The Fountain of Compassion and Giving
One of the many places of Prayer in Upstate NY.
Our Lady of Victory Basilica & National Shrine in Buffalo NY offers a soulful connection with Mother Earth at place that has been a well spring of love, compassion and giving to those in need. Located at 767 Ridge Road at the corner of Ridge Road and South Park Ave (Rte 62) in Buffalo, the church is both a local and national monument. More importantly it was the home of Buffalo’s beloved Father Baker who provided for countless infants and children orphaned during western NY’s boom in the late 19th and early 20th century.
A Great Soul
In surveying sacred sites for Mother Earth Prayers, I have consistently found that great souls lived near, were drawn to, or had epiphanies at precious pieces of Mother Earth’s soul. There was Gerrit Smith who the NY Times called one of the greatest Reformers of the 19th century, the leaders of the women’s movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, leaders of the Underground Railroad such as Harriet Tubman and Fredrick Douglas. There were those who had epiphanies like Clara Barton (Dansville) that started the American Red Cross and Thomas Merton (Olean) who became a Trappist monk.
The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 brought an economic boom and with it hardship as thousands of children were orphaned. In response the Catholic Church constructed several orphanages in the 1850’s, one of which was on Limestone Hill at St. Patrick’s parish where the Basilica now stands.
When Father Nelson Baker took over St. Patrick’s parish in 1882 it was facing financial collapse. Barraged by creditors, Father Baker reminded them that before he had entered the priesthood he had been a successful businessman that stood by his word, which he then pledged to fulfill the parish’s debts. He emptied his personal savings to keep the creditors at bay.
A few weeks later his prayers were answered when an epiphany came to him to solicit all the Catholic women in the diocese into joining the Association of Our Lady of Victory for 25 cents a year with the funds being used to help the orphanage. It worked. Within a few years the church was undergoing an expansion.
By the turn of the century the number of children living in the orphanage had almost quadrupled. To deal with the growing problem of infanticide from desperate and unwed mothers, he constructed an infant home in 1907. A decade later he had to expand it to meet the increased demand for services by constructing a maternity hospital.
In 1916 when the church burned down, the 74 year old Father Baker put forth a plan to construct a large Basilica that would rival anything in Europe. Father Baker consecrated the opening of the Basilica on May 25, 1926, a few months later the Pope elevated it to the status of a minor Basilica.
During the depression Father Baker became known as the “Padre for the Poor” as it was estimated that the church served 500,000 free meals from 1930 to 1933. He passed away on July 29, 1936. His funeral was attended by 300,000 to 500,000 people.
Experiencing the Basilica
The Basilica sits on numerous stacked fields of consciousness. Stacked fields of consciousness are much more potent because they are stacked upon each other. Having 4 fields stacked upon so far from the heart of Mother Earth’s soul which is the Rochester Utica corridor is very impressive. The only other place I have found several stacked fields in western NY is Valentine Flats in the Zoar Valley that has a stacked field of 3.
I must caution that the vibe, thought forms (geographic samskaras) in the church is not the greatest in places. Negative geographic samskaras are problematic because they can drain you. People bring their problems and negative thoughts where ever they go and unless a lot of meditating is occurring at a location, the samskaras can be negative. However, I would not let this deter you from visiting and secondly, a group of us have begun actively meditating there which will ultimately enhance the space.
There is a stacked field (4)located in the western set of pews numbered 50 to 60 at one end and 142 to 160 at the other end. This is also the area that does not have the best vibe.
Off the beaten path are several locations that have stacked fields of 3(still very good) and all have okay to good geographic samskaras. You should bring a cushion to meditate on because there are no pews to sit on in these areas.
Help us Make Another Beacon Brighter
We encourage you to visit Basilica to spiritually grow and connect with the divine. We ask that you also please go there and add to the love that is there and help transform it into an even brighter beacon of compassion, divinity and inspiration.
Several of us are making an effort across upstate NY to make city sanctuaries places of hope and love, especially during these difficult times. When you meditate and pray at a place, over time Mother Earth responds by sending some love and enhancing the space through a variety of means. That transformation becomes palpable over time, even to those not sensitive to Mother Earth. It also becomes an even brighter beacon for people to feel inspired, to find hope and to communicate with the divine. The Basilica is our place in Buffalo.
In Syracuse we are adding to the love at Plymouth Congregation. We are still looking for an indoor facility in Rochester, Utica and Albany. If you would like to join us for a group meditation in Buffalo or Syracuse email me your contact information.
Visiting the Basilica
The Basilica is located at 767 Ridge Road at the corner of Ridge Road and South Park Ave (Rte 62) in Buffalo just north of Lackawanna. There is plenty of parking behind the Basilica.
The Basilica is open 7 days a week from 7AM to 7PM. There are daily services in the morning, at lunch time and in the evening and more on Sundays. Check for hours and services at information.
Story of our lady of Victory and Father Baker history.
If you would like to join us for a group meditation please email me.