Dateline: Charm City

Lourdes
Lourdes
One hundred fifty-one years ago today, our Lady appeared for the first time to St. Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France. The Lady made a spring of water flow. She asked for a church. St. Bernadette faithfully did everything the Lady asked.

Preacher and Big Daddy is on the road. We kept the Memorial of our Lady of Lourdes at the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore, Maryland.


Benjamin Henry Latrobe's plan for the Basilica
Benjamin Henry Latrobe's plan for the Basilica
This stunning church was designed by the same architect who designed the U.S. Capitol. It was the site of the numerous Provincial and Plenary Councils of Baltimore during the nineteenth century, including the Third Plenary Council in 1884. This Council commissioned the greatest book ever written by man, the Baltimore Catechism.

The Basilica was recently renovated. Your humble servant spent many hours in this church back in the 1990’s, trying to discover God’s will for my little life. Back in those days, the church was very dark. It seemed not to have changed since the closing of the First Vatican Council.

Stone tablet commemorating the Third Plenary Council
Stone tablet commemorating the Third Plenary Council
Like most stable individuals, I do not like change. I wish the Basilica of the Assumption were still dark and hushed, like it used to be.

I must admit, however, that the renovation is splendid. The church is bright and beautiful now.

The P. & B. D. team also paid a visit to the Walters Art Museum, on Mount Vernon Square.

The Walters has also recently undergone a regrettable renovation. (Please keep in mind that for us paleo-conservatives, ‘recently’ can mean anytime since they stopped serving martinis on trains.)

Old postcard of Mount Vernon Square, Baltimore
Old postcard of Mount Vernon Square, Baltimore
Anyway, the Walters used to have a large gallery dedicated exclusively to suits of armor.

A room full of suits of armor is exactly what a guy is looking for on a relaxing afternoon.

But now the part of the museum where the armor exhibit used to be is a subterranean café, and the suits of armor are dispersed throughout the museum in hard-to-find locations.

Nonetheless, I did come upon a painting that put me into a reverie:

The Arbor by Gaston La Touche
The Arbor by Gaston La Touche

With the sunlight flowing into the enormous arbor (which apparently is in the gardens in Versailles), I thought, “It’s like going back to Eden.”

Tzipi Livni, one candidate for Prime Minister of Israel
Tzipi Livni, one candidate for Prime Minister of Israel
The P. & B. D. news desk is following the election in the Holy Land very closely.

Jackson Diehl wrote an interesting column on the eve of yesterday’s election.

Israel has a parliamentary system. Yesterday’s election did not clearly indicate who the new Prime Minister will be. Now there will be a lot of political jockeying and king-making. We will have to wait and see what happens.

P. & B. D. is following these politics closely because…

1. This is the government of the land where our Lord walked.

2. The Pope is going to the Holy Land this year.

3. WE are going to the Holy Land this year, too! Your humble servant will be leading a pilgrimage in November, and you are invited. More information on this to follow soon.

chicken-panangBefore we say goodbye from Charm City, let me mention one more item:

Thai cooks combine curry and cocoanut milk to produce a sauce called panang. It is hot and soothing at the same time. Seriously good.

baltimore

2 thoughts on “Dateline: Charm City

  1. If someone is planning a visit to Baltimore, there is an interesting historical site to visit at 600 N. Paca St. (drive slowly, or you will miss it.) It is the site of the original St. Mary’s Seminary, the Mother Seton House and the Old St. Mary’s Chapel. At the chapel, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton took her first vows before Archbishop John Carroll. At a recent visit, I was told that a new Visitor Center would be open in June 2009; however, they currently welcome visitors to the site anytime. 410-728-6464 or 410-523-3443

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