After the canonization of St. Katharine Drexel, there was a need to have a space where visitors could be welcomed. One of the original buildings on the grounds of the Motherhouse was renovated and new space added to it. The Mission Center opened in 2003.The Mission Center programs seeked to promote the Gospel message of prayer and work for unity and community among all peoples. Those who visit were enabled and encouraged to bring St. Katharine Drexel’s vision of faith and justice to bear on the actions and attitudes of individuals, our nation, and, indeed, our world.
The center offered a covered drop-off for buses and cars and ample parking on-site. Wheelchair accessible ramps lead into a bright lobby area where a large statue of St. Katharine greeted pilgrims upon their arrival.
The beautiful grounds surrounding the Shrine and Mission Center offered opportunities for a leisurely walk with statues and grottos tucked in here and there allowing people to stop and pray. A three-story stained glass window was the highlight of the Center and was visible from the road when illumined at night.
Multimedia presentations of the life, history and charism of St. Katharine Drexel were offered in the 75 seat auditorium reachable by stairs or elevator. The Mission Center offered an indoor café with snack and drink vending machines. Groups were invited to bring their own lunches or lunch could be provided at a reasonable cost. In nice weather, the patio wass a perfect spot for eating!
The Shrine and Mission Center are now closed to the public effective January 1, 2018, and proposals have been submitted for the purchase of the property. Administrative offices remain at the current address.