Fr. Cooper's Connection
Crowning Mary's Shrine
On Mother’s Day, May 14, a special one-time second collection will take place in parishes across the United States to raise funds for the Trinity Dome, the final project to complete the nation’s preeminent Marian shrine and patronal church, oftentimes affectionately referred to as “America’s Catholic church.”
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Roman Catholic Church in the United States and North America, and one of the 10 largest churches in the world.
Designated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as a National Sanctuary of Prayer and Pilgrimage, the basilica is dedicated to the patroness of the United States – the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception.
The Trinity Dome National Collection offers the faithful a unique opportunity to leave a lasting legacy by contributing to the completion of Mary’s Shrine, thereby honoring their Catholic heritage and entrusting themselves and their families to the Mother of God.
The Trinity Dome is the central and largest dome of the National Shrine. This “Crowning Jewel” will be adorned in mosaic according to the original iconographic scheme of the Great Upper Church and will depict the Most Holy Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception, and a procession of saints who have an association with the U.S. and the National Shrine.
The procession of saints includes, among others, St. Juan Diego (the first canonized male Native American), St. Kateri Tekakwitha (the first canonized female Native American), St. Teresa of Calcutta (an honorary American citizen), St. Francis Cabrini, M.S.C. (the first U.S. citizen to be canonized), St. John Paul II (the first pope to visit the National Shrine), and St. Junípero Serra (declared a saint by Pope Francis at the National Shrine in 2015, the first canonization ever to take place on American soil).
The text of the Nicene Creed will encircle the base of the dome and the dome’s four pendentives, or vaulted corners, will feature the four Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
During his visit to the basilica on Sept. 23, 2015, Pope Francis blessed the preliminary segment of mosaic created for the Trinity Dome containing the words of the beginning and end of the Nicene Creed: “I believe in one God” and “Amen.”
The basilica was also visited by Pope Benedict XVI, St. John Paul II, and St. Teresa of Calcutta, among others. The basilica, though distinctly American, rivals the great sanctuaries of Europe and the world.
Byzantine-Romanesque in style, its massive, one-of-a-kind superstructure is home to over 80 chapels and oratories that relate to the peoples, cultures and traditions that are the fabric of the Catholic faith and the mosaic of our great nation.
Open 365 days a year, the basilica is host to nearly one million visitors annually, attracting pilgrims and tourists alike from across the country and around the world.
All of the proceeds from the special collection on May 14 will go towards completing the Trinity Dome.
— The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Sent by Fr. Robert Cooper on Wednesday, May 10 at 2:00PM