This morning the three big kids and I hopped on the METRO for another field trip, this time to the Basilica located on the campus of Catholic University. Since all the students were home for the holidays the cathedral was pretty quiet, which made it lovely to explore.
There are 60 chapels, almost all dedicated to Mary. The overall feeling is one of sacredness and majesty, especially in the two chapels containing tabernacles. There is an abundance of marble and mosaic as seen here in this tiny niche.
The nativity scene in the front of the upper church was very moving, especially since the staff laminated prayers on the kneelers in front. We prayed for my mother and lit a votive candle for the soul of my mother in the Our Lady of Guadalupe chapel. Then after asking directions from two people, we finally found the confessional where I took advantage of the sacrament.
I have to say that of the two Cathedrals we visited, this one is by far the prettier and holier building. I think it is entirely due to the fact that Jesus is truly present in this sacred place and the attitude of the visitors is one of pilgrim, rather than tourist. While I don't see us returning to the Episcopal Cathedral, we will certainly be back many times during our time here to visit and pray at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.