Home » Posts tagged 'Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception'

Annual Marian pilgrimage returns to National Shrine

By

For The Dialog

 

WASHINGTON – On a day when Bishop Malooly rededicated the Diocese of Wilmington to the Immaculate Conception, many who participated in the daylong Marian pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception felt their faith revitalized.

“You might already be aware that this country is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Mary,” Bishop Malooly said. “Today, we dedicate our diocese once again. … Let her bring us even closer to her son, Jesus.” Read more »

Comments Off on Annual Marian pilgrimage returns to National Shrine

Cardinal Dolan: If sanctuary of the womb is violated, no one is safe

By

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York warned that if the sanctuary of the womb is violated, then other sanctuaries are at risk.

“Can any of us be safe, can any of us claim a sanctuary anywhere when the first and most significant sanctuary of them all, the mother’s womb protecting a tiny life, can be raided and ravaged?” he asked in his homily during the Jan. 26 opening Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The vigil always precedes the annual March for Life, which takes place on the National Mall.

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, waves as he arrives to concelebrate the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 26. The all-night vigil is held before the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation. (CNS/Bob Roller)

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, waves as he arrives to concelebrate the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 26. The all-night vigil is held before the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation. (CNS/Bob Roller)

Cardinal Dolan, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called the womb “a sanctuary which beckons us, where we are safe and secure in our mother’s tender yet strong embrace, where the Creator himself assures us of protection and life itself, a sanctuary God has designed for us to protect our lives now and in eternity.”

He summoned up a montage of sanctuaries throughout human history, including those used by the Israelites, the sanctuary of the temple in Jerusalem where Mary and Joseph took Jesus each year, the use of cathedrals and churches as sanctuaries from violence, and the United States, first as a sanctuary for the Pilgrims fleeing religious violence in England, later for Catholics with little to their name but “clinging within to that pearl of great price, their faith,” and today’s immigrants and refugees.

When life in the womb is threatened, “should it shock us” that “such a society would begin to treat the sanctuary of the earth’s environment as a toxic waste dump; would begin to consider homes and neighborhoods as dangerous instead of as sanctuaries where families are protected and fostered; would commence to approach the poor as bothersome instead of brothers?” Cardinal Dolan asked.

Shrine officials estimated that 12,000 attended the Jan. 26 Mass, which was shown on three cable channels and broadcast on two radio networks. Among the faithful were 545 seminarians, 90 deacons, 320 priests, 40 bishops and five cardinals in a 20-minute entrance procession.

The faithful were squeezed more tightly than usual as pews in the left transept were blocked off so work crews could continue work on the shrine’s Trinity Dome, which should be completed by next year’s March for Life. The blockage resulted in the loss of “several hundred” seats, according to shrine spokeswoman Jacqueline Hayes.

Auxiliary Bishop Barry R. Knestout of Washington received applause when he announced near the end of the Mass that the starting times for three pre-March for Life Masses elsewhere in Washington the next morning would be moved up an hour to allow for longer lines in security checkpoints at the pre-march rally, as among those speaking at it now included “senior White House officials and a special guest.” No name was mentioned, but earlier in the day it was announced Vice President Mike Pence would address the March for Life rally in person. After a lineup of speakers, rally participants then march from the National Mall to Constitution Avenue, then up the avenue to the Supreme Court.

The weather changed overnight from the low 50s at the start of the Jan. 26 Mass to a more typical near-freezing temperature with stiff winds before a Jan. 27 morning Mass at the shrine celebrated by Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans, USCCB secretary.

Archbishop Aymond’s homily sounded a similar theme to Cardinal Dolan’s in terms how acceptance of abortion is “used to justify” other disrespect for life at various stages, citing assisted suicide, euthanasia, the death penalty and the rejection of immigrants. Quoting from that day’s Gospel, Archbishop Aymond said, “Jesus says, ‘Let them come to me, let them come to me.’”

He received applause from a Mass attendance estimated at 3,500 when he cited the results of a recent study that showed “the abortion rate in the United States has hit a historic low since Roe v. Wade.” Archbishop Aymond said the study speculated on various reasons for the decline, but one was not mentioned.

That reason was “the witness of so many people for life,” he said. “Youth and young adults are strongly pro-life in our world and in our church,” he added to applause. “You are making a difference in the United States. You are changing our culture from a culture of death into a culture of life,” the archbishop said to more applause.

During the March for Life, and afterward in the marchers’ parishes and neighborhoods, Archbishop Aymond said, “we will continue to witness, and with God’s help, we will continue to be strong voices for the respect and the dignity of human life.”

 

Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison.

Comments Off on Cardinal Dolan: If sanctuary of the womb is violated, no one is safe

New Trinity dome mosaic at national shrine will be ‘wonder to behold,’ says cardinal

By

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Builders, church leaders, choir members and journalists gathered atop eight floors of scaffolding, 159 feet high, in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Oct. 28 for the blessing of the workspace where a new mosaic will be installed on the shrine’s Trinity Dome.

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington addresses media and workers at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception prior Oct. 28 before blessing the shrine's Trinity Dome and the workers. A mosaic project to complete the dome is  scheduled to be finished in December 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington addresses media and workers at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception prior Oct. 28 before blessing the shrine’s Trinity Dome and the workers. A mosaic project to complete the dome is scheduled to be finished in December 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

“It will be a wonder to behold,” said Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of the dome, which is expected to be completed by the end of next year. The mosaic will depict the Trinity, Mary and 13 saints associated with the United States or the national shrine, the four evangelists and words from the Nicene Creed.

The finished dome also will mark the completion of the national shrine, according to the original architectural plans for the church set to mark its centennial in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the placement of its foundational stone.

During the blessing, Cardinal Wuerl offered prayers for the success of the project and the safety of the workers involved. He said the shrine puts into “image form” the message of the Gospel and does so “in a way that everyone can bask in its beauty.”

He said the finished dome, with its emphasis on American saints, will remind people of the “face of who we are and the face of God.” He also said it will reflect “living images of God and living images of everything we are capable of being.”

In introductory remarks, Msgr. Walter Rossi, rector of the national shrine, stressed the parallels between the mosaic design on the dome and the very character of the shrine itself, representing a mosaic of Catholic parishioners from every corner of the globe.

He said a one-time collection for the dome work will take place on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2017. The last time a national collection was done for the shrine was in 1953 when it was being built.

The mosaic work is being done at the Travisanutto Giovanni mosaic company in Spilimbergo, Italy, and will be shipped to the national shrine in 30,000 sections weighing 24 tons and composed of more than 14 million pieces of glass.

Cardinal Wuerl, who blessed the work site, the workers and those present, urged the group of about 90 people at the ceremony to be sure they touched the wall of the dome before they left “because you’ll never have a chance to do it again.”

Remind yourself, he said, that this is “the completion of a 100-year project” which reflects to whoever comes in this building that God is with us.

     

Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @carolmaczim.

Comments Off on New Trinity dome mosaic at national shrine will be ‘wonder to behold,’ says cardinal

Newborn left in a New York City manger a sign of a culture of life, says cardinal

By

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — A baby in a manger is proof enough for Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York that Americans can express a culture of life.

And it wasn’t the Christ child. Instead, it was a newborn infant left by his mother in the crib of a manger scene at a parish in the New York City borough of Queens.

People pray prior to the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 21. The all-night vigil is held before the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

People pray prior to the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 21. The all-night vigil is held before the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Calling it “a sad but gripping tale” in his homily during the opening Mass Jan. 21 of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, Cardinal Dolan, said, “No one knew where the baby had come from, or who left him there … until, a week later, the sobbing mother, a young Mexican woman, remaining anonymous, told her story to a journalist.”

Cardinal Dolan, who is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, recounted the mother’s words, noting the irony that the woman had left her baby at Holy Child Jesus Church:

“I was so afraid, and, all alone in the house, suddenly went into labor. I must have been in excruciating pain for at least two hours. I started pushing because, each time I did, the pain would let up. I pushed for 15 minutes and finally the baby, a boy, finally came out. He didn’t cry at first, so I was afraid he was not all right. I didn’t know what to do, so I left the umbilical cord on. I wrapped him in a clean towel and started to look for some place safe and warm.

“I’m very religious,” the woman had continued, “so right away I thought of my church, Holy Child Jesus (in the Brooklyn diocese). I go there a lot, and the priests and people are so good. I just knew if I left him in God’s hands, my baby would be OK. So, I ran into my church and put him in the empty crib. Then he started crying. I just hoped he was warm enough. I hid in the back of church, knowing Father would find my baby and the people would care for him. They did.”

“True story,” Cardinal Dolan said, “and I submit it to you, the jury, this evening, as Exhibit A in our case for promoting the culture of life.”

He added, “It’s not far-fetched to imagine another scenario, what might have happened: that mother’s legitimate and understandable apprehension and isolation could have led her to Planned Parenthood.

“She could have been going to a parish which she found cold, unwelcoming and, impersonal, where she did not feel safe, and where she would not have been inclined to turn in her crisis,” Cardinal Dolan said. “Or, in those fretful minutes after her baby’s birth, she might have run to a church only to find it bolted-up, with a sign on the outside telling her, probably in English, to come back during office hours. Thank God that scenario remains only a ‘might-have-been.’”

He said later, “We are summoned to be such agents of conversion.” The way to do that, Cardinal Dolan said, was “by imitating those priests and people of Holy Child Jesus Parish in New York City, by acknowledging that Jose, that abandoned newborn baby (named for St. Joseph, Jesus’ foster father), Jose was nowhere more at home than in the empty manger of their parish nativity scene, because he, too, is a child of God.”

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, in introductory remarks, welcomed “the many, many, many young people” at the Mass, as they serve as “a reminder for every generation” that all are “called to show respect for the gospel of life.”

The prospect of a major storm carrying heavy snow and high winds made the national shrine slightly less impossibly crowded. Compared to the 11,000 who were packed in for the opening mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life last year, 9,000 were on hand Jan. 21, according to Jacquelyn Hayes, a shrine spokeswoman.

Clergy turnout was similarly smaller for the Mass. Unlike the entrance processions in recent years, which lasted a half-hour, the Jan. 21 procession took 20 minutes.

 

 

Comments Off on Newborn left in a New York City manger a sign of a culture of life, says cardinal

Pope will visit nation’s capital as a pastor, says Washington cardinal

By

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis will make history during his visit to Washington in September, when he becomes the first pope to address a joint meeting of Congress and he celebrates the first canonization Mass to be celebrated in the United States. Read more »

Comments Off on Pope will visit nation’s capital as a pastor, says Washington cardinal

Archbishop Kurtz asks pro-life marchers to be ‘holy, kind and brave’

By

Catholic News Service WASHINGTON — The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference Jan. 22 exhorted the thousands of Catholics at the closing Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life to be “ambassadors for life.” Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, said to the worshippers, “Think of what an ambassador is … someone who represents to others a great case.” I

A young woman prays the rosary during the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 21. The all-night vigil is held before the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

A young woman prays the rosary during the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 21. The all-night vigil is held before the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

In this instance, the archbishop said, the case is the good news of Jesus Christ. “Today, you and I are being chosen as ambassadors for life, to stand up for life on the 42nd anniversary of the tragic decision of Roe v. Wade,” which permitted legalized abortion virtually on demand nationwide, Archbishop Kurtz said.

The Mass took place at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. The prayer vigil started at mid-afternoon Jan. 21 with confessions, followed by the opening Mass which attracted more than 11,000 people. After the Mass, activities continued overnight which included a rosary, night prayer, more opportunities for confession and a series of Holy Hours, followed by adoration with morning prayer and benediction before concluding with the morning Mass celebrated by Archbishop Kurtz.

In the Old Testament reading for the morning Mass, Samuel became a noted ambassador when God spoke to the young man three times one night while in the temple, where he was being raised. Once his mentor, Eli, figured out the source of the voice, he advised Samuel to respond if he heard the voice again. When he did, Samuel replied, “Here I am, Lord, send me.”

“Before we are sent out, Jesus always asks us to come and follow him,” Archbishop Kurtz said. In many situations, the ambassador does not know what he or she will confront, he added. But what Jesus wants of his ambassadors is for them to be “holy and kind and brave.”

When Pope Francis was in the Philippines, “he called the encounter with Christ key,” Archbishop Kurtz said. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, according to the archbishop, was so moved with the pope’s remarks that he said, “We want to accompany you, Holy Father. We don’t all want to go to Rome with you. … We want to go to the Philippines” and accompany the people “who have no voice.”

Archbishop Kurtz spoke of his recent visit to Haiti to observe the fifth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated the principally Catholic, and extremely poor, nation. Part of that visit included the rededication of St. Francis Hospital, which had been destroyed in the quake.

He recalled that when workers came upon the rubble, “the image they couldn’t get out of their mind was the overturned incubators.”

The tragedy claimed 300,000 lives, including those of children, but to see the incubator-dependent babies fatally trapped in the incubators must have been heartbreaking to see, according to the archbishop. In the same way, “something touches our hearts when a child in the womb dies,” he said.

Comments Off on Archbishop Kurtz asks pro-life marchers to be ‘holy, kind and brave’

Cardinal O’Malley says ‘choice,’ ‘reproduction rights’ rhetoric hides brutality of abortion

By

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Supporters of legal abortion are like the emperor from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” said Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston.

Young people pray during the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 21.The all-night vigil is held before the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation.

The “vain and proud king” gullibly believed the swindlers who “told the king that those who could not see the (‘magic’) cloth were stupid and unfit for office,” said Cardinal O’Malley, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

“The king was quite deceived and paraded through the street of his capital to receive the ovations of his people. The crowds lined the streets and applauded when the king passed by. The crowd shouted compliments and congratulated the king on his magnificent clothing. Suddenly a little child shouted, ‘But he has nothing on at all,’” Cardinal O’Malley said.

“’The king’s new clothes’ today are called reproduction rights, termination of pregnancy, choice, and many other subterfuges that disguise the reality and the brutality that is abortion,” he added. “The voice of the church is like the child who declares before the world that the new clothes are a lie, a humbug, a deception. The church with the candor of a child must call out the uncomfortable truth. Abortion is wrong. Thou shall not kill.”

Cardinal O’Malley made his remarks in the homily of the Jan. 21 Mass opening the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The cardinal said he has been to every vigil since they started 35 years ago.

“When the value of life is compromised or diminished, all life is at risk,” he said. “Human rights, without the right to life, are the king’s new clothes; it’s a fraud, an exercise in self-deception.”

Pope Francis, in his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), “laments the fact that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations,” Cardinal O’Malley said. “The good news is that God never gives up on us. He never tires of loving us. He never tires of forgiving us, never tires of giving us another chance. The pro-life movement needs to be the merciful face of God to women facing a difficult pregnancy. Being judgmental or condemnatory is not part of the gospel of life.”

Pregnant women considering an abortion feel “overwhelmed, alone, afraid, confused,” he added. Referencing the Gospel reading of the Mass, the cardinal added, “We must never allow that woman to perceive the pro-life movement as a bunch of angry self-righteous Pharisees with stones in their hands, looking down on her and judging her. We want the woman to experience the merciful love of Christ.”

Shrine staff had the task of clearing snow from sidewalks and roadways, not to mention the dozens of icy steps leading to the upper church where the Mass was celebrated.

While organizers have come to expect 10,000 each year for the National Prayer Vigil for Life, the numbers may have been down somewhat. Buses weren’t parked along streets leading to the shrine as they customarily have. Looking from the shrine’s choir loft, the side aisles did not seem as crammed with people as they typically do, and the occasional pew had room for one person, although it may have been taken up by coats or backpacks.

Bad weather in the Midwest and East, snow followed by diving temperatures, may have kept some away. It kept at least two prelates away — Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, where there was a record high snowfall of more than 13 inches for Jan. 21. Archbishop Chaput had been scheduled to be the main celebrant and homilist at the Jan. 22 Mass closing the vigil.

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wilmington that had scheduled buses to take students to March for Life activities in Washington, including the morning Mass Youth Rally at the Verizon Center, also canceled their trips due to the snowstorm.

Those who did make it to Washington had an easier time traffic-wise as the capital and its surrounding suburbs were virtually shut down for the day, with governments and schools closed in anticipation of snow, which ranged from 3 to 9 nine inches depending on the location.

One young woman who said she was from Miami had but a modest jacket, thin cotton gloves and no hat. She said she hoped her group would stop by a drugstore before hunkering down in a Baltimore church to buy some hand-warming packets.

 

Comments Off on Cardinal O’Malley says ‘choice,’ ‘reproduction rights’ rhetoric hides brutality of abortion
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.