19 December 2010

St. Peter's on Capitol Hill

I've been visiting the Library of Congress a lot recently, both to study and to do research. Every time I'm around the Capitol Hill neighborhood, I run into St. Peter's Catholic Church and I always make a mental note that I still have to go there. I figured it would be an appropriate place to visit for my last D.C. church visit of the year. It's located about a block away from the Capitol South Metro Station, located at 2nd and C Streets, Southeast.

St. Peter's is sort of a sister parish to St. Joseph's, which also gives itself the suffix, "on Capitol Hill." Both have similar architecture, and they're located just a few blocks away from each other on opposites of the Capitol building (St. Joseph's for the Senate side, St. Peter's for the House side, I was once told). St. Peter's has the same pseudo-Gothic style found in other downtown D.C. churches, and I found it remarkably similar to St. Mary, Mother of God. Above the columns of the church, extending all the way around the church, was what appeared to be a banner, with gold letters and a Latin and English message. I couldn't understand the Latin, but the English, at the front of the church, said "Christ has died. Christ is risen."

The church appears to have a pretty young parish, with lots of 30 and 40-somethings and plenty of young families. The Capitol Hill neighborhood, after all, is known for being a haven for young professionals and Hill staffers. The "folk" choir group, made up of about six singers accompanied by two guitars, had some soothing interpretations of familiar Advent hymns. Father Carter was offering confession with a group of other priests after Mass, and in his sermon, he talked about why confession was a necessary part of our relationship with God. He said that the great thing about God's love was that it was unconditional, and that we don't need to live up to his standards to accept his love. The important part of our relationship with God, he said, is how we respond to God's love, and we can help to heal that relationship by going to confession. He said that fear of shame or embarrassment was what kept most people away from confession, and then quoted Jesus, saying "Be not afraid."

St. Peter's on Capitol Hill


Here's my list of Churches that I've visited in Washington so far. My goal for 2010 was to visit over 40 in both California and Washington, I ended up getting to 27...not bad!

View Churches I've Been To So Far in a larger map

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