Observation of Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception will be Dec. 9

Because the Second Sunday of Advent takes precedence over other feast days, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Dec. 8) will be observed Monday, Dec. 9, this year, according to Julie Grace Males, director of the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Catholics are encouraged, but not obligated to attend Mass that day, celebrating the dogma that Mary was preserved from original sin from the moment of her conception. As with all Sundays, Catholics are obligated to attend Mass on the Second Sunday of Advent.

In 1846, while meeting in Baltimore, the U.S. bishops adopted a decree naming Mary, “conceived without sin,” as patroness of the United States. Pope Pius IX approved the choice and placed the United States under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception in 1857.


George P. Matysek Jr.

George P. Matysek Jr.

George Matysek was named digital editor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2017 following two decades at the Catholic Review, where he began as a writer and then served as senior correspondent, assistant managing editor and web editor.

In his current role, he manages archbalt.org and CatholicReview.org and is a host of the Catholic Baltimore radio program.

George has won more than 70 national and regional journalism and broadcasting awards from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association, the Catholic Press Association, the Associated Church Press and National Right to Life. He has reported from Guyana, Guatemala, Italy, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

A native Baltimorean, George is a proud graduate of Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School in Essex. He holds a bachelor's degree from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore and a master's degree from UMBC.

George, his wife and five children live in Rodgers Forge, where they are parishioners of St. Pius X, Rodgers Forge/St. Mary of the Assumption, Govans.