Home » De Pere, Wisconsin: National Shrine of Saint Joseph at Saint Norbert Abbey

De Pere, Wisconsin: National Shrine of Saint Joseph at Saint Norbert Abbey

 About the National Shrine of St. Joseph at Saint Norbert Abbey:

In 1888, Fr. Joseph Durin, MCS, pastor of what was then the French-Canadian immigrant parish church of St. Joseph, began a weekly Perpetual Novena in Honor of St. Joseph and annual Solemn Novena in Honor of St. Joseph leading to the Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19) were established, both of which continue today.

The original wooden church was struck by lightning and burnt in 1889; the next year it was replaced by the existing stone structure. In 1890, Fr. Jouet of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and Director of the Archconfraternity of St. Joseph visited the National Shrine, describing it as “the first shrine erected in America in honor of St. Joseph.” In 1892, the term “National Shrine of St. Joseph” came into use and has remained ever since.

On September 25, 1891, Pope Leo XIII issued the Bull of Canonical Coronation for the solemn crowning of the National Shrine’s Statue of St. Joseph. The statue was subsequently crowned by the Most Reverend Sebastian Messmer, Bishop of Green Bay, on May 8, 1982. It remains one of only 17 crowned statues of Saint Joseph in the world by papal decree, and the only in the United States.

The National Shrine was entrusted to the local missionary Norbertines, now the Norbertine Community of St. Norbert Abbey, on September 28, 1898, with Fr. Bernard Pennings, O. Praem., as director (later to become Abbot Pennings in 1925), the same day as the founding of St. Norbert Priory at the same site.

Following the dedication of the new St. Norbert Abbey in 1959, the National Shrine was temporarily moved to the crypt of the new abbey at 1016 N. Broadway, De Pere, next to the tomb of Abbot Pennings. It was returned to its original and current location (Shown as “Old Saint Joseph’s” on the map below) in 2015.

The National Shrine is frequented by thousands of pilgrims each year seeking St. Joseph’s powerful intercession and to follow his humble, quiet example in a humble, quiet place.

Traveling to the National Shrine of St. Joseph in De Pere, Wisconsin:

De Pere is just about 10 miles from Green Bay.

Address:  123 Grant St., De Pere, Wisconsin 54115

email:  communications@norbertines.org

Click here for the official website of the National Shrine of Saint Joseph in Norbertine Abbey


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