What Is a Shrine?
"The term shrine signifies a church or other sacred place to which the faithful make pilgrimages for a particular pious reason with the approval of the local ordinary" (Code of Canon Law, cc.1230-1234).
A shrine is a sacred place "dedicated to promoting the faith of the pilgrims by centering on a mystery of the Catholic faith, a devotion based on authentic Church tradition, revelations recognized by the Church, or the lives of those in the Church's calendar of saints" (Norms for the Designation of National Shrines). A shrine is considered a place where divine grace is manifested in a very special way.
Our Shrine is dedicated to Mary as Mother of the Church and honors all mothers of all faiths. A shrine is considered a place where divine grace is manifested in a very special way.
What Is a National Shrine?
A National Shrine is a sacred place which has met certain requirements prescribed in the Norms for the Designation of National Shrines and is given this honor by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in recognition of religious significance.
The Mothers' Shrine received the 16th designation as a National Shrine by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on March 18, 2003.