The Basilica in Washington is the largest church building in the Western Hemisphere and in the eyes of Catholics and many nonCatholics alike the "national church." Begun in 1920 after generations of prayer and planning, the Byzantine-Romanesque structure was finally dedicated in 1959. Tucker's meticulously documented text of its history and development is intricate and fascinating. Lavish photographs bring the story vividly alive.
-- Michael Pakenham -- Baltimore Sun
From the Publisher
America's Church: The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate conception is a story of faith, of hope and of love. It's the story of a challenge accepted by one generation of American Catholics and then passed down to-- and accepted by -- the next and the next and the next.
Gregory Tucker's metiiculous, colorful and fascinating account of the building of this monumental "national" chuch in Washington, D.C., is a testament to the movers and shakers who made it possible. It provides a fitting and well-deserved tribute to the countless American men, women and children who were ultimately the "builders." As hundreds of photographs show, this "national church" was built with a respect for the past -- and the Catholic traditions of art and architecture. Yet it was built with an eye toward the future -- and the millions of American Catholics who would come to worship within its massive walls.
Tucker shows how the most significant single project ever undertaken by the Church in the United States traces its roots to its modest beginnings as a student chapel on the campus of The Catholic University of America a century ago. And how that promise -- and dream -- were expanded and continued to move forward despite two World Wars, the Great Depression ... and ressistance from some prominent American Catholics.
Tucker proves that this icon of the Catholic Church in the United States -- this tribute to, and reminder of, the many cultures within it -- is a national treasure. His recounting of how it was "mined, mounted, and polished" is a great American tale.