COVID but visitors are always welcome.
Rev. LiPuma says before COVID forty-thousand people a year visited, adding "It is a tourist attraction-but I think once people come here it's much more than that for them, it's a religious experience for people because they are so in awe."
You can find all the information about OLV National Shrine & Basilica including hours, masses and special events at their website.