Door of the Day – Reader Submitted

Basilica 38, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Thanks to a reader for sending:

“I saw this gate/doorway/opening at the Basilica today. I think it is the entrance to the confessional area but I’m not Catholic, so I’m not certain.”

Anyone know if this door goes to a confessional area or something else?

7 Comment

  • Just visited the Basilica on Saturday. That’s the gateway to the Main Sacristy, where the priest and attendants prepare before the service. The doors are quite heavy — several tons, I think — but are hung in such a way to be opened with one finger. Quite an impressive design.

  • That’s where the priests keep their drag and shiny things. There’s more satin in that room then in all the bordellos of New Orleans.

  • I’m a longtime Washingtonian (I guess I should say a native Washingtonian, too) and though I’m not Catholic, I’ve always heard that place referred to as the Shrine. Yes, it is very beautiful and thanks for the pix.

  • Yeah, I’m a 4th generation Washingtonian and we all call it the National Shrine, but there are tons of Catholics in those generations too, so maybe that’s why.

  • Its full name is The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. So, either way.

  • It is both a national shrine and a basilica. The “national shrine” honorific was bestowed upon it by the American bishops because it is a church with certain national significance. (Actually, unlike most other churches designated as “national shrines,” it was built with a national purpose in mind…a national pilgrimage church dedicated to Our Lady and a roughly Catholic equivalent to the Washington National Cathedral. ) Later, it was designated a “minor basilica” by the Holy See in the early 90s, which is an analogous honorific for churches with international significance. The status is meant to be evocative of the “major basilicas” of the Pope in Rome, which are St. Peter’s, St. John Lateren, St. Paul’s Outside the Walls and St. Mary Major.

  • that branch and leaves motif is all over the Basilica. anybody know what it is design/style-wise? something from the 50s or 60s, i’m guessing.

Comments are closed.