Immaculate Conception Washington DC
Annually on the first Saturday of December thousands of Haitians representing the Haitian Apostolate flock at the foot of the Blessed Mother, under her title of the “Immaculate Conception”. The staff at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC have indicated that Haitians are the largest group of pilgrims. It also the largest gathering of Catholic Haitians in North America. Msgr. Rossi, the Rector of the Basilica, welcomes the Haitian faithful with some words in Creole and always states that the Haitian mass is one of the most vibrant celebrations at the Shrine. The leader of the Haitian Catholic community of the Washington DC area is an active participant in the planning and realization of this liturgical celebration.
The faithful of the DC area are always on hand to welcome the many buses arriving for the pilgrimage. A faith community leads with the rosary. We have been blessed with the presence of Sr. Claire Gagne and Gilbert Dabady for many years to lead a Holy Hour before the 2:00 PM mass in the Upper Church. The priests who come to the liturgical celebration also hear the confessions of hundreds of pilgrims prior to the mass. Our presider is usually our beloved Bishop Guy Sansaricq except in 2015 when Bishop Dumas was the principal celebrant. In 2016 His Eminence Cardinal Chibly Langlois presided.