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Renovated Basilica Welcome First School Pilgrimage
Woodmont students make pilgrimage

More than 400 Woodmont Academy students, toured the restored Basilica.
More than 400 Woodmont Academy students, toured the restored Basilica.

Cooksville, Maryland, May 15, 2006 - More than 400 Woodmont Academy students, staff and parents toured the beautifully restored Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore on Friday, May 4. This entire-school tour was a first for the Basilica since its two-year restoration. The timing of the pilgrimage coincided with other Marian celebrations this month at Woodmont, such as the May Crowning.

Executive Director of the Basilica of the Assumption Historic Trust, Mark Potter welcomed the Woodmont community with a brief presentation on the history and transformation of the shrine. He noted the Basilica’s important role in the establishment of the Catholic Church in the United States and named many dignitaries who worshiped there such as Blessed Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. Following Mr. Potter’s remarks, Basilica docents took small groups on tours starting with the main church, then through the crypt, the chapel, and the museum. Students marveled at the undercroft chapel and closely examined architectural plans and handwritten letters from the late 1800’s by President Thomas Jefferson, Archbishop John Carroll and Benjamin Henry Latrobe who orchestrated the project. According to fourth-grader, Joseph Ziegler, the dome was “Awesome! I like how all the light comes in through it." His sister, Maria was impressed with the pope’s umbrella and loved the colorful canopies.

Following the tour, Mass was celebrated by Woodmont Chaplain, Father Steven Reilly, LC. “I think our Woodmont students greatly appreciated the history and beauty of the Basilica,” he shared. “It was a wonderful way to start our celebration of Mary during this month which honors her. We all felt proud to be a part of this great Archdiocese and thank Cardinal Keeler for his dedication to this historic renovation.”



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