Shortly after Fr. Lyons was made the first resident pastor in 1946, he decided to fulfill a promise made to the Blessed Mother while serving in WWII, which was to build a shrine in her honor.
Fr. Lyons asked the parishioners of Holy Family Church to bring stones from around the area and drop them off near where the shrine currently sits. Many families can remember, to this day, going for family drives on Sunday afternoons and looking for quality stones for the shrine. Little by little, the stones piled up and Fr. Lyons dream of building shrine was coming into focus. With enough rocks, the shrine construction began in the late 1940's. The shrine was to resemble, in some way, the grotto in Lourdes, France. On September 15, 1952, Bishop Walter Forey, the Bishop of Syracuse dedicated the new Shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes.
The shrine is a beautiful place of prayer for the people of Holy Family and for people from all over. Throughout its history it has been a place for prayer, gathering, Masses, and blessings of all kinds.
In 2013, under the leadership of Fr. Prior (pastor at the time) the parish undertook the task of renovating the shrine. A parking lot was added along with the Stations of the Cross. A new altar and seating area was constructed and a new viewing are for people who could not make it down the steps to the shrine was created. In May 2015 the newly renovated shrine was rededicated by Fr. Prior.
The Shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes at Holy Family Church continues to be a place of pilgrimage for people from all over New York State and beyond. Many will say that outside of Lourdes, France this grotto is one of the most impressive to behold.
Visitors and groups are welcome to the shrine. Please call the Holy Family Pastoral Center for more information 315-488-3139.