pilgrimage1We invite you to join our pilgrimage to the Basilica and National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC on Saturday, October 22, spending the day focusing our attention and prayers on gratitude for the loving mercy of God.  We are working with nearby parishes to provide bus transportation for those interested in joining us and many other parishes for this Archdiocesan pilgrimage.  The schedule for the day at the Basilica is:

10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. Arrival of Pilgrims
11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. Sacrament of Penance
11:30 a.m. Carillon Concert (outdoors)
12:30 p.m. Organ Concert (Upper Church)
1:30 p.m. Procession of Parish Banners/Welcome
2:00 p.m. The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary
3:00 p.m. Concelebrated Mass
5:30 p.m. Departure


Please contact the Parish Center (908-276-0360 or if you wish to participate in the Pilgrimage.

mercyfranAs with all Jubilee years, the Year of Mercy will include the use of a Holy Door, a specially designated entrance that has spiritual and symbolic meaning for Catholics. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, passing through a Holy Door is part of the pilgrimage that all Catholics are encouraged to make, whether during a trip to Rome or a trip to the cathedrals or specially designated churches in their own Diocese.  These pilgrimages provide special graces and blessings for those who afford themselves the opportunity to journey on this day as pilgrims, mindful that this is what our lives are:  a journey together with and toward God.  

(Note:  On Saturday, September 24, the Archdiocese is providing a mini-pilgrimage to Divine Mercy Church in Rahway.  Msgr. Joseph Reilly, who is a Holy Year Missionary of Mercy, will be speaking.  Click here for details.)

pilgrimage6The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Catholic church in North America and one of the 10 largest in the world.  Pope Francis visited the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception last September on the church’s 95th anniversary.  It has one of the world’s largest collections of sacred art, and is host to roughly 1 million people who visit the basilica each year.

shrine_interior_1The basilica houses 70 chapels honoring Mary and reflecting the origins of the Catholic immigrants and religious orders whose generosity erected them. Its Greek-styled interior is crowned with numerous domes decorated in mosaics, similar to the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice, Italy, but much larger. The mosaics feature American renditions of traditional Catholic images. . . .  The 70 chapels and sacred images flank the sides of the upper church and the lower crypt church. The crypt church contains many works of art. There are arches outlined with iridescent Pewabic Pottery tile, large ceramic medallions set in the ceiling, and fourteen Stations of the Cross for the crypt.

The Basilica offers six Masses and five hours of Confessions daily, as well as Guided Tours, a Catholic Gift Shop, a Catholic Book Store, and a Cafeteria to accommodate its visitors.

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Washington

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Washington

This is an aerial view of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., seen from the south west. The shrine is the tribute of American Catholics to Our Blessed Mother as patroness of the country.  The bell tower, donated by the Knights of Columbus and called Knight's tower, is 329 feet high; the Dome 239 feet high and 109 feet in diameter. The architecture is contemporary but in the spirit of Romanesque and Byzantine.

The Basilica is located adjacent to the campus of the Catholic University of America.  The headquarters of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is located across the street from the Basilica.


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