The Crowning Jewel

Nearly a century in the making, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception has been a work in progress since the laying of its foundation stone in 1920. This great Marian shrine, dedicated to the patroness of the United States, is a testament to the faith and generosity of generations of American Catholics.

Now, as the 100th Anniversary approaches, a monumental effort is underway to complete America’s Catholic Church, according to its original plan, with the ornamentation of what will be the crowning jewel of Mary’s Shrine, the Trinity Dome.

According to the original iconographic scheme,the Trinity Dome will be adorned in mosaic and depict the Most Holy Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a procession of saints. The Nicene Creed will encircle the dome, while the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, will be featured in the Dome’s pendentives.

Mosaic Rendering
Mosaic Rendering

The Trinity Dome is the central and largest dome of the Basilica, five times the size of the Incarnation and Redemption Domes. Consequently, the Trinity Dome will be five times as expensive to ornament. To this end, $20 million is needed to complete the Trinity Dome in advance of the celebration of the National Shrine’s 100th anniversary in 2020.

To assist in this project, the Bishops of the United States have approved a one-time second collection to be taken up in parishes across the nation on Mother’s Day 2017. In addition, the National Shrine reaches out directly to you, asking for your prayers and your financial support.

In this regard, on September 23, 2016, the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ visit to the Basilica during which he blessed the first segment of mosaic that will adorn
the Trinity Dome, the National Shrine will kick off its fundraising efforts for this massive undertaking.

Individuals and families are invited to continue the legacy of their ancestors, not only by entrusting themselves to the Mother of God, but by also supporting this great endeavor to bestow the crowning jewel of the Trinity Dome upon Mary’s Shrine.

For more information on the Trinity Dome and how you can help, please visit our special website beginning September 23, 2016, at

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Honoring the Legacy of the Basilica

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