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Our readers asked:

What are some great Catholic sites to visit on summer vacation?

The Editors Answers:

According to a survey by Forbes.com, an estimated 20 million pilgrims visit the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City every year. And though this is the most popular site, it certainly isn’t the only one. Watch this video and take a virtual tour to and through some other famous Catholic sites around the world.

Make a list of unique Catholic sites to visit this summer. Start with your own neighborhood. Is there a parish or shrine nearby for you to explore? Add ideas from our video. Does your local museum have a gallery that features religious art? You might also find some interesting ideas at RoadsideAmerica.com. Use the comments section below to tell us what’s going on your sightseeing to-do list!

The Author : The Editors

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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • ladyclc87

    Clyde Mo, 45 minutes northeast of St Joseph MO, Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration Monastery.
    Beautiful chapel plus a side chapel of about 600 relics including the incorrupt body of St Beatrice.
    Nearby Conception Seminary of Conception Mo.

  • Ruth Pe Palileo

    Jesuit Retreat Centre in Los Altos, California. It’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to the Last Homely House (Elrond’s place in Rivendell where Frodo is able to heal) on this earth.

  • Kelly StGeorge

    The cross in the woods in Indian River Michigan is one of the most beautiful sites. There is also a nun doll museum!
    The cross is huge!

  • Terry Bobe

    There is the Shrine of Our Lady of the Island. in Eastport NY on Long Island. Founded by Father Vigliotta . It is rum by the Montfort Fathers. Fr. Roy Tyrvik is the current priest caring for the shrine. The shrine has a Stations of the Cross trail with lifesize figures at the beginning Agony in the Garden, The crucifixion scene and Resurrection scene. A Rosary walk. A giflt shop of almost every religious article you can think of. The main tattraction is the giant statue of Our Blessed Mother that overlooks the hightest point on Eastern Long Island.

  • Rick Morgan

    Graymoor in the Hudson Valley is a great place for a pilgrimage or spiritual retreat. The Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement share their Franciscan Hospitality. The grounds include the outdoor St. Anthony Shrine & Grotto, the Union That Nothing Be Lost Thrift & Antique Store, Graymoor Book & Gift Center, the Sisters’ Gift shop with handmade items from the Sisters. The Appalachian Trail cuts through the grounds so it is worth a diversion if you are hiking for the day near the Garrison/Cold Spring NY area. Founder Father Paul Wattson, SA, who was recently named a Servant of God, is interred atop Mt. Atonement near a replica of the Pieta that overlooks the valley and river. The historic St Francis Chapel altar once stood in the Chapel of the Stigmata on Mt. Alverna, Italy, where St. Francis received his stigmata,and a statue of St. Francis of Assisi that is made from his death mask. There is an outdoor labyrinth with a Peace Pole at the center. Graymoor is a lovely and quiet place for reflection & prayer, and it is really not that far from NY City.

  • Julie

    I’ve really been wanting to make a pilgrimage to the largest man-made grotto in the world, the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, IA. In the early 20th century, Fr. Dobberstein put together this masterpiece of nine separate grottos to fulfill his promise to the Blessed Virgin Mary that he would build a shrine in her honor since she interceded for him to save him from life-threatening circumstances when he was a seminarian. Most of my family members have been able to make a trip to this place at least once in their life. For different reasons, I’ve never had an opportunity to go myself. I’m trying to make an opportunity for myself . . . hopefully this summer?! Another place I really recommend is Marytown in Libertyville, Illinois. It’s managed by Franciscan Friars, and they’ve had perpetual adoration since the 1920s. I went there last month and walked the 20 mysteries of the Rosary outside. It’s a really great place for a pilgrimmage.


    • ladyclc87

      Love! West Bend Grotto!! I met family in nearby Storm Lake at a water park hotel, traveled the 20 minutes to the Grotto. On the way home we stopped in the Ice Cream capital, LeMars IA. Great trip!
      And in Sioux city IA , Trinity Heights Shrine…life size wood carved Last Supper statues. Many outdoor walks, statues, Shrines.

  • Swiftright Right

    I make a pilgrimage to St Kolbe’s shrine in Footendale PA (south of Pittsburgh) It was dedicated by Francis Gajowniczek who was the man that St Kolbe saved in Auschwitz. Its very small and peaceful; the perfect spot for quit contemplation and maybe a family picnic.

  • norats

    If you happen to be in Cleveland, OH be sure to visit St Stanislaus Shrine Parish. I grew up in this parish, but honestly this is the most beautiful gothic style church I have ever been in. The priest who built this church in the late 1800’s got into a boatload of trouble with the bishop for grossly overspending, but his argument was God is worth it! I agree & it is so wonderful. Go to http://ststanislaus.org/ for more info.

  • http://www.facebook.com/veronica.zamarron.16 Veronica Zamarron

    Here in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, near the tip of the state, we have the Shrine of San Juan de Valle. It’s a beautiful shrine, with an outdoor Stations of the Cross that you can walk through. This shrine replaced the former church that was destroyed when a man crashed his small plane into the building. Even though a Mass was going on at the time, with some schoolchildren attending, only the pilot died. Everyone else survived, and the Host was also left intact. It’s a great source of faith for many in the Valley and many pilgrims from northern Mexico.

  • Cindy Cheshire

    If you’re in Juneau, Alaska on a cruise this summer, take the trek out to the Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux! It’s uniquely gorgeous, extremely spiritual, and you might just see a breaching whale or some bubble feeding orcas while you’re walking the prayer labyrinth or the outdoor Stations of the Cross.

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