The Shrine to Mary, Mother of the Divine Word, is located on the St. Francis Borgia-North parish grounds, among the trees south of the plaza and circular parking area. It is open for individual private prayer from dawn to 9 p.m., usually from April 15 – October 15.
NOTE: In 2021, the shrine was re-opened in early April.
The shrine has been used for rosary devotions, for Eucharistic processions to the shrine on the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, for May crowning of the statue of Mary, and other prayer services. As a chapel of the parish’s church, the shrine has also been used occasionally for weddings.
History of the Shrine
In 1999, before the merger of St. Francis Borgia and Divine Word parishes, the two parish councils accepted the generous gift of parishioner Tom Kacmarcik and his family to build a shrine to Mary on the Divine Word parish grounds (now the SFB-North church grounds). This was to be in memory of Tom’s wife Josephine. Tom died before the shrine was completed. The shrine was dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Word by Archbishop Weakland in September 2000, in memory of both Tom and Josephine Kacmarcik.
The Archbishop had chosen the name, noting that the scriptural reference to Christ as “The Word” would keep the Divine Word name alive after the Cedarburg parishes merged. Later, the shrine was more specifically called Shrine to Mary, Mother of the Divine Word.
Jim Kacmarcik continued his parents’ legacy through a generous donation in fall 2012 to upgrade and refurbish the shrine. Additional statues of saints, a new altar top, enhancement of the grounds and improved lighting made the shrine even more beautiful. Granite bench seating has been added through memorial gifts from parishioners.