.- The Knights of Columbus have made a $1-million gift to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The contribution makes the Order the lead donor of a 3,780 square-foot mosaic dome in the Shrine’s Great Upper Church, which will depict themes relating to the Incarnation.
The donation continues the Knights’ historic relationship with the shrine. In 1959, the Order donated $1 million for the construction of the shrine’s bell tower, also known as the Knights’ Tower, which contains a carillon of 56 bells.
In the 1980s, the Knights established and have continually maintained a Knight-staffed usher ministry at the shrine. The Order also created a $1-million memorial endowment, named in honor of Past Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart, to promote Marian devotion at the shrine and to preserve and maintain the building.
Since 1989, the Order has regularly funded televised liturgies or other spiritual broadcasts from the shrine.
The announcement of the Knights’ gift came on the day the Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.