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In 1909, Bishop Thomas Shahan, the Fourth Rector of The Catholic University of America, applied for Permission to Pope Pius X to build a National Shrine to the Blessed Mother…

In 1921, Bishop Shahan received a letter from a woman named Mary Downs…

In 1932, the first chapel dedicated outside of the Crypt Church, the Chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, was dedicated…

Above the east doors is a mosaic depicting Creation.  In the center is the hand of God, below the hand of God Adam and Eve, and below Adam and Eve is a mound of dirt.  Within the mound of dirt is a 21-week old baby in it’s mother’s womb…

These statues are of saints that are  known here as the nobody saints, and they remind us that we all have a chance…

You may be asking yourself, “What do all these statements have in common?”  Well, they are all various different statements about the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.   Mary’s House has really become a second home to me throughout my four years there.  Whether the Sisters, or Fr. W or Fr. B, or the Rector.  I have stayed overnight there, I have helped there through thick and thin, and will truly miss it.  I will grieve over moving away from this family.  The office has been amazing, even during all of the trials.  I will miss giving tours, sharing this beautiful building with the rest of the world.  These statements have all, in fact, come from various parts of the tour!

Most of all, I will miss the part that truly has been the physical “house”.  The sanctuary.  The Sacristy.  The liturgy office.  It is this part where I feel that I truly felt at home.  It is in the sanctuary where I served God through the Mass, the sacristy where I spent time with the Sisters, who have become like second, third, fourth, and fifth mothers to me, and the liturgy office where I learned that I do not know how to say no.

The Shrine has been like a family to me, and it is a family that I will miss.

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