The university continues its beautification efforts to not only better align the campus with the quality of our nationally recognized academic programs, but to create an environment that exemplifies and celebrates our Catholic identity. An on-campus shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe improves UD on both fronts as a welcoming presence for all people regardless of age, ethnic origin or nationality, and reaffirms One Church, One People.
Hundreds gathered on the University of Dallas campus to witness the dedication of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine on May 16, 2015.
The dedication was part of a full weekend of events capped off by the May 17 commencement ceremony.
The quest to bring a shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary to UD is not a new endeavor. Instead, a planned shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe is an effort set in motion by a gift from the Class of 1997. That gift, the Mary of the Annunciation statue, was sculpted by art majors Andrew Decaen, BA '97, and Eric Winogradoff, BA '97, and currently sits just outside the Church of the Incarnation on a spot that was intended to be temporary until a more fitting permanent grotto could be built as the campus' spiritual centerpiece.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is located in a special on-campus space devoted to our Blessed Mother Mary. The alumni-driven effort was conceived as a sanctuary for students, alumni, faculty and staff. It serves as a place to meditate, worship, reflect, breathe and be — amid the nation's fourth largest metropolitan area and on one of the highest points in the Metroplex. While the stone from the Hill of Tepeyac serves as the shrine's foundation, the shrine houses a bronze sculpture of Our Lady. Located on the hillside behind Carpenter Hall, the shrine is settled against the treeline of the Haggerty Art Village woods, incorporating local Texas stone and the iconic mesquite tree.
With the gift of the Tepeyac stone came a charge: to build the shrine, but also to share Our Lady of Guadalupe’s story as patroness of the Americas. For a university shaped by a long tradition of Catholic learning and an acknowledged commitment to the Catholic Church and its teachings, there are few more fitting projects than a shrine to the patroness of the Americas at large, the U.S. Catholic Church and the Diocese of Dallas: Our Lady of Guadalupe. Such a shrine, especially one that incorporates a special stone from Tepeyac, will reinforce UD's standing as a Catholic university with prominent regional and global roles to play. Additionally, by constructing the shrine, UD will acknowledge and embrace the great devotion that Catholics, particularly Hispanic Catholics, throughout the Americas have for Our Lady of Guadalupe.