As we approach Thanksgiving, we’ve asked the faithful what they are grateful for at the Basilica – and why. Whether it’s Mass, music, or the sense of peace and the presence of the Lord, there is something here that makes it special to everyone. We are so thankful for all of you, and for your support through all the years. You are what makes the Basilica “America’s Catholic Church.”
Thankful for the Sense of Peace
In the midst of uncertain times, the National Shrine is a tranquil place of respite. Through prayer and the sacraments, the faithful receive peace and comfort as they draw closer to Christ.
“One of the most beautiful basilicas I have ever seen, and a place of peace.” — Catherine F.
“I visited many times, [and] every time…]I found a different area that meant something special to me at that moment, a special place to pray and be grateful for the warmth and peace I was feeling.” — Amnana G.
Thankful for the Music
Whether we are hosting musicians from around the world or our own organists and choir, glorifying God through music is an integral part of worship at the Shrine. We are thankful for the dedication to excellence displayed by our musicians as they lift our hearts in praise to the Lord.
“[I’m thankful for] the musicians, Ben LaPrairie, Peter Latona and others. The acoustics are amazing. and I enjoyed singing there this year.” — Christian L.
“Love this sacred place. Everything, especially their music is so moving and lovely.” — Martha L.
Thankful for the Beauty
From the reflective quietude of the Crypt Church to the breathtaking splendor of the Great Upper Church, the sacred art and spaces of the Basilica uplift the soul and direct the gaze heavenward. We are thankful for the support of the faithful and the skills of the many craftsman who all contributed to glorify God through the artistry of the Basilica.
“I have only visited twice, but it’s so beautiful. I can’t put into words what fills my heart when I am there. The love and honor for our Blessed Mother from all over the world gives me hope and peace.” — AnnMarie D.
“I was with our church group on the March for Life this year and we had Mass there. Seeing so many people gathered there changed my life forever. The beauty is overwhelming.” — Marina P.
Thankful for the Liturgy
At Mary’s Shrine, the faithful can encounter Christ through the Word, the Sacraments, Devotions, and His Blessed Mother. They can set aside daily distractions, receive spiritual nourishment, and be strengthened in the faith.
“The Masses, adoration and rosary are much appreciated.” — Madge H.
“I have visited several times, and each time I look forward to exploring all the different sections that hold special meaning for me. The Masses said in the main chapel are so magnificent in person. I watch through streaming now, and it is so nostalgic. I always watch on special holy days – even after I come home after my Parish Mass –because it is like a little bit of heaven.” — Gloria R.
Thankful for the Lord’s Presence
The National Shrine is a privileged place in which a person, as a pilgrim here on earth, experiences the loving and saving presence of God.
“The Basilica is a great place to be in the presence of the Lord. The angelic music, the word of God, and the holy places to pray— [it] is the best way to get close to God.” — Karen W.
“I visit at least twice a year, only being a couple hours’ drive away. It has offered me so much solace over the years. It is magnificent in art and architecture and, yet, not distracting. It is edifying, [and] also continues to be an active place for worship and sacramental life. I am thankful we have such an amazing shrine in the USA and [am] personally grateful for all she has provided me.” — David L.
“Thankful for [the] holiness and sacredness we experience every time we visit. I’m thankful that the Basilica is filled with the Holy Spirit.” — Kuch E.