Laborers for the Lord's Harvest

For well more than three decades they have come in answer to God's call. And here, at the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, they reach out each week of the year in service to Our Lord, to His People, and through this holy ministry to all the world.

Upwards of 300 in number, they are the Volunteers of Mary's Shrine -- "Laborers for the Lord's Harvest" (Matt, 9:37).

And as they work to make welcome each new generation of faithful who come seeking the presence of the Lord, they too are drawn closer to Jesus and His holy mother.

We speak of our volunteers as "Shrine Family" because that’s what they are -- family. Yet, while their focus is on ministry,our volunteers have come to enjoy each other as well. Through our annual barbecues; large-scale, social gatherings; and smaller groups socializing on a regular basis, the Basilica provides a wonderful environment in which volunteers can make new friends and strengthen relationships that last a lifetime.

That's why so many volunteers return year-after-year, often coming from parishes as far away as Tampa, Daytona, Leesburg and St. Cloud.  Among them are couples, both husband and wife! In some cases we even have entire families.  What they all share though is a heartfelt commitment to serve Our Lord. And serve they do!

Look for them on Easter Sunday when the Basilica offers eleven Masses at three locations and brings the Eucharist to 25,000 to 40,000 Catholics from all across America and the world. You'll find Shrine volunteers as well in the Shrine Gift Shop, each weekend helping visitors choose from a broad selection of books, art and religious jewelry that work to educate, inspire and illuminate the faith. Volunteers deliver Mass schedules to more than 400 Orlando-area hotels. Still others can be found preparing the Church for worship or just helping visitors to feel at home.

Indeed, opportunities for volunteer service here at the Basilica seem as boundless and rewarding as is our appreciation to all who serve.

Won’t you join us?