May 10, 2019
Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, and friends –
good morning and welcome to Villa Richardson!
Today we’re gathered to honor the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
I’d like to thank Monsignor Walter Rossi, the Rector of the Basilica, and Dr. Peter Latona, the Director of Music, for making this memorable visit possible.
The Choir of the Basilica has a special place in my heart. For twenty years, I had the honor and privilege of singing with this remarkable ensemble.
The Choir is a vital part of the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, DC – and is dedicated to performing and recording beautiful, sacred choral music throughout the year.
On Wednesday evening, the Choir performed an exquisite concert at the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, in honor of the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Holy See.
This milestone is what brings us together this morning. Thirty-five years ago, President Ronald Reagan and Saint John Paul II established one of the most consequential diplomatic relationships in history.
Over the decades, our partnership has been a worldwide force for good.
It’s fitting that the Choir of the Basilica, is here this week to help us celebrate our 35th anniversary. The Choir, like our Embassy, is engaged in a special kind of diplomacy. The members of the Choir, in many ways, are spiritual Ambassadors of the Basilica.
While we work to advance peace, freedom, and human dignity around the world, the Choir works to transform the hearts and minds of pilgrims, far and wide, through the power and beauty of music.
And so I thank all of you for being here this morning, as we celebrate and honor the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.