‘Tis the season for giving: Check out these parish gift shops

By Elizabeth Lowe

Twitter: @ReviewLowe
Skip the crowded shopping malls this holiday season and visit the Baltimore gift shops of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Benedict and St. Jude Shrine, or the western-most gift shop in the archdiocese at St. Peter the Apostle in Oakland for thoughtful Christmas gifts.
Christ-centered gifts are emphasized at the shops, which vary in size and offerings. Seasonal items sold at the shops include Christmas cards, ornaments, angels and Nativity scenes. The shops also offer non-Christmas items, including rosaries, crosses, medals and prayer cards.  
The Sexton’s Lodge, adjacent to the Basilica, is selling Christmas mugs, CDs and books; Advent wreaths and calendars; and Santa figurines and stockings. Non-Christmas items include specialty soaps, lotion and monastery coffee; a Basilica puzzle; children’s books; mugs, wine glasses and polo shirts with the Basilica’s insignia.
The basilica gift shop also offers Deacon Kevin Reid’s special poultry rub. See more
Cathedral and Mulberry Streets; 410-727-3564; Sunday: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
St. Benedict
The Benedictine Gift Shop is expansive. Christmas items – available year-round – are located down side aisles and in the rear of the sanctuary. Items include Advent wreaths and calendars; Santa figurines; and dozens of Nativity scenes, some as much as $500. The shop includes non-Christmas items, which take up considerable real estate in the narthex and down a corridor. Items include Celtic crosses, crucifixes, vestments and chalices.
2612 Wilkens Ave., 410-947-4988; Sunday: before and after Masses; Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
St. Jude Shrine

St. Jude Shrine’s gift shop, located below the church, is large. Seasonal offerings include a pamphlet with Advent prayers and customs, Christmas CDs and coloring books. Hardly restricted to Christmas items, the shop has many rosaries, prayer cards and religious medals.
308 N. Paca St., 410-685-6026; Sunday: 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Wednesday: 8 a.m.-8:15 p.m.

St. Peter the Apostle

Christmas offerings at the gift shop at St. Peter the Apostle include Advent candles, Christmas ornaments, angels and statues with Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Items also include statues, rosaries, prayer books and religious medals.  

208 S. Fourth St., Oakland, and St. Peter at the Lake Center, 1140 Mosser Road, McHenry; 301-334-2202; Before and after weekend Masses

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