Yes, Americans, this is our feast day. The Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the United States. But, there is a problem and we should recognize it and address it. Today may be a holy day of obligation, but it is not, as in Rome, a public holiday.
As John Allen points out in his column, many RCs do not even know that the Immaculate Conception applies not to the birth of Jesus without stain of original sin but to the birth of Mary without that stain! But, more importantly than any of these, there is the fact that today's feast day is entirely overshadowed by the festivities coming for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
So, a modest proposal. Rescind the decree that named the Immaculate Conception the patroness of the United States and place our nation, along with all the rest of the hemisphere, under the protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe and, at the same time, work to make the Immaculate Conception undertsood as the patroness of the universal Church.