This January, I had the pleasure of spending an entire month in Washington DC - partially for the inauguration, partially for the Pro-Life activities, mostly to visit my family.
Anyway, this was my visit to my hometown as a Catholic, so going back was an entirely different experience. For the first time, I visited the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (such a long name!), the Franciscan Monastery, etc…and also, I had the opportunity to attend a few parishes’ masses.
Keep in mind that a lot of the Catholic Churches in the area are far more under the radar than their protestant variations. For instance, there’s a section of DC where you basically can’t throw a rock without hitting some kind of protestant church - Tenth Street Baptist, Metropolitan Baptist (the church I grew up in), Lincoln Temple, Mount Gilead… all of these churches are within a four-block radius of one another. I mention this because for the longest time, I thought that DC was a largely left-leaning area and that its catholic churches would reflect the same.
You can imagine my surprise when I attended a few of the masses in the area and found that they were far more traditional than I would have thought! At every church I attended there, a rosary was said aloud in the half-hour block before the start of mass. EVERYONE bowed at the appropriate part of the Nicene Creed, people kneeled after the Agnus Dei… Even the Gospel Mass that I attended at St. Augustine’s on 15th and V still managed to be reverent.
In conclusion, visiting churches in DC was nothing short of Amazing…but I have to ask. Was I just lucky with the churches I chose to visit? Are there any DC natives on the board that can speak to whether or not this is the norm?