“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock."
Never before would you ever hear me say, "I'd like to drive to Niagara
Falls." But, I did drive to Niagara Falls this past weekend because my
project directed me to Lackawanna, NY and Lewiston, NY and between those
2 places is ... yep, Niagara Falls.
We also visited the incredible Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Lewiston
and Our Lady of the Martyrs Shrine in Auriesville.
But, I'd like to tell you a little about Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna because the words in the Gospel reading remind me of this one man, Fr. Nelson Baker, who made this place possible, who acted upon the words of Christ day in and day out, tirelessly, and built foundations that have touched the lives of so many. Fr. Baker was a businessman who listened to the call to become a priest and emptied his own pockets to save an orphanage and a protectory. He then worked to get enough benefactors to build an addition to St. John's Protectory and later added trade schools, an orphan home for abandoned babies and a hospital and nursing home. Finally, in 1921 he decided to honor the Blessed Mother. Thousands of people sent in donations and by Christmas of 1925 Fr. Baker was able to celebrate his first Mass in Our Lady of Victory Church. The Church was completely paid for upon it's completion. Today, the Basilica stands as a true testament to what one person can do with the help of prayer and an unshakable Faith. Fr. Baker gave all the credit to Our Lady. He was a wise man and this place is truly built on rock.
So, if you're ever in the neighborhood, I highly recommend visiting Our Lady.