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Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica - National Fund For Sacred Places
2020 Cohort

Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica

(Roman Catholic)

Lackawanna, New York

Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica (OLV) is a Roman Catholic church in Lackawanna, New York, serving over 1,000 local members and welcoming over 40,000 visitors annually.

Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica courtesy OLV National Shrine & Basilica

Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica courtesy OLV National Shrine & Basilica

2020 Cohort

Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica

(Roman Catholic)

Lackawanna, New York

Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica (OLV) is a Roman Catholic church in Lackawanna, New York, serving over 1,000 local members and welcoming over 40,000 visitors annually.

More than 100 years ago, the Rev. Nelson Baker, a Roman Catholic priest, established OLV as a faith community and “City of Charity.” Baker, in the spirit of Progressive Era America, expanded services to unsheltered, abandoned, and orphaned children through establishing the Infant Home and Maternity Hospital in conjunction with the church. The church, only the second minor basilica in the United States, was consecrated in 1926 and built in a late French Renaissance Revival style designed by Emile Uhlrich. The Vatican praised the building as “one of the greatest” churches in the United States. 

OLV has now expanded into a comprehensive charitable agency for children and families in Western New York. OLV Human Services, a nonprofit agency affiliated with the church, is the largest employer in Lackawanna and provides services such as emergency foster care, special educational schools, vocational training, and mental and behavioral healthcare. The church also maintains an active chapter of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which provides emergency assistance to families on a volunteer basis.

Through a National Fund grant of $250,000 and matching funds of $500,000 raised as part of its centennial celebration, OLV will address urgent repairs and improvements to ensure the long-term viability of the basilica “both as a priceless historic structure and as a community gathering place,” according to the congregation. These repairs will include replacing water-infiltrated sections of the roof, installing a storm water drainage system, repointing exterior granite, and restoring select windows.

Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica courtesy OLV National Shrine & Basilica

Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica courtesy OLV National Shrine & Basilica

Stories and Media Coverage

Read more about how the National Fund for Sacred Places is helping congregations around the country rehabilitate their sacred places.

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church by Luis P. Gutierrez