Experience the Passion [video by Rod J. Eckrich]


The Shrine of Christ's Passion a destination for the religious and curious

While traveling through St. John south on U.S. 41, I’ve passed the Virgin Mary statue and the visitors center for The Shrine of Christ’s Passion many times.

I finally checked it out recently. The Shrine of Christ’s Passion is a half-mile prayer walk that illustrates Jesus Christ’s final days before his Ascension, through well-rendered bronze statues.

While The Region is far away from the Garden of Gethsemane and other biblical sites, the grounds aim to create a different world through an array of rocks and plant life that complement the milieu.

A 33-foot-tall Mother Mary statue (as opposed to The Shrine’s much smaller resident Mary statue) is a new feature in the landscape. The shining steel figure is situated in the parking lot at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, which is at the western end of the prayer walk. The 8,000-pound statue, titled “Our Lady of the New Millennium” and commissioned by Carl Demma, eventually will get a permanent home in The Shrine.

If you’re ever passing through St. John, The Shrine and “Our Lady” are worth checking out, regardless of whether you’re religious.

The Shrine of Christ’s Passion is on U.S. 41 just north of U.S. 231.