Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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Holy Rosary Church
Judiciary Square

Pastor: The Rev. Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S.

Service Length: 1 hour

Attendance: About 70

Languages: English, Italian

Sample Worshipper Dress: Green-and-black nylon athletic jacket, blue jeans

Leather Jackets: Eight

Congregational Fervor

Though not billed as such, Holy Rosary’s noon Roman Catholic Mass deserves to be called solemn. Worshippers barely opened their mouths to sing while the organist performed hymns heavy enough to make one believe the weight of heaven was pressing down on upon them.

Food for the Soul

Like a Tibetan monk reciting a mantra, Tomasi delivered his homily at such an even rhythm that his words became nearly indistinguishable from one another. “Repent and believe,” muttered the pastor. “We are so used to these words that we can no longer perceive their importance.”

Food for the Body

Cappuccino and biscotti were available after the service.

Overall Worship Power

Holy Rosary has served D.C.’s Italian community for nearly 100 years. The parish’s Casa Italiana meeting hall is proudly decorated with statues of Dante, Michelangelo, and inventor Guglielmo Marconi. The statues serve to inspire visitors with the glory of Italian culture, but they also make a pretty good spot for worshippers to grab a discreet post-service smoke.