The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City has a master plan for a shrine, museum and pilgrim center inspired by the life of Blessed Stanley Rother.
This shrine will be the focal point of the growing devotion to the Oklahoma priest and martyr. It is likely to become an important national Catholic shrine. In addition to celebrating the life of one of Oklahoma’s own, the church will seat 2,000 people, contain the tomb of Blessed Stanley Rother and host large diocesan events such as ordinations and the Rite of Election.
Archbishop Coakley and the building project committee are working with Franck and Lohsen Architects Inc., an architectural firm specializing in designing beautiful and traditional Catholic churches. The shrine is to be constructed on the old Brookside golf course site, a 56-acre parcel visible from Interstate 35, Shields Boulevard, and S.E. 89.
The site includes: a new two-story church, a museum containing artifacts related to the life and ministry of Blessed Stanley Rother, a pilgrim center that will showcase a video on the life and ministry of Blessed Stanley Rother, plenty of parking spaces, classrooms spaces, office spaces and a rosary walk among others. This master plan envisions this site as a beacon of Catholic identity for all of Oklahoma.
The church is to be designed in the Spanish Mission style to echo the design of the church where Blessed Stanley Rother served in Guatemala. Cruciform in shape, the church features transepts on either side of the sanctuary that help to bring the seating closer to the altar. Above the altar is a vaulted dome, bringing heavenly light into the church from above.
Along each side of the nave are locations for small niche chapels, which will be dedicated and built over time. The design and engineering team will focus on developing details that are cost effective, durable, easy to maintain, energy efficient and sustainable. To the east of the main church, a chapel dedicated to Blessed Stanley Rother will seat 200. The chapel altar will hold the remains of Blessed Stanley Rother and will be a worthy place of repose and devotion.
A large event hall and education building will be located near the church. Outdoor spaces are planned to surround the main church. A large plaza, called a “zócalo,” will provide a gathering space directly in front of the church. This plaza opens onto a large lawn extending to the west.
To fund the construction of the shrine, the archdiocese launched the “One Church, Many Disciples” campaign in the fall of 2017. This campaign seeks to raise a minimum of $65 million to fund the shrine for Blessed Stanley Rother, strengthen parishes through various programs, plan for future parishes in areas with growing Catholic populations, support Catholic schools, seminarian education, youth, young adult and campus ministry, renovate The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and support the retired priests of the archdiocese.
To date, the “One Church, Many Disciples” campaign has raised nearly $51.5 million through pledges payable over five years. Every parish and mission in the archdiocese will have participated in the campaign by the fall of 2019.
To find more information about the shrine for Blessed Stanley Rother, the “One Church, Many Disciples campaign,” or to make a gift online, go to onechurchmanydisciples.org.