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What hours is Holy Hill open to the public?The Holy Hill grounds and Church are open:May 1 -- October 31: 6:00 am -- 7:00 pm daily.November 1 -- April 30: 6:00 am -- 5:00 pm daily.
How can I get an item blessed?
A Carmelite Friar is available at the Monastery Office to bless items Monday - Saturday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm.
When is the scenic tower open?
The scenic tower is:
CLOSED November 1 - April 30
Open May 1 - October 31 (weather permitting)
Due to the open areas in the design and structure of the tower, it will be CLOSED when the following conditions are present:
Gusty or high winds; threatening weather; fog, rain, or electrical storms; wet stairs following a storm; frost or snow.
Do you offer retreats at Holy Hill?
We provide retreat accommodations to individuals and groups. Retreats can be any length, from one day to a maximum of two weeks. Retreatants are invited to walk the outdoor Stations of the Cross and a portion of the Ice Age Trail. They are also welcome to attend daily Mass at the Shrine church (6 and 11 am), or to pray in the Shrine chapel. A conference room, lounge, and kitchenette are available for retreatants’ use.
Can we get married at Holy Hill? Can we have our baby baptized at Holy Hill?
The Catholic Church teaches that the sacraments of marriage and baptism are most properly celebrated within the worshiping community of a parish; therefore, the Shrine does not ordinarily celebrate weddings or baptisms.
Can we have our wedding photo session at Holy Hill?
We find the disruptions that wedding party photography sessions cause detract from the spiritual experience of our visitors and guests and from our primary mission and purpose. Therefore, we do not grant permission for wedding photo sessions on our grounds.
How can I make a donation to Holy Hill?
Your generous donations help us to preserve the sacred spaces of Holy Hill. Please visit our development page to learn more about supporting Holy Hill.
What is a Basilica?
The word basilica is derived from a Greek term meaning “royal court”—from which the king exercised his reign. In the Catholic world, a basilica is a church building that has been recognized and accorded special privileges by the pope.
There are two types of basilicas. The world’s four major (or papal) basilicas are St. John Lateran, St. Peter’s, St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, and St. Mary Major—all of which are in Rome. Minor (or lesser) basilicas are significant churches in Rome and elsewhere in the world that meet certain criteria and are thus given special ecclesiastical privileges. Minor basilicas are traditionally named because of their antiquity, dignity, historical value, architectural and artistic worth, or significance as centers of worship. A basilica must “stand out as a center of active and pastoral liturgy” according to the 1989 Vatican document, Domus Ecclesiae.
Designation as a basilica indicates a special bond of communion with the pope, and therefore, the parish must celebrate “with particular care” the feast of the Chair of Peter on February 22, the solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul on June 29, and the anniversary of the pope’s election or his inauguration into pastoral ministry.
1,778 churches worldwide have been honored as basilicas. As of 2018, 385 basilicas had been designated in the Americas, including eighty-five in the United States.
Three physical signs indicate that a church is a basilica. The first is the presence of the ombrellino—a silk canopy resembling an umbrella, designed with stripes of yellow and red, the traditional papal colors—symbolizing the church’s special relationship to the person of the pope. The second sign is the tintinnabulum, or small bell, mounted on a pole and carried in procession with the ombrellino, at the head of the clergy on special occasions. It is traditionally rung if and when the pope comes to visit the church. The third sign of a basilica is the very public display of the distinctly papal symbol of “crossed keys,” the iconic symbol of St. Peter, on banners, on furnishings, and on the seal of the basilica.