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MARIA STEIN, Ohio (October 26, 2021) – In 1843, Bishop Purcell of Cincinnati went to the German speaking countries of Europe to find priests who would minister to the growing German-Catholic population within the Archdiocese. Fr. Francis de Sales Brunner accepted the invitation to return to America and brought with him seven Precious Blood priests and seven Precious Blood brothers, along with many of the relics which he had been acquiring for several years.

The following summer, in July of 1844, the first three Sisters of the Precious Blood arrived in this area, bringing with them additional relics from his collection. For many years, the Sisters prayed to St. Joseph to intercede for their financial needs to support the construction of the Relic and Adoration Chapels, which were completed in 1892. Then, in 1901, a new Motherhouse was completed. It is the building that houses the museum, gift shop and offices of the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics today.

Maintaining a historical structure that is nearly 130 years old generates unique challenges. In anticipation of these immediate and future needs, the directing staff and board are introducing The St. Joseph Preservation Fund. Just as the Sisters had petitioned St. Joseph to provide the resources necessary to build the Shrine, they too call upon him to intercede on behalf of the support needed for on-going care and preservation.

“For many years, a generous bequest from the Tasiemski family (restricted to building upkeep and maintenance expenses) has provided the funds needed to preserve the architectural integrity of the historic building and grounds” stated Diana Russell, Shrine Director of Fund Development, “Having provided these needs for over ten years, these funds are now dwindling. As we consider the building upkeep expenses needed each year and the extra expenses that will soon be pertinent, such as replacing the original convent and chapel roofing, we are looking to St. Joseph the Worker to intercede for the success of the St. Joseph Preservation Fund.”

The income from the St. Joseph Preservation Fund will be used specifically for major building upkeep and preservation expenses of the Shrine such as roofing, brick repair and pavement resurfacing. According to Shrine President, Don Rosenbeck, “The goal for this maintenance fund is $1,250,000. Fortunately, some reserves are available to start it.”

Donors pledging $1,000 or more will have the option of displaying their generosity on the digital donor wall, located on the first floor of the Shrine. “We are grateful for any level of giving to the St. Joseph Fund. There is a page on the Shrine website that is dedicated to tracking its success” stated Susie Bergman, Shrine Marketing Director, “There is also an option for convenient one-time, monthly and annual donations online through our secure portal.”

Those choosing to make a pledge or donation by other means should contact Diana Russell at 419.925.4532.

The Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics provides faith nourishment and spiritual renewal through opportunities for prayer and pilgrimage and inspiration from the lives of the saints. People from around the world visit the shrine to explore and enjoy this environment rich in holiness and history. The Shrine is located at 2291 St. John’s Rd. in Maria Stein. For more information on the St. Joseph Preservation Fund, visit mariasteinshrine.org.

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