America's Church: The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is a story of faith, of hope and of love. It's the story of a challenge accepted by one generation of American Catholics and then passed down to--and accepted by--the next and the next and the next.
Gregory Tucker's meticulous, colorful and fascinating account of the building of this monumental church in Washington, D.C., is a testament to the movers and shakers who made it possible. It provides a fitting and well-deserved tribute to the countless American men, women and children who were ultimately the "builders." (Older Catholics will remember the "special collections" in classrooms and parishes that generated funds for the construction.)
As hundreds of photographs show, this "national church" was built with a respect for the past--and the Catholic traditions of art and architecture. Yet it was built with an eye toward the future--and the millions of American Catholics who would come to worship within its massive walls.
Constructed entirely of stone, brick and cement--it has no wood or steel--it's the largest Catholic church in the Western Hemisphere and ranks eighth in size among religious structures worldwide.
But, as former Shrine director Bishop Thomas J. Grady notes in the Foreword, "the Shrine is not just a building or merely architecture." Rather, it is "a hymn in stone to the honor and glory of God and the honor of Mary."
Tucker shows how the most significant single project ever undertaken by the Church in the United States traces its roots to its modest beginnings as a student chapel on the campus of The Catholic University of America a century ago. And how that promise--and dream--were expanded and continued to move forward despite two World Wars, the Great Depression...and resistance from some prominent American Catholics.
It now stands, according to Shrine director Msgr. Michael Bransfield, as "a monument to the generosity of Catholics in America, symbolizing their steadfast determination to share the gift of their faith in ways that have changed for the better the society and world in which they live."
Tucker proves that this icon of the Catholic Church in the United States--this tribute to, and reminder of, the many cultures within it--is a national treasure. His recounting of how it was "mined, mounted, and polished" is a great American tale.
|Publisher:||Our Sunday Visitor, Publishing Division|
|Product dimensions:||9.28(w) x 11.60(h) x 1.03(d)|
Table of Contents
|Chapter 1||A Need Defined: a Cause Divined||12|
|Chapter 2||Foundations for a Glorious Future||52|
|Chapter 3||Determination and Devotion: Disappointment and Delay||84|
|Chapter 4||A Magnificent Catholic Church: A Prophecy Fulfilled||116|
|Chapter 5||Adorned and Adored: the Shrine's Role in the Modern World||162|
|Chapter 6||Toward the Third Millennium||216|