Join us for the Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine Tour!

Join the Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture, ADG | Blatt Architects and Cooper Project Advisors for a tour of the Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine building on Tuesday, July 18th at 4:30 p.m.


Stanley Francis Rother was born on March 27, 1935, in Okarche, Oklahoma. He completed his seminary studies at Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was ordained a priest on May 25, 1963. Five years after serving parishes in Oklahoma, he joined the dioces es' mission in Santiago Atitl n, Guatemala. He served the indigenous Tz utujil people, and while there, the Catholic church was caught in the middle of a civil war. Thousand were killed, and eventually, Blessed Stanley's name appeared on a death list. For his safety, Blessed Stanley returned to Oklahoma.

He didn't stay long, stating, "the shepherd cannot run." He returned to Santiago Atitl n, and within a few months, three men entered the rectory around 1 a.m. on July 28, 1981, fought with Father Rother, and then executed him. His death shocked the Catholic world. The people of Santiago Atitl n, mourned the loss of their leader and friend. They requested that Father Rother's heart be kept in Guatemala, where it remains enshrined today.

His cause for canonization was opened in 2007, and in 2016, Pope Francis officially recognized Blessed Stanley as a martyr for the faith. He is the first martyr from the United States and the first U.S.-born priest to be beatified. The rite of beatification was held on September 23, 2017, in downtown Oklahoma City - an event attended by more than 20,000 people from around the world.


The Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine is a Spanish colonial-style church, the largest Catholic Church in Oklahoma, mirroring Blessed Stanley's church in Santiago Atitl n, Guatemala, Saint James the Apostle Catholic Church. Seating 2,000 people, it will welcome thousands of visitors each year and will also be the site for many archdiocesan celebrations, including priesthood ordinations. The chapel behind the main altar houses a crypt, which will be the final resting place for Blessed Stanley Rother. The chapel was designed to seat 200.

The gardens throughout the shrine include statues, prayer gardens, and Tepeyac Hill, which serves as a place of devotion through its abstraction of the original holy site in Mexico. Like that site, the hill embodies many of the physical characteristics of the place. Situated at its base will be an altar space that will allow large groups of people to assemble and pay homage to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Atop the hill statues of Our Lady of Guadalupe and San Juan Diego will be featured to guide the faithful who walk the circuitous pathway.

The tour will be led by JC Witcher, AIA of ADG|Blatt Architects along with Cooper Project Advisors.

Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine Tour
Tuesday, July 18th
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
700 SE 89th Street, OKC

Advance registration is required. Space is limited.

OCFA Members: Free
Nonmember Guests: $15.00



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