The Basilica saw more than 100,000 visitors last year — just during guided tour hours, according to Mike Fitzpatrick, tour guide coordinator. That doesn’t include people who come for weddings, funerals or during open hours when there are no tours scheduled.
Steven Gable has volunteered to give tours at the Basilica for three months. As a Notre Dame graduate and someone interested in history, he said the Basilica is a fascinating place on many levels.
“It just resonates with you,” he said. “It’s so beautiful, as well as historical, it has all of these treasures and it has the religious atmosphere — it resonates on so many levels.”
Gable said he also likes meeting people from all over the world who travel to Notre Dame. He said the Basilica shows two things about Notre Dame’s history: the founders knew what they were doing, and the campus community has worked long to keep things beautiful.
“It’s been done with such loving care, and with such good taste,” Gable said of the Basilica maintenance.
A staff of five full-timers as well as three wedding coordinators, numerous volunteers and student workers keep the Basilica and other campus chapels well-cared for and stocked for services, Zack said.
Zack took time to walk a reporter and photographer around to some of the lesser-seen spots of the Basilica, from the TV control room to the office of the liturgical seamstress and in between.
Did you know the Basilica has its own industrial washer and dryer? It does, in the basement. It also has a couple of smaller chapels tucked away, including the Bishops Museum Chapel in the basement, which could seat about a dozen for a small Mass.
It’s even got a motorized closet for storing vestments in the sacristy office — which does make preparing for services easier, Zack said.<< previous 1 2 3 4 5 next >>