New York News

Auriesville Shrine Planning For New Ownership Group

By Kate Blain

ALBANY, N.Y. (CNS) — Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of Albany likes to term the future of the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville a “concelebration.”

As when priests celebrate a Mass together and each recites one portion of the prayers, he explained, various entities will be collaborating to ensure the shrine’s future.

However, the bishop cautioned that some of the information circu-lating in the secular media about plans for the shrine is premature: The planning process is still under-way and is likely to continue for some time.

“The process could take the entire summer,” confirmed Carmine Musumeci, former New York state deputy of the Knights of Columbus and a leading member of the Friends of Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine Inc., a foundation of concerned Catholics formed by the Albany bishop.

The new not-for-profit organization currently has interested parties participating in conference calls and other communications to discuss the shrine’s future, said Musumeci.

Bishop Scharfenberger said he’d like to see the organization attain 503(c)(3) nonprofit status. If the planning process for the shrine continues, its ownership could eventually be transferred to the Friends of Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine.

However, the Jesuit order would retain its cemetery for priests and brothers on the shrine grounds, the cemetery’s related buildings and the portion of the property known as the “Martyrs’ Ravine,” where St. Isaac Jogues buried the remains of his fellow missionary, St. Rene Goupil, after he was martyred in the 17th century.