In 1954, the Barnabite Fathers, newly arrived from Italy, conceived the idea of offering to their new country a devotional center in honor of Our Lady, where people could come and be refreshed. Fatima U.SA. was therefore born, and the Barnabites became the promoters of the Gospel message urged by our Blessed Mother at Fatima, Portugal. The idea was enthusiastically accepted and fostered. Many people made our dream possible by their generosity and their dedication. First among the Shrine benefactors were Mr. and Mrs. Walter Ciurzak. In 1954, they donated 16 acres of their farm land and with God’s help and the support of many, the Shrine has slowly become what it Is today. Thousands of people are the beneficiaries of the peaceful and sacred surroundings of Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. Since 1954, Our Lady of Fatima Shrine has become a place of natural beauty, art, communal prayer, and renewal to thousands who visit the unique buildings and grounds each year. The magnificence and natural beauty of the Shrine is highlighted by an awe-inspiring Dome Basilica covered with two layers of glass and Plexiglas, with a contour of the Northern Hemisphere of the globe. The impressive approach to the Basilica is down the Avenue of the Saints (over one hundred life-size marble statues represent Saints from every race and walk of life) and around the serenity of the Rosary Pool. Two flights of stairs, with 63 steps, lead to the top of the Dome, where, in graceful majesty, stands a huge statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The statue, carved from Vermont granite, is 13 feet high and weighs ten tons. From the top of the Dome, visitors can view the entire Shrine grounds and surrounding countryside.