The Parish of Presidents

On Nov. 1, 1963, President John F. Kennedy and wife Jackie attended Mass at Holy Trinity. It was the last Mass the nation’s first Catholic president would ever attend.

Throughout its 225-year history, Holy Trinity has been the Catholic home for Washington elite, with many Beltway Catholics worshipping there. Abe Lincoln once attended a funeral at Holy Trinity, and was reportedly chastised for wearing his hat indoors. In 2008, while they competed to become the country’s 44th president, Barack Obama and John McCain sat side-by-side at Holy Trinity for journalist Tim Russert’s funeral.

But while this Jesuit church remains the parish for many prominent Catholics in the nation’s capital, it has never relented in its mission to serve the poor, the marginalized and others in most need of Christian love. And as a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul back home in the Chicago suburbs, I like that in a parish community.

The all-white interior at Holy Trinity fits well in D.C.
The exterior.
The original church, the first Catholic church in D.C.
Georgetown University, one of the country’s premier Catholic colleges, sits just a block away.

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