St. Alphonsus Parish has the singular honor of containing within St. Mary’s Assumption Church the National Shrine holding the remains of Redemptorist Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R.
Born in southern Bavaria, Blessed Seelos studied philosophy and theology in Munich. On hearing about the work of the Redemptorists among German-speaking Catholics in the United States, he came to this country in 1843. Ordained at the end of 1844, he was assigned for six years to St. Philomena’s Parish in Pittsburgh as an assistant to St. John Neumann. The next three years Father Seelos was superior in the same community and began his service as novice master.
For several years he preached in English and in German throughout the Midwest and in the Middle Atlantic states. Assigned to St. Mary of the Assumption Church community in New Orleans, he served his Redemptorist confreres and parishioners with great zeal. In 1867 he died of yellow fever, having contracted that disease while visiting the sick. He was beatified by St. John Paul II in 2000.
To visit the Blessed Seelos Shrine you can contact the Blessed Seelos Welcome Center (919 Josephine Street) at 504-525-2495. The Welcome Center is open Mon –Fri from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. On Sundays the shrine only is open before and immediately after the 10:30 a.m. Mass.
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