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Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

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Location

400 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017

My Reflection

On April, 24-26 2015, my 8th grade class went to Washington D.C. There we saw many amazing monuments, went on very informational tours and over all, had a great time. When we went to mass on Sunday, April 26, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the first thing I noticed was the giant painting of Jesus right behind the altar. The church was one of the biggest churches I have ever seen, it had very large and intricate paintings all over the walls and domes that told the story of Jesus's life. Once mass ended, we got the opportunity to tour the church. I still could not believe how big the church was! I learned that there are over 70 chapels and oratories within the church. My over all experience at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was very meaningful, I enjoyed the mass very much! While there, I felt as if I was more connected as a family of God.

A Brief History

On August 15, 1913, Bishop Thomas J. Shahan took his idea of building a national shrine to show respect to the Immaculate Conception to Pope Pius X. After he presented his idea, the pope had said yes and supported the construction of the national shrine. Bishop Thomas J. Shahan then asked the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University of America to give the southwest corner of their campus to begin the construction of the shrine. Then, in 1915, Bishop Shahan chose Father Bernard McKenna of Philaelphia to be the first director of the shrine, and oversee its construction, after Bishop Thomas J. Shahan's death on March 9, 1932. On September 23, 1920, James Cardinal Gibbons who was the Archbishop of Baltimore, had blessed the stone foundation. But, construction was stopped because of the Great Depression, and the coming of World War 2. Afterward, in 1953, under John Noll, American bishops, they promised/pledged to raise the final amount of funds to complete the shrine. The dedication of the Great Upper Church was on November 20, 1959, thousands of bishops gathered there along with their Catholics. Although the construction of the nation shrine seems as if it had finished, still goes on today

This September........

What's going on?

On Wednesday, September 23, Pope Francis will be coming to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to preform the First-Ever Canonization on American ground.

Who is he & why?

Pope Francis will be canonizing the Blessed Junipero Serra. In 1769, Junipero Serra founded his first U.S. mission, the MIssion of San Diego in California. By working day and night, he helped the Spanish establish a community in California. He also founded and built eight more missions, they were: San Antonio de Padua; San Gabriel, Arcangel; San Luis Obispo de Tolosa; San Juan Capistrano; San Francisco de Asis; and last but not least, San Buenaventura.