"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Wednesday, June 19, 2002 In defense of paranoid alarmists, in praise of DC churches
Emily Stimpson really clicks in this response to a Washington Post TV critic so settled in his own liberal prejudice that he can't recognize a propaganda bag-job when he sees one. (You would think most discerning viewers over age 12 would hear sirens whenever Linda Ellerbee appears on screen, which perhaps is why her Molly Ivins-meets-Saturday Morning-TV act appear on Nickelodeon.)
And Emily writes movingly of her memories of Washington's National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, to which she repaired from Capitol Hill on 9/11. "My memories of that day are a jumbled mix of tv screens, tour groups, and incense," she writes. Meantime, Steve Schultz at Catholic Light describes his own recent visit to the D.C. basilica.
I visited the National Shrine one Sunday afternoon in the late 1980s to attend a Latin Mass. With all the tour groups going through, it was a bit like going to church in the Capitol Rotunda, or Grand Central. They have, unfortunately, discontinued the Sunday afternoon Novus Ordo Latin Mass in favor of a Spanish Mass, a move explained as substituting one "foreign-language" Mass for a more popular one. Latin is not a foreign language, however, as far as Roman Catholicism is concerned, and it is hoped that the official language of the universal Church will be restored to the National Shrine.
And while in Washington, be sure to pay a visit to St. Matthew's Cathedral, where Cardinal Cushing said the Funeral Mass for John F. Kennedy. The historic cathedral has been undergoing restoration. A Novus Ordo Latin Mass is offered Sundays at 10 a.m.
St. Matthew's Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
A reader adds:Don't forget the first official Catholic church in Washington, outside of Georgetown, St. Patrick's, on 10th Street N.W., between G & H streets. It's smaller and less ornate than either St. Matthew's or the National Shrine...but it is beautiful and they make many efforts to promote traditional liturgical music.