History of the Shrine

Father Andrew Thomas started plans for the shrine but Father John O'Brien was pastor of St. Joseph Parish when the building of the shrine began in 1951.

The construction of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima was marked from start to finish by Feast Days of the Blessed Virgin. On September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, men from the parish hauled the native limestone rock from Burbank, Oklahoma. Construction began October 11, the Feast of the Maternity of Mary. The completed shrine was dedicated by Bishop Eugene McGuiness on December 8, 1951, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

The statues of Our Lady of Fatima, the three children--Lucia, Jacinta and Franciso-and two sheep were donated. They were originally placed in an alcove encased by plate glass. This alcove is directly over and behind the alter. Vigil light stands are in the sancuary, which had a marble top communion rail the entire length of the edifice. Blue neon lights, in an arc over the front of the shrine read, "Blessed art thou amongst women". This sign could be read from the highway. All the stone, glass, lights, communion rail and furnishings were donated.

Immediately after the dedication of the shrine a perpetual Novena was started. It was held every Wednesday evening at 7:30, at the shrine when weather permitted. During winter months it was held in the church. This Novena lasted for several years but has not continued recently. Also for several years two nine-day Novenas were held at the shrine, One from May 4th through May 13th and another from September 4th through September 13th.

On November 24, 1992 the shrine was destroyed by fire, with only the stone shell and fire-blackened statues remaining. In November of 1993 restoration work began with volunteer labor from the men of the parish. The limestone was all cleaned by sandblasting. A new roof was built and a glass front was added. They installed a new tile floor and vigil-light holders. The statues were sent off to be cleaned and painted. They were retuned to the alcove but without the plate glass in front of them. The glass was not necessary since the entire shrine would now be enclosed. On each side of the building two faceted-glass windows were added. These windows depict the "Miracle of the Dancing Sun", which occured at Fatima on October 13, 1917.

The Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima was rededicated on October 30, 1994. Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran of Oklahoma City, Blessed the Shrine. The ceremony started with a prayer service inside the church and concluded with a procession to the shrine. The Knights of Columbus were present in full regalia as the stood at the attention while the Archbisop blessed the Shrine with Holy Water.