Executive Director Search

The Mothers’ Shrine seeks a highly motivated, entrepreneurial leader who can foster its growth and operations toward becoming a world-class pilgrimage site.


The National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church is a 501(c)(3) Missouri corporation which manages and maintains the programs, fundraising, operations and facilities for The National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church, also known as the Mothers’ Shrine (www.mothersshrine.com). The Mothers’ Shrine was the 16th shrine to receive designation as a national shrine by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Mothers’ Shrine is owned by the Diocese of Jefferson City Real Estate Corporation and is in Laurie, Missouri.  All financial support comes from donors.

Father Fred J. Barnett began construction on the Mothers’ Shrine in the mid-1980s to honor Mary, the mother of Jesus and to handle the overflow crowds for the summer Masses at the adjacent St. Patrick Catholic Parish.  It was dedicated in 1988 to Mary in her title as Mother of the Church.  From those humble beginnings, it has grown into a national shrine with thousands visiting each year, especially in the summer months. The National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church was incorporated in 1998.  The members of its board of directors reside throughout the United States and oversee all operations, finances, and long-range planning.

Today our beautiful Mothers’ Shrine, situated on 56 acres, has as its focal point an outdoor chapel with seating for 2,000 in an amphitheater style, a permanent altar and ambo. A 14-foot stainless steel sculpture of Mary by the renowned artist Don Weigand is surrounded by polished black granite panels inscribed with mothers’ names from around the world, beautiful fountains and landscaping.

Masses for visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks are celebrated at the Mothers’ Shrine from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and we host programs which include pilgrimages, retreats and Marian conferences throughout the year.  More than 10,000 people participate in our summer Masses and last year more than 8,000 people attend our in-person and online programs.  Pilgrims of all nationalities and faiths come to the Mothers’ Shrine.  In 2016, the Jubilee Year of the Divine Mercy, we were designated a Holy Door for the indulgence offered to pilgrims.


Executive Director


Chairman of the Board of Directors


The Executive Director is responsible for the overall management and growth of the Mothers’ Shrine to ensure that it has the facilities, administration, spiritual programs, and financial means to carry out its mission for future generations.

The Mothers’ Shrine seeks a highly motivated, entrepreneurial leader who can foster its growth and operations toward becoming a world-class pilgrimage site.  The right leader is an experienced and proven executive who can build a team and work with the board of directors and staff to establish and execute long-range goals and strategies.  This person will be the face of the organization.

This full-time, permanent position is for immediate hire at the Lake of the Ozarks, Laurie, Missouri.

  • Hands-on, entrepreneurial leader who can lead the growth of the Shrine into a world-class pilgrimage site.
  • Provides leadership in fund-raising activities and cultivation and solicitation of major donors throughout the United States and the world.
  • Manages the existing staff and volunteers. Hires additional staff in accordance with strategic growth.
  • Manages the organization’s infrastructure including planning, events, finances, technology, program development, grounds expansion, and human resources.
  • Promotes an actively engaged board of directors, keeping members informed of important factors affecting the organization.
  • Supervises the preparation and, following board approval, administration of the annual budget.
  • Acts as the face of the Mothers’ Shrine to local, national, international, and church benefactors.
  • Develops new and creative plans to broaden support for the Mothers’ Shrine and engages a wide variety of constituents eager to contribute to the vision.
  • Must be a practicing Roman Catholic who is, and remains, in good standing with the Church and its teachings. Special devotion to Mary.
  • Previous experience leading a Catholic nonprofit organization or related entity which relies on donor funding to underwrite their mission.
  • Experience and success in motivating, recruiting, developing, retaining, and mentoring high performing, mission-driven and results-oriented teams.
  • A strategic leader, builder and entrepreneur with the vision and multidisciplinary project skills to fully develop the Mothers’ Shrine into a destination for pilgrims.
  • Excellent written, oral, and public speaking skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator.
  • Ability to maintain and initiate relationships on the parish, diocesan, local, national, and international community level.

Bachelor or preferably master’s in business or related field; three to five years of experience in an executive management position. Previous general management experience growing a donor sustained organization.


Some travel to donors throughout the country.


Commensurate with background and experience. Comprehensive benefit program provided by the Diocese of Jefferson City (details will be furnished to finalist candidates).


We reserve the right to shorten the deadline for applications if we have sufficient interest. Please apply early to ensure your background is considered.


Please email Interim CEO Gary Slater.

NOTE: Only those selected for an interview with the search committee will be contacted.