WELCOME TO THE BLESSED SEELOS VOLUNTEERS’ BLOG
This site is dedicated to the many devoted volunteers and friends who provide most of the effort and funding to keep the Seelos Welcome Center and Shrine beneficial to all and in such beautiful condition. The blog is also available to anyone for posting testimonials of healings and favors granted through the intersession of Blessed Seelos. Over time, we will be posting profiles of the dedicated volunteers who assist the permanent staff in so many ways.
THOUGHTS ABOUT VOLUNTEERING
While there is no way to work your way into Heaven, volunteering at the Seelos Center is certainly one of the “good works” that Christ expects us to do for others.
In Matthew 25:31 -46 Jesus said this: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, …”
In Matthew, 25:35 Jesus also said this: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,”
At the Seelos Center we welcome people from all over the world and from many religions. Visitors come to the Seelos Center for many reasons. Some come to buy candles, relics, and other religious items from the Gift Shop. Some come to see the relics in the Blessed Seelos Shrine and to admire the beautiful St. Mary’s Assumption church.
Mostly, people come to the Seelos Center and Shrine to pray for the intersession of Blessed Seelos for healings of diseases, along with healing family and relationship problems. Our prayer-partner volunteers play a vital part in supporting and comforting these devoted visitors. Our “Blessers,” pray with visitors at the Shrine and visit hospitals to pray with people for blessings from Jesus through Blessed Seelos,
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING BENEFITS FROM VOLUNTEERING
Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health of the volunteer.
Volunteers have less stress, anger, and anxiety. The social aspect of helping others has positive effect on psychological well-being. A meaningful connection to another person is a gift from God.
Volunteers combat depression. Volunteering connects you a positive support system. It bolsters you against depression.
Volunteers are happy. Research shows that being helpful to others produces joy and pleasure. Humanity is hard-wired to helping others. The more we do for others, the happier we are.
Volunteers are self-confident. They have a sense of accomplishment, pride, and identity. They feel good about themselves and others.
Volunteers have a sense of purpose. Seniors, especially those retired or who have lost a spouse, can find meaning to their lives by helping others. Volunteering takes their mind off you’re their own worries, and add zest to their lives.
Volunteers stay physically healthy. Studies show that volunteers have a lower mortality rate. Volunteers tend to walk more, to cope with everyday tasks, and maintain their thinking skills.
ABOUT ST. MARY’S ASSUMPTION CHURCH
St. Mary’s Assumption church is within St. Alphonsus Parish. Fr. Richard Thibodeau, C.Ss.R is the Pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish. There are regular masses at St. Mary’s every Saturday and Sunday. The Seelos Center and Shrine are separate entities from St. Alphonsus Parish.
St. Alphonsus Church Museum located on Constance Street is now a museum open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM.
ABOUT THE SEELOS WELCOME CENTER AND SHRINE
The Seelos Shrine is located at the rear of St. Mary’s Assumption church, located at the corner of Josephine and Constance Streets it is the National Shrine dedicated to Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R in the United States. The Gift Shop, Walk of Life, Video Room, and administrative offices are within the Seelos Welcome Center, located on the river-side of St. Mary’s Church in the former School Sisters of Notre Dame convent.
Volunteers in the Gift Shop will escort visitors to the Shrine, which is kept locked for security reasons.
DIRECTOR OF THE SEELOS CENTER AND SHRINE.
Fr. Harry Grile, C.Ss.R, came to the Shrine with a varied background as a Redemptorist. He taught Church History for a number of years and was pastor of two parishes. Fr. Grile was also involved with the Redemportist’s Liguori Publications ministry in Liguori, Missouri. Like Fr. Seelos, he was a formation director for a time and the Provincial of the Denver Province, covering the entire western part of the United States. Since he has been at the Seelos Center he has undertaken a number of greatly needed improvement projects such as the new sidewalks and new handicap door to the Shrine. Fr. Grile’s mission is to make Blessed Seelos more known and loved for his saintly life and continuing intercession as one of God’s holy ones.
ADMINISTRATOR OF THE SEELOS CENTER AND SHRINE.
Br. Leo Patin, C.Ss.R, has been a Redemptorist for over 56 years. During his first 31 years he ministered in Wisconsin and Missouri. After that he served in missions along the Amazon River in Brazil for 17 years, working with the youth in Coari. He then served in Oakland, CA on the shores of the Pacific Ocean for 16 months before serving in Bronx, NY at the formation house for philosophy students. After four years in the Bronx, he was asked to serve at the Shrine of Blessed Francis Seelos. Brother Leo keeps the Seelos Center operations running effectively and efficiently.
SEELOS CENTER OPERATIONS STAFF
In addition to Fr. Grile and Brother Leo, the administrative office employees of the Seelos Welcome Center keep donor and volunteer databases current, assemble articles and layout for the monthly newsletter, fill orders sent by mail, internet or phone, process incoming and outgoing mail, and maintain the accounting and operational records.
Maureen was born and raised in New Orleans and attended Catholic grammar and high schools. After 28 years as a Geologist for several private oil and gas exploration companies in New Orleans, she decided not to relocate with them when they moved to other areas. . She had always prayed for the canonization of Fr. Francis Xavier Seelos and has a special devotion to him. When she learned that the Seelos Welcome Center was looking for an administrator, she knew that this was the desire of her heart. She has been blessed to work at the Center full time for over five years, and like Fr. Seelos, she says: “here is where I’ll rest my bones.”
Marilyn is a native of New Orleans and taught school for over forty years before retiring from her last teaching assignment at Mt. Carmel Academy. She learned of Blessed Seelos when teaching at Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge and has been a devoted supporter of Blessed Seelos ever since. After volunteering in the gift shop for a time, she has now become one of the upstairs office administrators. Marilyn says that the peace she gets from working at the Seelos Center is a gift from God and allows her to continue ministering to God’s children just as she did as teacher.
Dawn and her daughter began volunteering in January 2013. They were blessed to meet incredible people from all over the world, and shared the testimony of the incredible works of God through Blessed Seelos’ intercessory prayer. In January 2017, an illness left Dawn spiritually and mentally broken, and she came to the Shrine often to pray for healing and peace through the intercession of Blessed Seelos. Her prayers were answered in the form of a full-time job at the Shrine since April 2017. Dawn feels blessed to be a part of this important Ministry of spreading the healing power of prayer to others and offering them peace and strength through Blessed Seelos to carry the crosses that come into our lives.
WHAT VOLUNTEERS ACCOMPLISH AT THE SEELOS CENTER
Volunteers in the Gift Shop
Answer the door and greet people when they arrive and direct newcomers to the Walk of Life and the Seelos Video. Assist visitors with the video, sales, and help to inventory new items received. Gift shop workers also escort visitors to the Shrine.
Volunteers in the Shrine
Greet visitors, pray with them, give them a tour of the shrine, and if time permits a tour of the church. Please note that not all people who work in the shrine give tours or participate as prayer-partners. Sometimes just a warm greeting, welcoming visitors to the Shrine, is all that is needed to make them feel at home and welcomed.
Volunteers in the Upstairs Office
Answer the phone, take orders, talk and pray with people over the phone. Volunteers also fill orders and get them ready to be mailed. Both Second and Third class relics are also assembled by volunteers.
Volunteers Gardening and Miscellaneous Projects
A number of volunteers maintain the flower beds and potted plants. Occasionally some volunteers create display cases and other items needed by the Center.
Currently there is a great need for volunteers to help in the Seelos Center Gift Shop and Shrine on Mondays through Saturdays. Even if you cannot serve from opening to closing, any time you can spend volunteering will be very helpful. In order to function efficiently, the gift shop needs at least two people from 9:AM until closing at 3:PM. One person is needed to handle sales, while the other person takes visitors to the Shrine.
Please consider volunteering. It will be the most rewarding activity you will experience.
THINKING ABOUT VOLUNTEERING AT THE SEELOS WELCOME CENTER AND SHRINE?
Some volunteers come once or twice a month, some come one day a week for a few hours, and some come more often for longer times. There is no minimum amount of time required for volunteering, and there are no basic requirements for volunteers other than a calling to assist the Lord’s work through serving the many visitors that come seeking the intercession of Blessed Seelos. Computer expertise is not required. Go to: Do You Want to Be a Volunteer? on the main menu and complete the form.
National Shrine of Blessed Seelos
919 Josephine St
New Orleans, LA 70130