In 2011, on the Solemnity of the Assumption, the Basilica parish initiated 40 weekday
hours of Eucharistic Adoration, to pray for vocations.
In order to provide for a more private and prayerful space,
an existing alcove located near the formal crypt, one dedicated to the various religious
orders that have contributed to Baltimore's rich Catholic heritage, was modified to
accommodate up to 10 adorers.
Though simplistic in design, much effort was made to provide a space that was not
only reverent, but would include some subtle, yet recognizable features recalling
Baltimore's rich Catholic history.
The Monstrance, which holds the Blessed Sacrament, was a gift to the Basilica
in memory of the Irish born Michael J. Curley (1879-1947), the tenth Archbishop
of Baltimore (and first Archbishop for Washington, DC), from the priests of his
household, in 1947.
Below the center of the altar, is a small reliquary bearing a relic of St. Elizabeth
Ann Bayley Seton (1774-1821), the first native-born citizen of the United States
to be canonized.
The altar on which the Monstrance and reliquary are placed, was custom built
by the Basilica facilities manager, Bill Bernard. The wood (mahogany) was reclaimed
from one of the Sisters' Balcony pews, installed during the 1944 Cogswell renovations,
and then removed in November of 2004, to make way for the more historically accurate
replacement pews in use today.
The marble plate with the decorative mosaic insert Cor Jesu, was recovered
during the demolition phase of the Basilica restoration, and had formerly been
a part of a marble enclosure surrounding a devotional space in the SW corner
of the church. The space also included the 1931 statue of Christ the Man, which
was eventually relocated to the undercroft in time for the Basilica reopening.
Though not as historic as the above mentioned items, the pew located behind the
row of chairs, was the builder's design prototype built by Jachin Wood Design, NY.
This prototype was used to construct the pews that were ultimately installed in the
main church and balconies.