“Arctic Wings and a Shrine,” a multi-room exhibit focusing on the ministries of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, especially in the Arctic regions of Canada.  The devotion to Our Lady of the Snows was brought to Belleville in the late 1930s by former Arctic missionary,
Fr. Paul Schulte, O.M.I.

Exhibit Hours – OPEN daily 8 am – 5 pm
Shrine Visitors Center
Group and guided tours are available by calling: Amanda Shore, 618-394-6463

            Foppe Visual Communications has put the finishing touches on the exhibit.  Chief designer of the exhibit was Tom Foppe of Highland, Illinois.  The Oblates have been part of Tom’s life ever since he was born into a family of eight boys, the son of Carole and Ron Foppe.  His great-uncle was Fr. Cyril Foppe, O.M.I.  His parents were very involved in the founding of the Victorious Missionaries led by Fr. John Maronic, O.M.I.

While still in his teens, Tom was invited to restore one of the original paintings of Our Lady of the Snows which had suffered significant water damage.  Tom, as well as his father and his younger brother John were part of Oblate vocational discernment programs.  And Tom designed and produced the Childrens Garden at the Shrine, as well as other exhibits.  Tom and his wife JoAnn are the parents of five adult children.

 The exhibit will begin near the main entrance to the Shrine’s Visitors’ Center with a focus on the Oblate founder, St. Eugene De Mazenod.  There will be videos of the saint’s life and enlarged copies of some of his letters written on the early missionaries in the Arctic.

The path will then lead past pictures of what visitors can expect in the exhibit to the exhibit itself.  The visitors will be able to learn more about difficult Arctic missions, past and present, as well as about the Shrine and its origins, from a small image painted by a friend of the German missionary, Fr. Paul Schulte, O.M.I. to the now realized vision and dream of the Shrine’s founder, Fr. Edwin J. Guild, O.M.I.

There will be a special interactive children’s room.  Other features of the exhibit will highlight the Oblates’ worldwide missionary efforts; the Shrine’s devotional areas, vocation to Oblate religious life and the role of the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate USA (MAMI) and the Oblate partners in the mission of the Church.

QUOTES from some of our visitors

“That was incredibly moving.  I laughed, I cried and every emotion in between.  Thanks!!!”  –  Joe, Troy, IL

“Wonderful exhibit – beautifully done!  Love the displays and interactive areas!  Thank you.” –  The Ryan Family