Year of Faith Pilgrimage to
America’s Catholic Church

7/17/2013

In observance of the Year of Faith, Catholics from throughout the East Coast will gather in pilgrimage, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Popularly known as 'America’s Catholic Church,' the Basilica is the patronal church of the United States and its preeminent Marian shrine.

The date is also the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Basilica’s 56-bell carillon, which was a gift of the Knights of Columbus.

The pilgrimage begins with Mass at noon, followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the Rosary and renewal of the Order’s consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Benediction and a carillon recital will conclude the activities at approximately 3 p.m. Confessions will be available from 10 a.m. to noon.

The Year of Faith is designed to renew the faith of Catholics so that we will be credible, joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord in the world today, capable of leading others to faith.

The goal of the Year of Faith is to foster a deeper practice and witness of faith, as well as a deeper understanding of the truths of our faith that Jesus — the foundation of our faith — revealed. To do this, Catholics are encouraged to participate regularly in the sacraments, advance in personal prayer, participate in pilgrimages to sacred sites and improve their knowledge of the Church’s teachings, particularly through study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The Knights of Columbus has a long history with the National Shrine. The K of C provided $1 million for the construction of the campanile, known as the Knights Tower, which was dedicated in 1959. Four years later, the organization donated a carillon of 56 bells. On the day of the dedication (Sept. 8, 1963), Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle of Washington said, “To the members of the Knights of Columbus, in the name of the bishops of the country, I say we are deeply grateful for this wonderful gift. Long after we are gone, this tower and these bells will be paying honor to God and to his Mother.”

The K of C also established a $1 million endowment in honor of Past Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart to promote Marian devotion at the National Shrine and to preserve and maintain the Basilica. For more than 30 years, Knights have funded, coordinated and staffed an usher ministry there. Since 1989, the K of C has regularly funded televised liturgies and other spiritual broadcasts from the Basilica. Most recently, the Knights donated $1 million for the installation of a mosaic depicting the Incarnation of Christ in the Great Upper Church.

Please join Knights and their family members to worship, pray and renew the Order’s consecration to Our Lady.

Sunday, September 8, 2013
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., 20017

Pilgrimage highlights include:
• Solemn Mass at 12 noon with Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore
• Remarks by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson
• Marian Meditation by Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Québec, Primate of Canada
• Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with recitation of the Rosary
• Rededication of the Order to the Blessed Virgin Mary
• Carillon and Choir Prelude; Carillon Postlude
• Confessions available 10:00 a.m. – noon
• Pilgrims will be eligible to obtain a Year of Faith Plenary Indulgence

The goal of the Year of Faith is to foster a deeper practice and witness of faith, as well as a deeper understanding of the truths of our faith that Jesus — the foundation of our faith — revealed. To do this, Catholics are encouraged to participate regularly in the sacraments, advance in personal prayer, participate in pilgrimages to sacred sites and improve their knowledge of the Church’s teachings, particularly through study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Tower Tours

The Basilica will offer an extraordinary opportunity to journey up into the Tower and view the nation’s capital from this spectacular vantage point. Tour opportunities are available Thursday Sept. 5 through Sunday Sept. 8, 2013. Visitors will ascend the Tower to the observation level where they can take in spectacular views in all four directions. To take advantage of this unique experience, sign up for one of the available tour times. Visit http://towertour-KofC.eventbrite.com to reserve your free tickets.

  • A maximum of four (4) tickets may be reserved per person.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled tour time and check in at the registration area in Memorial Hall on the Basilica’s lower level. If you arrive later than your scheduled tour time, accommodation on a later tour is on a first come first served basis and cannot be guaranteed.
  • Visitors must be able to climb 60 steps to reach the Tower Elevator, please ensure you are in good physical condition before signing up for this opportunity.
  • Children are permitted but parents should consider the stairs in their decision to bring younger children along. Strollers are not permitted into the Tower and no storage is available at the Basilica.
  • Use of the Tower elevator is required to ascend to the observation level, visitors who experience claustrophobia, those who do not like elevators, or anyone who suffers from a condition where riding in an enclosed elevator may be uncomfortable should not sign up for a tour.