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The Suburbanite
  • Canton church’s light glows ever more radiantly

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  • A peaceful, quiet strength permeates the Catholic church that has stood for many years on the corner of Sixth Street NW and McKinley Avenue.
    The light shining through its magnificent stained-glass windows illuminates the structure built of pure Gothic design. The church, built between 1870 and 1872, has been the house of worship for the parish that began its mission in the 1800s. Steeped in Christian tradition, the parish has welcomed people to worship, celebrate the sacraments and receive from God His most precious graces and blessings.
    The parish community has truly fulfilled its mission. By reaching out to the faithful living within a 50-mile radius, the parish began to share with others the joy of a faith-filled Christian life. And the tradition continued.
    Growing up in this atmosphere, my 11 siblings and I experienced a true Catholic foundation. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has chosen to elevate our church to the status of minor basilica (“Canton Catholic church elevated to 'minor basilica' by the Vatican,” Aug. 7). In November the light that began to shine in the early 1800s will glow ever more radiantly.
    Bishop George V Murry, S.J., will offer a special Mass to celebrate the elevation. The corner of Sixth and McKinley will experience a jubilation not known to the area.
    The Basilica of St. John the Baptist: Your beauty, breathtaking! Your mission, inspiring! Your future, brilliant!
    As a young child on the school playground, I used to watch the older girls do a favorite cheer. The last line was “All for St. John’s, stand up and holler.” That’s exactly what I feel like doing.
    SISTER MARTHA CADDEN,
    CANTON