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Shrines and Grottos

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate work with many different people all over the United States. They tend to the spiritual hunger and thirst of people every day through their work at parishes and shrines.

  • National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows The Oblates established the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in 1958. Located in Belleville, Illinois the Shrine stands as an oasis of healing and hope for faithful pilgrims worldwide. More than one million people visit the Shrine annually. The Shrine’s main mission is to help people find hope and, through that, to be healed. Pilgrims visiting the Shrine find it to be a place of prayer, reflection, devotion, education and enrichment. Hundreds of programs and spiritual events are hosted there each year, including enrichment programs for youth, adult spirituality programs and liturgical celebrations.The Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows boasts many devotional areas, including a near-exact replica of the Sacred Grotto in Lourdes; Mothers Prayer Walk; Fathers Memorial Wall; Our Lady of Guadalupe Hill; Agony, Annunciation and Resurrection Gardens; Millennium Spire and an outdoor Way of the Cross. www.snows.org 
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto of the Southwest In San Antonio, Texas the Oblates honor their patroness at Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto of the Southwest. This spiritual center is America’s most precise replica of the original grotto in Lourdes, France. Thousands of pilgrims flock to the grotto each week. Mass is celebrated at the grotto every day, including two Sunday Masses (English and Spanish) and Mass in Spanish on Saturday. The grotto also hosts numerous events for visitors throughout the year. Special celebrations include a Palm Sunday procession at the grotto, a live Way of the Cross, Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrations and rummage sales to benefit non-profit organizations. www.oblatemissions.org/our-lady-og-lourdes-grotto/ 
Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto of the Southwest
  • Tepeyac de San Antonio A tribute to the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego at Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City, the Tepeyac de San Antonio is located atop of the Lourdes Grotto of the Southwest at Oblate Missions in San Antonio, Texas. A place of devotion to the Patroness of the Americas, the Tepeyac also honors the work of Oblate missionaries among Latino communities in the U.S., Mexico and beyond.
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and The International Shrine of St. Jude Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and The International Shrine of St. Jude are located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The diverse, inner-city parish is united by a vibrant Catholic faith. The Church and Shrine offer family-centered and spirit-filled worship, education, outreach and generous service to the poor and homeless of the New Orleans community. The St. Jude’s Community Center, located across the street from the parish, provided a food program and other services for the needy before Hurricane Katrina, and was converted by Fr. Tony Rigoli, O.M.I. into a shelter for the displaced in its aftermath. The Center has housed as many as 50 adults, both in individual rooms and on cots and sleeping bags on carpeted floors, in a space that would comfortably sleep twenty. www.judeshrine.com 
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and The International Shrine of St Jude
  • St. Joseph the Worker Shrine Saint Joseph the Worker Shrine is in historic Lowell, Massachusetts. The shrine is a friendly and welcoming place for persons of all faiths. Visitors gather in this special place to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation as well as to participate in the celebration of Mass. Yet many visit to simply be alone with the Lord in quiet prayer and reflection. www.stjosephshrine.org/about-the-shrine
St. Joseph the Working Shrine

Retreat Centers

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate share God’s loving presence with the people they serve. Not only do they go to the people, seeking them out where they live – but they also invite the faithful to come together to share God’s love.

  • Immaculata Retreat House Immaculata Retreat House in Willimantic, Connecticut has become one of the most popular retreat houses in the Northeast since its inception over 50 years ago. Located on 53 acres overlooking the scenic Willimantic River Valley, Immaculata offers programs for people of all backgrounds. There are 14 regular retreats, each directed toward a different audience. The Oblates hold retreats for youth and parish groups, men and women, sisters, seminarians and deacons. There are also retreats for married and engaged couples, and for persons recovering from various addictions. www.immaculataretreat.org 
Immaculata Retreat House
  • kingshouseKings House Retreat and Renewal Center King’s House Retreat and Renewal Center in Belleville, Illinois was inspired by the Oblate founder, St. Eugene De Mazenod, who said, “…spare no effort to awaken or reawaken the faith in the people to whom we are sent.” King’s House was opened in 1951 on 47 beautiful wooded acres to give retreatants the physical and spiritual space to seek wholeness as they reflect on their relationship with God.King’s House welcomes people of all faiths with warm hospitality and many opportunities for spiritual growth. The Oblates host seasonal, one-time programs throughout the year as well as ongoing programs, weekend and week-long retreats, individual retreats, spiritual direction and retreat hosting. Monthly gatherings for women or men offer kinship opportunities and foster open and respectful discussions. Other groups meet for Taizé prayer or spiritual films. Engaged couples prepare for their marriage during weekend retreats. Silent retreats offer the opportunity for deep personal reflection in solitude. www.kingsretreatcenter.org 
  • oblaterenualcenterOblate Renewal Center The 50,000-square-foot Oblate Renewal Center, located on the campus of the Oblate School of Theology (OST) in San Antonio, Texas is a spiritual and visual haven for individuals or groups of up to 118. The facility includes three conference rooms, breakout rooms, library, classrooms and 59 private rooms for overnight stays. The spacious dining room, with its bay window framing the beautiful tree-studded campus and grand foyer entrance, enhance the sense of connectedness to the natural surroundings. During the summer months guests have access to the OST swimming pool.The renewal center chapel, also known as the St. Joseph Chapel, is available to conference and retreat participants. The center is adjoined by the Oblates’ popular Lourdes Grotto and Shrine. The Oblates provide ongoing spiritual direction for retreat groups and individuals, to help them deepen their relationship with God. www.ost.edu 
  • Lebh Shomea House of Prayer Lebh Shomea (pronounced in Hebrew “lev show-mae-a”) in Sarita, Texas is a Christian community of men and women hosted by the Oblates. Everyone entering this special place participates in the contemplative-eremitical life of the House of Prayer. Hermits live in permanent hermitages situated at remote sites on the property.Guests are welcome at Lebh Shomea year round. With the exception of meals and the celebration of the Eucharist each day, there is no predetermined schedule and no imposed structure – only the freedom and creativity of solitude. One of the few structured programs offered at the House of Prayer is an Individual Desert Experience of forty days and forty nights. www.lebhshomea.org 
  • kingshouseMNKing’s House, Christ the King Retreat Center Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota offers 67 rooms for retreatants and can accommodate up to 124 guests. The facility has three accessible guestrooms and multiple elevators. The property at Christ the King Retreat Center features a statue of Christ the King and garden, Stations of the Cross within a courtyard, a statue of Moses and a statue of Our Lady of Grace. A Crucifix Shrine is located just behind the Retreat Center.Retreats are held throughout the year for men, women, married couples, laypeople and Christian singles. Marriage and Engaged Encounters as well as private and serenity retreats, are also hosted there. www.kingshouse.com

Formation Program

There are four Oblate houses of formation in the United States Province: Pre-Novitiates in Buffalo, New York and Tijuana, Mexico; a Novitiate in Godfrey, Illinois; and the Scholasticate (Oblate School of Theology) in San Antonio, Texas. The United States Province also supports the seminary formation programs in Zambia.

  • Pre-Novitiate (Buffalo, New York and Tijuana, Mexico): Young men ages 18-35 discern the call to religious life and are introduced to the Oblate charism while living together in community. The men earn a bachelor’s degree and fulfill credit hour requirements for philosophy and religious studies, which are prerequisites for their future theological studies.
  • Novitiate (Godfrey, Illinois): The major goal of Novitiate is to discern the call of God through prayer, reflection and study. Novices learn about the Oblate way of life by studying the life of the founder, St. Eugene De Mazenod, by attending retreats and seminars, and by participating in social justice advocacy. They also spend time building community and share a common liturgical prayer life.
  • Scholasticate (San Antonio, Texas): The scholasticate requires at least five years, including one year of internship to complete. This allows men who are preparing for the priesthood to receive the training and education they need. The academic curriculum is based on solid formation in philosophy and theology. It is important that the scholastics live in an Oblate community and develop a missionary outlook.
  • House of Studies (Makeni, Zambia): The Zambia Delegation has one of the most successful Oblate vocation and formation programs in Africa. Some Zambian Oblates even serve now as missionaries in other countries around the world. The Makeni House of Studies opened its doors in 2011, and allows up to 40 Oblate seminarians to live and pursue their studies in an appropriate environment.