Making time to celebrate their faith while in Orlando at the National High School Journalism Convention, 14 members of Marian’s journalism program, reflect on the Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe.
“It was a great way to bring us down to earth from the hype of Orlando and Disney World,” senior Elsie Stormberg said.
“Mass was welcoming and inviting,” senior Molly Miller said. “It was almost like a spiritual oasis.”
“The crucifix above the altar was really unique,” senior Makenzie Fuss said. According to the Basilica’s website, the crucifix includes a 12- foot figure of the Crucified Christ – a 600 pound linden wood sculpture which is set against a backdrop of beveled architectual glass panels forming the cross.
Having sent a note with an usher to the presider before Mass, the Marian group was personally welcomed and asked to stand and be recognized at the beginning of Mass along with guests from all over the globe. The girls from Nebraska were among travelers and tourists from the Bahamas, Chile, Equador, Columbia and Canada.
At the end of Mass, Fr. Paul J. Henry made an appeal to the girls from Nebraska to ask their neighbor Warren Buffett to come visit and help the Basilica with its fundraising efforts for a new pipe organ. The Basilica Choir members were awe-inspiring at the Mass, but just think how they’d sound with their own pipe organ, Fr. Henry urged.
After Mass, the journalism students were able to visit with Fr. Henry, who, according to the Shrine’s website, is today helping to extend the ministry’s outreach and guide Mary’s Shrine at the threshold of a Third Millennium in Christ.
You can discover the full history of the Basilica at http://maryqueenoftheuniverse.org/history