The Catholic Church is arguably the largest, the most highly organized, the most enduring institution on the face of the earth.  There may be flaws because its earthbound nature: it is human after all.  But it is the Body of Christ.  It is the Family of God.  It is holy.

In its diversity the Church has always responded to the diverse needs of the human community.  Its mission extends to all nations as commanded by its founder – our Savior, Jesus Christ.

As evidence of its effective structure and what enables her to endure, it organizes itself into dioceses and parishes. It creates religious communities with a particular mission, responding to particular needs … to the poor, to the sick, to the spiritually hungry, to the imprisoned … to every human need desperate for the touch and compassion of Christ.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe is a very beautiful reflection of the Church and an excellent example of the Church’s outreach to the needs of the people of God.

Our mission too is universal – reflecting the universal embrace of the Church’s most revered and beloved saint, Mary the mother of Our Savior.

People come here seeking an oasis in a world clamoring for attention. They come from all over the country, and from around the world. They come to share in the Eucharist or to seek reconciliation; to walk peacefully through its gardens, or simply rejoice among the sacred, all the while drawing ever nearer toward God and His holy mother.

But the mission is dynamic and goes both ways. Not only do people come in large numbers – we have taken on the responsibility to reach out and touch the world, to offer solace in the powerful comfort of prayer, to be in prayerful solidarity with people like you, who need the assurance that you are not alone.

We are with you.

Each month we invite those who have lost loved ones to permit us to join them in praying for those who have died – for those who are on their special journey to the Kingdom. It is the faithful tradition of the Church to pray for our loved ones.

Many times during the year we invite you to send your prayer petitions, your requests for prayerful support, your own particular personal needs – and I pledge to place these petitions before the altar – and they are prayed for at every Mass, and every time the rosary is recited, and every time the community comes together.

Many people for example have a special devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes. Prayer petitions to Our Lady are carried personally each year by the Rector and placed at the Grotto of Our Lady.

Our prayer outreach speaks of the power of uniting ourselves with Mary and all the saints – and with that comes the tremendous consolation of knowing that we are not alone. We journey to God together and it is expressed beautifully in the Shrine’s commitment to pray each day; to hold each other up before the Throne of God; to intercede for each other’s personal and deepest needs – the blessing of Christ.

We encourage you to periodically check the website and discover how you can be part of the novena of prayers provided in connection with the great feasts of Christ and of Mary … the great feasts of the Church.

Yes, we are part of the universal ministry of the Church … and in a beautiful mystical way, we extend the outreach to offer comfort and prayerful support.

To be one with you.

To entrust to us the needs of your heart is to be blessed with the share in Christ’s love, His life, and His light for the world … each and every day!