Rector's Welcome

Dear Friends of the Shrine, 

I extend to you a joyful welcome to the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios, America’s First Marian Shrine. 

Designated a national shrine by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2019, the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche has served as a sanctuary of prayer and devotion for pilgrims from around the world.

For more than 450 years, this majestic shrine with the gleaming silhouette of the Great Cross sits on what is known as the “sacred acre,” the site of the first Mass – a true thanksgiving – celebrated on North American soil on September 8, 1565 by Father Francisco Lopez de Gajales, who accompanied Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles and settled what is known today as the historical city of St. Augustine.

On behalf of our clergy and staff we hope that your visit to our website inspires you to plan a trip or pilgrimage to this shrine dedicated in honor of Our Lady.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Erlin Garcia, IIC


Father Erlin Garcia, IIC


Father Ismael Navarro Gandia

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