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New brochure helps put local shrines on map

Residents of the New Orleans area have a wealth of Catholic sacred spots at their fingertips, and now there is a guide to help them design their own spiritual pilgrimages to those places.

“Catholic Shrines of New Orleans,” a user-friendly brochure compiled and designed by the staff of the Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos Center, pulls together visitor information on the following points of interest:

• The Mere Henriette Delille Prayer Room, St. Louis Cathedral, 615 Pere Antoine Alley

• The Catholic Cultural Heritage Center, The Old Ursuline Convent/St. Mary’s Church, 1100 Chartres St.

• The International Shrine of St. Jude, 411 North Rampart St.

• The National Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, 919 Josephine St.

• The National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, 2701 State St.

• The St. Frances Cabrini Shrine, 3400 Esplanade Ave.

• St. Ann Catholic Church and National Shrine, 3601 Transcontinental Dr., Metairie.

Help with pilgrimages

Available since late September, the brochure features a brief history and photos of each shrine, along with its visiting hours, and physical, Web and e-mail addresses. A numbered map enables tourists and locals alike to plot out their own spiritual pilgrimage to one or more of the shrines. Information on companies offering group tours to the shrines also is provided.

The brochure is the product of a June symposium at the Seelos Center that invited directors and staff of area shrines to collaborate, trouble-shoot and enjoy fellowship with one another.

“The idea was that because New Orleans is blessed with so many shrines, how could we as directors of the shrines do things in solidarity and achieve the purpose of what the shrines are here for?” said Redemptorist Father Byron Miller, executive director of the Seelos Center and the coordinator of the brochure effort.

Father Miller said designing the brochure “in house” and publishing it in collaboration with the other shrines made the project much more cost-effective than had each shrine done its own printed piece.

Getting word out on shrines

The print-run of 17,500 brochures was divided among the various shrines, and the Morrilton, Ark., ministry “Journeys of Faith,” a Catholic pilgrimage ministry regularly featured on EWTN. Plans are also in the works to place the brochures with the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, or some alternative site within the local tourism industry.

“We’ve had a very good response,” said Father Miller, noting that his staff at the Seelos Center places the brochure into all its gift shop bags. “These things are going fast. I told the other shrine directors that we’ll have to do a reprinting.”

The second edition hopefully will include even more sacred spots, Father Miller added.

“If we find out a year from now that somehow, through the grace of God, there was increased traffic at our respective shrines, that would be wonderful,” he said.

The brochure is available at www.seelos.org. Click on the link “Catholic Shrines of New Orleans Brochure,” listed under “Latest News and Updates.” For more information, call the Seelos Center at 525-2495.

Beth Donze can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .