Pastor: Rev. John J. Schmitz
Deacons: David Lovell (Ret.)
About St. Patrick Parish
St. Patrick's Parish in Laurie, Missouri, at the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, is rather unique in that seven Osage Indian Chieftains rode into St. Charles to the home of the Bishop and requested a missionary to minister to them. A Jesuit Belgian Missionary, Father Charles de La Croix, was sent to minister thus beginning Catholic ministry in this area.
When the Irish immigrants arrived, they felt at home. They built the first church building in 1868. The second church was built in Gravois Mills with an additional added in the 1960s -- serving the area until 1980 when the crowds again outgrew this church.
The third St. Patrick's Church was built North of Laurie and dedicated on May 24, 1980. By the mid-'80s the summer crowds again overflowed the church, instead of adding on, Father Fred Barnett, the pastor, decided to build a little grotto to Mary where Mass could be celebrated.
About the National Shrine of Mary
The little grotto outside of St. Patrick Catholic Church grew into a Shrine and was dedicated in 1988 as Mary, Mother of the Church, the newest title given to Mary at the Second Vatican Council. The sculpture of Mary arrived in 1992. Visitors started flowing into the Shine and retreats were held regularly. A board was appointed to oversee operations, and the Mother's Wall of Life was added in 1999 as a tribute to motherhood and family life. In 2003, Archbishop Keleher, of the Bishop's Committee for National Shrines, and Bishop John R. Gaydos made the announcement to parishioners that the Mothers Shrine had been designated as the National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church.