Brookland Sunrise:
The Best Photos of Seven Years of Working in DC's "Little Rome"
October 9, 2010
My first exposure to Brookland, DC's "Catholic Ghetto," or "Little Rome" came when I was a student at Catholic U. However I did not really burrow into that neighborhood until I worked there as a member of the Catholic press from 1998 to 2005. Here are some of many photos that I took walking around...and noticing the beauty.

Neal Conway
Neal Conway Holy Redeemer College
Holy Redeemer College just before the sun gets too bright for the camera too bear. I used to arrive at 6:30 am and walk around the Catholic U. campus until the guard at The National Shrine let me in.
Neal Conway Holy Redeemer
You might say that I was obsessed with Holy Redeemer College. I photographed it at all hours and seasons. In the foreground is a fallow victory garden that was kept by several people from the neighborhood. It was discontinued because other people in the neighborhood stole the produce as it ripened. Also the occasional squirrel would go porpoising across the grass tonging a huge tomato in its teeth. The water barrels were mosquito rookeries and West Nile Virus was a matter of concern. Once in a while a crow would fall dead from the air.
National Shrine Snow
A winter early morning view of the Shrine. In the foreground is the Theological College, the national seminary of The Catholic University of America. Much of TC was turned into an office building. The silver lining on the cloud of "fewer vocations" is that the people who control seminaries can rent out the unused space as offices. Think about it. Every order has a pie of some kind and the fewer mouths there are, the bigger the pieces.
National Shrine Christmas
I don't know if the Shrine still does Christmas spreads like this in the Great Upper Church. It took a bulldozer to sweep up the poinsettia leaves. Until a few people gathered to celebrate 7:30 am Mass with eminent historian, Monsignor Robert Trisco, the few security guards and I had the whole basilica to ourselves.
National Shrine rom Dominican House
The view from the Dominican House of Pancakes on a chilly foggy Tenebrae night just before Easter. This is what I meant when I wrote in Tales From Old Bethesda: But the fog was a delicious beautiful brew, set aglow that evening by the pasel orange steetlights and the flourescents in the university's buildings. And when it briefly revealed and took back the faint outlines of structures, the gray silhouettes of trees and the occasional wayfarer, it made for a spooky scene. Only the bliue becaons in The Shrine's bell tower could not be overcome. These seemed to hover high in the cloud like heavenly messengers. That book is going to need a lot of editing before it goes on Kindle.
Holy Redeemer College 9 11
Again at the rear of Holy Redeemer College at dawn. Notice the circular jet exhaust behind the tower. This was taken the week of September 11, 2001, perhaps on Wednesday, when only military planes were flying in U.S. airspace.
National Shrine Rainbow
And one day, when the storms passed, there was a rainbow.

Copyright 2010 by Neal J. Conway. All rights reserved.

About this site and Neal J. Conway

Make homepage appear in this window

Neal Conway Holy Redeemer College Neal Conway National Shrine Rainbow