In the tradition of pilgrimage churches, the Shrine Church is located high upon a hill with a campanile and dome which are visible from afar.
The interior of the Shrine Church is a cruciform domical church inspired by Italian examples such as Gesu, San Andrea della Valle, and San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini in Rome. Generous side aisles with shrines flank the nave, and major shrines to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary are placed at the transept. Corinthian pilasters support a full entablature inscribed with the names of the Virgin Mary from the Litany of Loreto. Images of four Doctors of the Church reside within the pendentives which support the dome with its clear windows and oculus. The vaulted ceiling is punctuated by stained glass windows which follow the life of Our Lady.
The raised sanctuary is marble and defined by an altar rail. The focus of the sanctuary is a red marble baldacchino surmounting a marble altar. Behind, a prominent mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe is placed above the tabernacle. The bishop’s cathedra is raised and placed behind the ambo with the celebrant’s chair across from it.
An ambulatory surrounds the apse and connects the sacristy and bishop’s vestry. The sacristy is a vaulted space with mahogany cabinets, plaster pilasters and moldings, Eucharistic iconography and a small shrine to Saint John Vianney. The bishop’s vestry is a smaller version of the sacristy with a shrine to Bishop Saint John Neumann.
Pilgrims come to the Shrine Church to receive God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance and to participate in Holy Mass. Through her beautiful image behind the altar, Our Lady of Guadalupe continues her vocation and mission of bringing Christ to us and bringing us to Christ.
From the first inspiration of the building of a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the goal has been to build a beautiful church dedicated to Our Lord Jesus and His Mother and our Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe. – Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
Construction Commenced: May 2004
Construction Completed: July 2008
Area of the Main Level: 16,380 square feet
Area of the Choir Loft: 969 square feet
Length of the Nave: 147 feet
Height of the Nave: 55 feet
Interior Height of Dome: 100 feet
Height of Baldacchino: 27 feet
Number of Stained Glass Windows: 31
Number of Confessionals: 3
Number of Interior Shrines: 8
Materials in Church Construction:
Cubic Yards of Concrete: 2,212
Tons of Masonry and Concrete Reinforcement: 119
Tons of Structural Steel: 184
Concrete Blocks: 93,831
Tons of Random Stone: 664
Tons of Indiana Limestone: 900
Square Feet of Concrete Tile Roof: 17,000