Stanley’s Shrine

Blessed Stanley Rother shrine set to open in February

Madison Walters

Even other priests did not think he was good enough. While in the seminary, he was told he did not have the mental capacity to continue studying, and others thought him being ordained as a priest was a mistake, today we honor Blessed Stanley Rother.

According to Executive Director of the Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine, Leif Arvidson said Rother is a model to all people to continue your work, even if people don’t believe in you.

“[Rother] realized he had a calling from God, and he stayed committed to that calling,” Arvidson said. “I think he’s a great example of living your life in service to others. Jesus said he didn’t come to be served but to serve and to give his life for others seems like Blessed Stanley followed in his footsteps.”

Following Rother’s Beatification, with over 20,000 in attendance, Archbishop Paul Coakley decided a church needed to be built to remember Blessed Stanley Rother.

“[After the Beatification mass, we] really started having more of a commitment to building a big church and trying to honor Blessed Stanley,” Arvidson said.

Before beginning construction on the shrine, architects felt it was important to travel to Guatemala in order to get a better picture of the Guatemalan style. 

“You’ll see a lot of traditional Spanish colonial features,” Arvidson said. “The purpose of that was to try to model it on the churches in the area where Blessed Stanley served. 

The shrine was designed with a Spanish mission style to replicate where Blessed Stanley served in Guatemala. Construction of the shrine began in Nov. 2019 and is expected to be completed by Feb. 2023. Like many projects, the shrine was impacted by supply chain issues. Today, Arvidson says they will need to raise more money for the church organ, stained glass windows, painting the church interior, and the ministry building. 

“We found out later the estimated costs for building a shrine were very low,” Arvidson said.

The shrine will have a museum, sharing about Blessed Stanley’s life growing up on a farm in Okarche and will depict Guatemalan culture, featuring a Guatemalan hut replica, music, and clothing.

“People can come whether they’re Catholic or not Catholic,” Arvidson said. “I think they’ll find great inspiration in learning about Blessed Stanley’s life.” 

There is much hope for the future of the Catholic faith, and this shrine should bring people into learning about the faith. 

“I hope it will be a tool of evangelization on inspiring people in the faith,” Arvidson said. “I think Catholics will come and find inspiration and beautiful art and architecture and, beautiful liturgies.”

Just as the Beatification drew thousands, organizers anticipate to have a full church and overflow crowd for the opening of the new shrine. 

“Blessed Stanley is a model of humility,” Arvidson said. “He is a model of dedication to your vocation and the calling of God in your life.”