Our Lady of Victory Basilica and National Shrine

          Lackawanna, NY              

Locally this Shrine is lovingly called Farther Baker's Shrine. Fr. Baker was a priest from 1876 till his death in 1936 and the list of things that he did for the Buffalo area and Western New York State are almost endless. Even today if someone wants to start a new ministry they have to first look to see if Fr. Baker hasn't already got it going, but maybe under a different name. We were raised hearing first hand all of the good things he did.

Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica were built under the leadership of "The Servant of God, Fr. Nelson R. Baker" in 1921 and is now a minor basilica.


767 Ridge Road, Lackawanna, NY 14218 

For information call:  (716) 828-9444                   




                              "Apostle of Charity"


Lord, you gave us Your Servant Nelson Baker as an example of service to the poor, homeless, and young. By "Father Baker's" ardent concern for those in need, inflame our hearts and lives with compassion for the poor, justice for the oppressed, hope for the troubled, and courage to those in doubt. We pray through the intercession of Our Lady of Victory, if it be Your will, that Your Servant, Nelson Baker, may one day be canonized.            


Glory Be (3 times)



Monsignor Nelson H. Baker, familiarly known as  "Father Baker," was born on February 16, 1841 in Buffalo, New York, U.S.A. His father was a Lutheran, his mother Catholic. After his early education in public schools, he went into business. In 1868, he resumed his education at Canisius College, Buffalo, as one of it's first studends. He entered Our Lady of Angels Seminary at Niagara University, New York, in 1870, and was ordained a diocesan priest on March 19, 1876.

     For five years he served as Assistant Pastor at Lackawanna, than as curate in Corning, New York (then part of the Buffalo Diocese). In 1882, he was recalled to Lackawanna as Superintendent of the Institution destined to become Our Lady of Victory Homes of Charity, with an orphanage, industrial school, home for infants, facilities for unwed mothers, and maternity hospital. Father Baker was named Vicar General of the Buffalo Diocese in 1902, a Domestic Prelate in 1905, and later raised to the rank of Prothonotary Apostolic. He promoted devotion to the Eucharist and Our Lady of Victory, which was consecrated in 1926. Father Baker administered the Basilica Parish with the adjacent Homes of Charity, for the rehabilitation of countless underprivileged men, women and children, until late in life. Father Baker died on July 29, 1936 in Lackawanna, New York.

     In the summer of 1987, the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints approved the initiation of Father Baker's cause and confirmed the title "Servant of God - Nelson Baker."

Imprimatur:+ Most Rev. Edward D. Head, D.D.

                      Bishop of Buffalo

                      October 7, 1987


                      Lackawanna, New York 14218