Saturday, April 19, 2008

Shrine of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Shrine of the Sacred Heart Church: Striving to be the Heart of Christ

Shrine of the Sacred Heart Church / Santuario del Sagrado Corazón (3211 Pine Street NW) has been serving the Mount Pleasant Catholic community and its neighbors for more than 100 years. The church provides services and masses in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and French and Haitian Creole, and confession in English and Spanish. (To see larger photos, click on images to enlarge.)

Originally, the parish church was located two blocks east on Park Road and 14th Street NW. This church at this location was established in the 1920s and was unofficially the dividing line between the racially divided factions of Washington in the 1960s, especially after the riots that ravaged the city following the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, the church is administered by priests of the Franciscan Capuchin Order and serves a predominantly Hispanic demographic. On Sundays, the recreational area and street adjacent to the church hosts an open air flea market.

Across from the church is a statue of His Eminence James Cardinal Gibbon. Cardinal Gibbon was archbishop of Baltimore from 1877 until his death in 1921 and was the second Roman Catholic cardinal in North America. Born in Baltimore, Gibbon was raised in Ireland and in New Orleans before returning to Baltimore where he was ordained a priest in 1861. He published, among other books and tracts, The Faith of Our Fathers: A Plain Exposition and Vindication of the Church Founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, a best-selling conversion pamphlet. Gibbon, who advocated for and was one of the founders, was the first chancellor of the Catholic University of America.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 2/08


Freder1ck said...

beautifully done! thanks for the memories.

Lara said...

as usual, great post!

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Am I ever not impressed by the architecture you show us here?? Another beautiful building matched with an imformative post. You could write a book!

D.C. Confidential said...

Frederick: Welcome! It's a beautiful church. One day, I hope to go inside, too!

Lara: Danke schoen!

Lisa: I'm going to have to try harder to find something you will find aesthetically distasteful. Which reminds me, I need to take a picture of the FBI Building. I'm pretty certain you won't like that! ;-) Seriously, though, I love shooting the architecture around here and I'm so glad you appreciate it!

As for writing a book, I've done one coffee table book of my pictures as a gift for my mom, but it was darn expensive ($80 for 98 pages through Apple's software!), I'd have to find a cheaper printer...

Edgy DC said...

Hello, DC Confidential. It's wonderful to see such a beautiful photo of our parish church. Please let me know any time you'd like to visit the church, evening or weekend. I'm sure your photographic eye could appreciate it.

D.C. Confidential said...

Hello, Edgy DC! Thank you for the warm welcome. I have a few churches I'd like to visit, including the Shrine of the Sacred Heart. I'll certainly be in touch when I'm in the neighborhood and ready to tour. May I ask, how are you affiliate with Sacred Heart?

Edgy DC said...

Among other things, I coordinate the evening dinner program for the hungry in the neighborhood, which is why I'm around most weekday evenings. I'm also a parishoner and parish council member.

A few weeks ago, during a bout of insomnia, I put together a wikipedia entry on the church, which you seem to be referencing here. Excellent. It's nice to see my work come back to me, but sobering, as something I might have origianlly put in there that, while not baseless, would still qualify perhaps as hearsay, could come back to me as authoritative fact.

I've since gotten my hands on a lot of church history, which I'll be incorporating into the wikipedia article.

D.C. Confidential said...

Edgy DC: Good to know! I'll be sure to let you know when I'm in the neighborhood, so I can stop by.

I can't remember what my main source of information was for this post, but I've just Googled and found your Wikipedia article. I recall struggling to find information on the parish (the Catholic and Mormon churches are alike in this regard. They're so centralized, it's virtually impossible to find specific, historical information about individual parishes/congregations.) The information in your article is excellent! When did you post it?

It's possible I pulled information from an earlier version of material on Wikipedia. I need to start citing my sources better, I think. Anyway--if there are any errors in this posting, please let me know so I can correct them. Accuracy and truth are important to me; I want a quality product here.

CarlosQC - Peruanista said...

Nice post! I was wondering what architectural style does this church building have. Is it Romanesque Revival?

Another thing: we people who speak Spanish are not Hispanic, that is a wrong term coined by the US government.

If you come to this church Spanish mass, you will see that most of us are Native Americans or Indigenous people of this continent. Of course we are mixed with other races -say Caucasian, African, Asian, etc- but our main heritage is noticeable and alive.

D.C. Confidential said...

Carlos: Welcome! I'm not sure what the architectural style is, but I'm hoping to find out when the tour the Shrine.

Thank you for the information on the (mis)use of the term Hispanic. I like to make sure I use appropriate terms. I wonder if you could help me understand the various words that are used in geopolitical language to describe persons of Spanish-speaking descent. I'm familiar with Spanish, Hispanic, and Latino, but I'm unclear on which applies to whom or why. Your help would be greatly appreciated!

edgy dc said...

The priest who is most informed about the church architecture history was transferred out this week, but he's described it as Romanesque. The interior also shows Byzantine influences.

It's largely a copy of another much older church in Italy, though clearly touches like the decorative poured concrete technique are contemporary to the time of its building.

D.C. Confidential said...

Edgy DC: Thanks for the information.

Okay, I definitely need to get downtown and tour this church. Aside from Thursday, how does the week look for you?

Carlos A. Quiroz said...

Sup DC COnfindential... sorry I just got respond your question. There is NOT a single word to group people from Latin America.

Look, there are more similarities between a Mexican American and a Mexican, than a Bolivian and an Argentinean for example.

Bottom line, each person has the right to define its ethnic identity, and neither Latino, Hispanic nor Spanish are correct.

I suggest those who ask me this question to use the nationality of the person you are talking about, say Salvadorean, Puerto Rican, Peruvian, etc. when referring to Spanish-speaking people. Do not generalize us please.

D.C. Confidential said...

Carlos: Thank you for your response. I appreciate it! I think a big fallacy most white Americans have is, we like to define and generalize and categorize people. As a result, we just sort of group similar ethnicities together and don't think beyond the broader terms. On the other hand, some groups like to be specifically defined and, as you point out, that is their right and their choice.

The challenge is knowing how, when, or if to use a term. My ancestors are Swiss, German, English, Irish, and Welsh, yet I don't define myself by any of those ethnicities. But, my ancestors did at one time. I suppose labels evolve over time and apply (or don't apply) depending on our proximity to them.

Either way, I appreciate your viewpoint and will make every effort on my part not to generalize Spanish-speaking people!

Happy New Year!