Reflections from this past year

Heather Crouch is the Director of Operations for The National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church

It has been a true joy for me to have spent this last year and a half here at The National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church in Laurie, MO and our parish of St. Patrick Catholic Church! One of my greatest joys is watching us come together as a church family united in faith, love and service, and I wish to express my deepest appreciation to the very many generous souls of our church community who lend of their time and skills to help out with the Mothers’ Shrine programs and offerings throughout the year! Truly, we could not effectively reach and profoundly touch the masses with the message of the Blessed Mother’s love, the beauty of motherhood, the preciousness of life or the integrity of the family without your help.

Throughout this past year, I have been touched by the lives and stories of so many who visited our Shrine from all around the United States. Many come or contact us with their prayer requests, looking for consolation during a time of trial for themselves or for others. Many Catholics and non-Catholics come to visit, pray and share their stories. The Lord and the Blessed Mother lead them here, and bless them generously at this holy place.

From the feedback we have received, I believe we did a good job of getting the Mothers’ Shrine communications and messages out on a regular basis, and people have reported being very pleased with the programming we offered here at the church and the Mothers’ Shrine. We had offerings and events every month of the year 2023, in-person pilgrimages as well as new opportunities to connect with the Mothers’ Shrine virtually and through emailed devotions.

For 2024, we plan to continue enhancing our year-round offerings both online and in-person, including Mothers’ Day, our Feast Day and Christmas being strong highlights as they were this year! We are expanding our offerings for moms this year with a 10-session virtual series for moms with school-aged children called “Creating Catholic Experiences in Motherhood.” This series will be facilitated by Jenna Mayo, a Catholic mom, professional coach and speaker who grew deeply attached during her family’s visit to the Mothers’ Shrine this past summer. Be watching for our 2024 Programs snapshot to be published soon!

Once again, I consider myself so very blessed to serve the community here at the Mothers’ Shrine, with the collaboration of so many parishioners of St. Patrick’s and friends of the Shrine. The Lord and Blessed Mother are touching people and doing great things through the Mothers’ Shrine!