The Faithful Traveler in the US: East Coast Shrines

Our first series explores some of the Catholic shrines and places of pilgrimage in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. The series consists of 13 half-hour episodes, each exploring one or more sites on the East Coast. View each episode here or order a DVD for yourself or your loved ones and watch it from the comfort of your own living room!

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National Shrine of St Rita of Cascia

The National Shrine of St Rita of Cascia is located in South Philadelphia, not far from the famous Italian Market and from Center City. It is one of the most beautifully decorated shrines Diana saw in all her travels, particularly because of the art of one man: parishioner and artist extraordinaire, Anthony Visco. In this episode, we explore this amazing shrine and learn about St Rita’s life. Diana interviews Rev. Michael Di Gregorio, O.S.A, previous shrine director and Assistant General of the Order of St. Augustine, who clears away some common misconceptions about St Rita’s history, while the shrine director, Rev. Joseph A. Genito, O.S.A. discusses her stigmata and legacy.

Recommended Reading & Music

The Precious Pearl: The Story of Saint Rita of Cascia, by Michael Di Gregorio, OSA: The most authoritative and historically correct book about the life of St. Rita of Cascia in the marketplace. For hundreds of years, Catholics believed wrongly that St. Rita was an abused wife. Father Michael eloquently explains why we now know this to be untrue, and how it is we all came to such a misunderstanding about this saint’s life. If you read any book about St. Rita, I highly recommend you pick this one up first.

Music in this episode by Sarah Bauer, Isabel Rivera, and Nichole Ackoury.

National Shrine of St Katharine Drexel

Until the end of 2017, The National Shrine of St Katharine Drexel was located in Bensalem, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. In 2018, the shrine was sold and the saint was moved to Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul.

In this episode, we explore the shrine that is no more, and learn about the “world’s richest nun”, Katharine Drexel. Diana interviews local author of two books on St. Katharine, Lou Baldwin, who discusses her family life and how she made the decision to devote not only her fortune, but her entire life to evangelize to Native and African Americans.

You’ll also hear Robert Gutherman tell the miraculous story of how his hearing was restored through the intercession of St. Katharine, and how that miracle helped bring her closer to sainthood.

St Elizabeth Ann Seton in New York City

In this episode, we explore the sites touched by the amazing St Elizabeth Ann Seton. Diana takes you on a tour of the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Battery Park, Manhattan, built atop the home where she once lived with her husband and children. You’ll learn of her early life as a devout Protestant, her conversion and entry into the Catholic Church at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church near Wall Street, which we also explore. The magnificent Rev. Kevin McGoldrick discusses the concept of Transubstantiation and the Real Presence, to help explain how those dogmas helped convert the woman who went on to become the first saint of the United States of America.

Recommended Reading & Music

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St Elizabeth Ann Seton in Maryland

St Elizabeth Ann Seton went places! And in this episode, Diana takes you on a tour of Baltimore’s St. Mary’s Spiritual Center & Historic Site, where St. Elizabeth Ann Seton lived for one year. Rev. John C. Kemper, S.S., the shrine’s director, discusses St. Elizabeth Ann’s life in Baltimore. Then it’s off to Emmitsburg, Maryland, where the huge and amazing National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is explored, and this wonderful saint’s legacy is examined.

National Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart

In this episode, Diana explores the spacious and spectacular grounds of the National Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart in Washington, NJ. She tells the story of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s apparitions to the three shepherd children at Fatima–Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta–in Portugal in the early 20th century. Rev. Paul Ruge, the shrine’s rector, discusses how Lucia dos Santos, and Francisco and Jacinta Marto offered up sacrifices for the reparation and conversion of sinners, and how we can do the same.

Recommended Reading & Music

Shrine of the Miraculous Medal

The Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal is located in Philadelphia, not far from Diana’s home, so she is often there for Mass, novenas, adoration or confession. It is one of the most wonderful shrines she’s been to, and she feels blessed to be able to go there often and to share it with you.In this episode, Diana explores the history, tradition, art and architecture behind this beautiful shrine. She tells you about what happened when 24-year-old Catherine Labouré entered the Parisian convent of the Daughters of Charity, and how a late-night encounter with a Heavenly visitor presented her with a mission that would be championed more than eighty years later by Father Joseph Skelly, an American priest. You’ll discover what led to the creation of Miraculous Medal, why people wear the medal, what the images on the medal mean, and why people call it miraculous, and so much more!

Recommended Reading & Music

For more info on St Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal, check out A Light Shining on the Earth: The Message of the Miraculous MedalSaint Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal; and The Miraculous Medal.

Music in this episode by Sarah BauerRiseJohn Grassadonia, Christine Wittman, Kitty Cleveland, and Robby Alleman.

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Basilica of Old St Patrick’s Cathedral

This episode explores New York City’s first cathedral, the Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, located in New York City’s historic Little Italy. It’s a great place to learn about the history of Catholicism in early New York, and about the saints whose lives touched this historic landmar, none other than Venerable Pierre Toussaint,  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and St. John Neumann.

Recommended Reading & Music

For more info on Old St Patrick’s and the history of Catholicism in New York, check out New York’s First Cathedral; Catholics in New York; and The Archdiocese of New York, The Bicentennial History 1808–2008.

Music in this episode by Sarah BauerPadraig Michael MannKitty ClevelandPoppleCeili Rain, and Christopher Ames.

Cathedral of Mary Our Queen

Baltimore’s Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, is an art deco masterpiece of stone and glass. Viewers will learn about Gothic architecture while discovering the grandeur of this magnificent cathedral.

St Alphonsus Catholic Church

St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church, also known as Baltimore’s Powerhouse of Prayer, is where not one, but two holy men lived as rectors: St. John Neumann and Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. The architecture of this amazing Southern German Gothic masterpiece is explored, and Monsignor Arthur W. Bastress, the pastor, discusses the lives of his two holy predecessors.


Music in this episode by Sarah Bauer, the St Alphonsus Choir, Sean Clive, and Greg Walton.

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National Shrine of St John Nepomucene Neumann

The National Shrine of St John Neumann is located in Philadelphia and once was home to America’s first bishop to be canonized a saint. In this episode, Diana takes you on a tour of the shrine and speaks with Cardinal Justin Rigali about his predecessor’s legacy. Rev. Kevin Moley, C.Ss.R., the shrine’s prior director, discusses St John Neumann’s life and legacy.

Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart

The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart is one of the most stunning cathedrals on American soil. With windows that compare to the wonders of Chartres Cathedral in France, this cathedral will take your breath away. In this episode, Diana takes you on a tour of this glorious Gothic tour de force in Newark, New Jersey. She speaks with the eloquent and knowledgable Rev. Armand Mantia who gives Diana a tour of every nook and cranny of this glorious Cathedral.


Music in this episode by Sarah Bauer, and the amazing Choir of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

St Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City is an oasis of calm and faith in the heart of one of the loudest and most congested cities in the country. Even though it is surely the most visited church in Manhattan, you can still find a quiet chapel to pray and and come closer to God. In the final two episodes of the series, Diana takes you on a whirlwind tour of this renowned cathedral, and helps viewers understand what it took to get the cathedral built, and what it means to Catholics around the world. She interviews Monsignor Thomas J. Shelley, professor of history at Fordham University, who discusses the impact that New York’s first Archbishop, John Hughes, had on the city, and how he helped make this landmark a cathedral of suitable magnificence.

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