2001-07-21 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Chatting With Chapey by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey


The Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre chose to celebrate the 75th
anniversary of the founding of the order by going to the crossroads of the world - Washington, D.C.  Pope John Paul II described Washington, D.C. as the crossroads of the world and recommended the creation of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.

One hundred fifty Knights and Ladies attended this new center.

If you are in the Washington, D.C. area the center is definitely worth visiting.   The brochure describing the center states "Experience the one of a kind, architecturally stunning Pope John Paul II Cultural Center where modern technology meets timeless spirituality.  You'll find family – friendly interactive galleries, world-class Vatican Museum exhibits, a Children's Gallery, a Museum Store and cafe.  Visitors of all ages explore faith and culture from numerous places, peoples and traditions".  The Cultural Center is open Tuesday through Sunday.  It is located at 3900 Harrwood Road NE Washington, D.C. 20017. You can visit the web site at www.jp2cc.org.  You will definitely find something of interest for the whole family.  The center has exhibits which appeal to people of all ages.

On Saturday we visited the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption.  This is the most historic church in America.  It is the first Catholic Cathedral in the US.  It was built to serve the original thirteen states in the United States, the Northwest Territory and the Louisiana Territory.  It served as the primary Cathedral in the country through 1860.  The Basilica was constructed to be a temple on a hill worthy of its predecessors - a symbol of the new found freedom of religion which was so important to the fabric of the newly formed Republic of the United States.

Many noteworthy events have taken place at the Basilica.  On October 8, 1995, the Basilica hosted a visit by Pope John Paul II during his historic trip to Baltimore.  On May 29, 1996 Mother Teresa of Calcutta graced the Basilica with her presence.  

The Basilica was the vision of Bishop John Carroll (the first US Bishop) and the architect of the US Capital, Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Bishop John Carroll saw the Basilica as a special gift to the people of the US and as a "Shining citadel- set up in their midst" which continues to today light, life and faith.

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