Meeting a practical need

Pedestrians walking along Washington’s Michigan Avenue early this morning snapped photos of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where Pope Benedict XVI is meeting with the U.S. bishops late this afternoon.  Barriers lined the pope’s motorcade route, and U.S., Vatican and District of Columbia flags hung from lightpoles and fluttered in the breeze.

For weeks, groundskeepers have been planting yellow flowers and combing the lawns in front of the basilica, and about a week ago, seminarians at Theological College, across from the basilica, could look out their window to see the large banner welcoming the pope.

But this morning the seminarians awoke to see something a little more practical right in their front driveway: more than two dozen portable toilets for the thousands of people expected to welcome the pope.

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