It was announced this week that St. Mary Church in Marietta was granted the title of being a minor basilica.
We'd like to offer our congratulations on the honor to those who are part of the church.
It's not only exciting for St. Mary's parishioners but also for Marietta as a whole.
There are only 75 other minor basilicas in the U.S. and two others in Ohio.
The fact that St. Mary is now a minor basilica could mean it becomes an attraction that could draw visitors.
The church's pastor has said that once a site is a basilica, those in the Catholic faith often travel from far and wide to pay pilgrimage.
We hope those who promote the Marietta area take the opportunity to get the word out about the church and invite people into the area.
Once they're here, they may not only enjoy St. Mary and its impressive interior but also a number of historical and recreational sites our area has to offer.
There are also certain privileges bestowed upon the church once it receives this honor. For instance, it automatically becomes part of the diocese of Rome.
Also, it will be able to display the papal emblem and would receive special basilican symbols such as a set of bells and an Umbrilino-a large umbrella which would cover the pope should he ever visit.
Even if that never happens, the news is welcome and exciting for the Mid-Ohio Valley.