A new Italian chapel, representing the nation’s Italian heritage, will be constructed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
The Italian-American bishops are supporting the construction of the chapel, which will be in honor of Our Lady of Pompei. Among the many national chapels in the shrine, this will be the first to recognize the Italian community.
The process to establish the Italian chapel began in the fall of 2006, under the leadership of Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, archbishop-emeritus of Philadelphia.
The U.S. bishops of Italian descent have personally donated more $40,000 to launch the fundraising campaign for the $2-million chapel. They are now appealing to the wider Italian-American community for contributions.
A design for the chapel has been approved. It will be located in the west narthex of the basilica, where hundreds of thousands of visitors enter.
The main feature will be a mosaic, inspired by the original oil painting on canvas that depicts Our Lady and the Christ Child offering the Rosary to Saints Dominic and Catherine. Adorning the walls of the chapel will be the Mysteries of Light, added to the Rosary by Pope John Paul II in 2002. This will be the first time the Mysteries of Light will be represented within the walls of the Basilica.
Construction is scheduled to begin next spring.
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