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As We See It: Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica

As We See It: Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica

One hundred years ago this month, Father Nelson Baker embarked on his most ambitious project, a religious shrine to rival the greatest churches of Europe.

"As We See It," a series by The Buffalo News photography staff, takes a fresh look at local landmarks with each of our photographers offering his or her unique perspective.

A century later, Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna still stands as an architectural landmark and a moving tribute to Father Baker’s patroness, the Virgin Mary. After five years of construction, it opened in 1926 and was given the designation of a basilica, a Catholic church of significant distinction, by Pope Pius XI. At the time, it was just the second church to earn the distinction in the United States.

Embarking on a centennial celebration that will mirror its five-year construction, the basilica has adopted the theme “All Are Welcome” with the hope that the Catholic faithful and laypeople alike will draw inspiration from its presence.

Buffalo is many things to many people, and those people often have different perspectives based on their own experiences. 

Chief Photographer

I have a front row seat to life in the Queen City. I enjoy exploring our community, sharing unique views, documenting history and bringing stories to life. 1999 News intern. 2000 Boston University graduate. FAA licensed drone pilot.

I studied photojournalism at Syracuse University. Winner of 43 AP awards and national sports awards since 1993. Grew up in Patchogue, Long Island.

Staff Photographer Buffalo News

I have been a Buffalo News Photographer for the past 24 years and worked previously in Buffalo for the Associated Press and United Press International. I graduated from Buffalo State College in communications in 1985.

staff photographer

I have the best job in the world, running around and telling your stories through photographs. I've been a staff photographer at the Buffalo News for 24 years.

Director of Photography

As an award winning photojournalist, editor and director of photography, I have documented events from Super Bowls to Superpower Summits. Currently, I enjoy being an advocate for compelling photographs that tell the story of our community.

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Shortly after a fire severely damaged St. Patrick’s Church in Lackawanna, Father Nelson Baker dreamed of replacing it with a grander building dedicated to Our Lady of Victory. The Basilica construction began in 1921 and was finished by Christmas of 1925. Take a look inside one of Western New York’s most beautiful

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