Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl stood atop a massive structure of steel scaffolding some 159 feet above the church floor on October 28, 2016 to bless the Trinity Dome of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. “If we were to have a hymn to open this entire celebration, I think it would be ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee,’ ” joked His Eminence Cardinal Wuerl. “This is about as close as we are going to get physically to that experience.” The 45 minute ceremony marked not only the completion of the scaffolding on which Wuerl, and 100 news media, workers and staff stood but also the beginning of the end of 100 years of construction on the country’s largest Catholic church, where Pope Francis canonized a Spanish missionary last year.

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