Perhaps the best way to visualize the Center's mission is as a safe haven for those who are journeying on the road to Emmaus. As people come together here, they will, at some point, begin to share their faith. It is through learning about and facing the challenges of faith and also sharing with others along our journey of faith that we come to discover the very presence of God and understand our universal call to holiness as followers of Christ. It is the hope of the Center that it can provide the atmosphere and the resources needed for those who visit to discover their faith or to just reflect on their journey to Emmaus. And although each visitor's stay may be short, the Center invites us to put our faith into action. It is this vision that makes the Center a place where people can discover the Church's past, participate in its present, and most importantly join in building its Third Millennium.
The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has called us to be not afraid, but to boldly meet the challenges of the future in fidelity with the Gospel. In 1988, during a meeting with the Holy Father, the then Bishop Maida proposed the building of a Catholic Center that would help people address the challenges of faith and help inspire people in their faith. The concept of the Center developed into a cultural center inspired by the sentiment of the Holy Father that it must not focus on him but on the message, of not only of this Pope, but also of his predecessors and successors.
The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center exists to bring the wisdom and faith experience of the Catholic Church, as developed through centuries of ecclesial life and thought guided by the Holy Spirit and as articulated by the Church’s teaching office, especially by the Popes, to the human search for meaning and purpose in life, righteousness, justice and peace in the world of the twenty-first century with its varied religious, ethnic and cultural communities.
Come See for Yourself!
The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center is located at 3900 Harewood Drive in northeast Washington D.C. Their handicapped-accessible facility is open on Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is by donation, and there is a Café area for families to purchase food or enjoy their own.
Direction to the Center are as follows:
From the North – I-95, I-495 and I-295 Take Route 50 West and exit onto South Dakota Avenue, NE. Follow South Dakota and turn left onto Monroe Stree, NE and follow it to Michigan Avenue. Turn right onto Harewood Road, NE just past the entrance to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Cultural Center is on the left about ½ mile down the road.
From the West – Route 66
Route 66 from Virginia empties onto Constitution Avenue. Continue east on Constitution Avenue past 2nd Street N.W., and turn left on Louisiana Avenue. At the fifth light, turn left on North Capitol Street. Drive approximately 2.1 miles and turn right on Michigan Avenue. At third light, turn first left onto Harewood Road. The Cultural Center is on the left about ½ mile down the road.
From the South – I-95 from Richmond
When I-95 intersects the Capital Beltway (Routes 495 and 95), get on Route 395 (Shirley Highway). Follow Route 395 north across the Potomac River until it ends at New York Avenue, where you must turn right. Bear right on M Street. Watch for a sign directing you to North Capitol Street where you will turn left. Drive for approximately 1.4 miles and turn right onto Michigan Avenue. At the third light, turn left onto Harewood Road. The Cultural Center is on the left about ½ mile down the road.
From the East
Take Route 50 West and exit on South Dakota Avenue. Drive approximately 1.3 miles. Turn left on Monroe Street and stay on Monroe until it merges with Michigan Avenue. Turn right at Harewood Road, NE just past the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Cultural Center is on the left about ½ mile down the road.
From Route 270
Follow 270 South to Washington, D.C., to 495 East. Take Exit 25 (Route 1 South). At the exit make a right onto Route 1 South. Approximately 3.5 miles make a right at the light onto 410 East-West Highway. At the first light turn left onto Queens Chapel Road/Michigan Avenue. Drive approximately three miles. Turn right onto Harewood Road just past the entrance to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Cultural Center is on the left about ½ mile down the road.
Reach the Cultural Center on the Red Line. Disembark at the Brookland/CUA station. From the station, exit to Brookland Ave/ Catholic University and go to Michigan Ave to the left. Follow Michigan Avenue approximately ½ mile to Harewood Road, NE just past the entrance to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Turn right onto Harewood Road, and the Cultural Center is approximately ½ mile on the left.
For more information about the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, visit their website at www.JP2CC.org. You can also reach them by: