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Editor’s Note: The
Washington D.C. area continues to grow in Catholic Match activity, with
more events planned for the March for Life and just after Valentine’s
Day. Check the events calendar and make plans to join them.  Anya-134962 tells about Christmas In The Capitol.

 It was a few weeks before Christmas, and all through the House, not a creature was stirring, not even a…

Okay, so that wasn’t exactly
true.  Catholic Match members converged in DC for a fun weekend in
the nation’s capital.  First on the itinerary was a visit to the
US Capitol (hence the capitalized H in “house” above), where a few
hardy souls braved the cold weather, waiting an hour before the actual
ticket-giving time.  Tours to the Capitol are controlled through
timed passes, in order to keep track of the amount of visitors in the
area, for security reasons.  Cheryl-204315, Stefan-123364,
Sara-115140, Michael-6064, John-2322, Maureen-182259 and I were able to
take the tour.  Several members came in late (like Stephen-183586,
who patiently waited outside instead) and had to proceed to the next
location, the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center near the Basilica,
formally known as the National Shrine of the Immaculate
Conception. 

More people were able to catch up at the PJP II museum: Elizabeth-155827,
Mari-154747, MaryJane-109318, Ron-1935, Cindy, John-110730,
Laura-126580, Melissa-190595, Harley, Brian-194758, Megan and
Robert-132610. 
The self-guided tour at the PJP II
Cultural Center was very blessed, as it featured not only items on the
life of a very holy man but also the Holy Land Exhibit, Polish
Christmas crèches (an ongoing tradition from the Pittsburgh workshop),
the children’s gallery and Hands of Peace.  It was amazing to be
able to measure one’s hand against a casting of the hand of Pope John
Paul II. 

"God
of peace, gift for all of humanity, come to live in the heart of every
individual and every family. Be our peace and our joy!" (message under
PJP II’s casting)

There were
also castings of ordinary Catholics from around the world, from a
fisherman to a computer designer.  It was edifying to see all
those testimonies of faith from Catholics of all walks of life.

Michelle-87453,
my co-party planner, was missed at this CM DC event due to a personal
health emergency, so we spent a little time in prayer for her recovery.

Lunch
was in Chinatown at Ella’s Wood Fired Pizza, one of AOL City Guide DC’s
winners for top DC restaurants.  Again, we seemed to be collecting
more people at every stop as Henry-122101 came to join us for
the food and fun.  MaryJane and I found ourselves cruising around
the downtown district in a frustrating search for a parking spot–if
there’s one thing that DC is a nightmare for, it’s parking.  But
once we had our bellies full, we were more than ready to go to the next
place on the itinerary: a tour of the Luce Foundation Center, the
visible storage area of the Smithsonian museum Donald W. Reynolds
Center for American Art and Portraiture (otherwise known as American
Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery). 

The
very accommodating and knowledgeable Jenni from the Luce Foundation
Center conducted a personal tour for our group.  It was very
fascinating and included little anecdotes about individual pieces and
collections as a whole.  One would never guess that a widow who
thought she married into money tried to sue Congress to get back her
late husband’s collection so that she could sell them.  What she
didn’t know was that he had donated them to the American people and
brought them to the Smithsonian before he passed away.

The
evening brought us back to the Father’s embrace as we celebrated the
holy sacrifice of the mass as a community at St. Patrick in the City on
10th and G Sts., with a wonderful and timely homily made by the gifted
Msgr. Panke, vocations director for the Archdiocese of
Washington.  Dolores-187809, George-49416, Jim-105312,
Peter-186737, Petra-116197, Thomas, Naciem, Sandra-151739, joined us
for this blessed event, along with new CM success story Michelle-50109
and
Tom-232.

Dinner
at Café Citron on Connecticut Avenue was a blast!  CM denizens had
fun learning how to belly dance and watched a professional performance
from the belly dancing instructor afterwards.  Some male CM
members even made a game attempt to dance with Ebony, who truly made it
seem as if her hips were dislocated from the rest of her body — she
was really good.  We freely imbibed in many pitchers of sangrias,
mojitos, and margaritas, along with the Latin food.

The
evening ended up at the local Krispy Kreme, where we consumed some
coffee in order to linger with the last ones standing.  Hurrah for
good fellowship!

The next
morning saw us sitting down to brunch at the Sheraton National Hotel
before going off to attend the choral noon mass at the National Shrine
of the Immaculate Conception.  We had a late lunch at the
Basilica’s cafeteria where we also had an ornament gift-exchange. 
Goodbyes were said here before the group split to attend different
tours: one for the Basilica and another at the Franciscan Monastery,
Commissariat of the Holy Land in America.

Nope,
there were definitely creatures (and hearts!) stirring at this latest
CM DC event.  What a special time to meet and make new friends,
especially in this season of Love Reborn.

P.S. 
Msgr. Panke says thank you for the photo souvenir and Bishop Olivier
and the staff at Old Europe also received theirs from a prior CM DC
event.

 

This article was submitted for publication by a user of 4marks.com.
Publication of the article does not constitute an endorsement of the
specific opinions by 4marks.com.

 

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