“It was in view of this edifice’s sublime and holy ends that the archbishop dedicated it to God,” Lori said.
The archbishop prayed for Catholics to receive at the basilica “courage in their temptations, comfort in their afflictions and infirmities, light in their doubts, and all the graces necessary to persevere in the love and the service of God,” Lori said, quoting Marichal’s pastoral letter from the time of the consecration.
The basilica hosted several provincial and plenary councils of U.S. bishops where the Catholic school system was devised and the Baltimore Catechism were commissioned. Pope Pius XI declared the cathedral a minor basilica in 1937, and in 1972 it was declared a National Landmark.
Archbishop Lori mentioned the beginning of perpetual Eucharistic adoration at the basilica, the first church in the city of Baltimore to host perpetual adoration. Missionaries who live at the basilica under the “Source of All Hope” initiative will draw special graces from adoration, he said, in their ministry to the local poor and homeless.
These missionaries, he said, are treating the poor “not as a problem to be solved, but as human beings endowed by God with inalienable rights and called to friendship with Him.”
“At the heart of this friendship is the Eucharist, and Eucharistic adoration,” he said. Archbishop Lori blessed the adoration chapel on Monday after Mass.
The archbishop also welcomed priests, deacons, religious, seminarians, parish members, and people of the archdiocese who were present at the Mass, as well as Knights of Columbus – noting that Fr. Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus was ordained at the basilica.
He called on Catholics present to imitate Mary, the patroness of the basilica.
“Dear friends, on this solemn and joyous occasion, may we, faithful to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, magnify the greatness of the Lord together with Mary and all the saints, and through Mary’s intercession, may the song of praise resound within these walls, and echo far beyond them for hundreds and thousands of years to come,” he said.
Monday’s Mass kicks off a year of planned events at the basilica. A celebration of the basilica’s patronal feast day of the Assumption will take place in August. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will deliver a lecture on the history of the basilica and the archdiocese on August 14. The next day, Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, will deliver the homily at a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Lori at the basilica.
In November, the U.S. bishops will concelebrate Mass together at the basilica, as they normally do at their annual fall meetings in Baltimore. The basilica also plans to host Cardinal Robert Sarah, the former prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, in May 2022.
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