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Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington celebrates Eucharist at the Cathedral of the Holy Name

Feb. 27, 2016

Cardinal Wuerl is here in India to address the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) as the Keynote Speaker at the forthcoming plenary meeting to be held in Bangalore. At the invitation of Oswald Cardinal Gracias, he stopped over in Mumbai to spend a few days in the Archdiocese and the parishioners of the Cathedral of the Holy Name were privileged to attend the Eucharist celebrated by him and listen to his homily that renewed in each one the desire for a meaningful Lenten journey – one that, in consonance with the Holy Father’s call for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, allows us to see the face of Christ in others and allows others to meet Christ through us. Crisp and clear, with a tinge of humour, Cardinal Wuerl’s message will resonate in hearts and minds for some time to come. His fluency and facility with words extends to a very up-to-moment blog which he authors and which makes for an absorbing and inspiring read.  The  link to the blog follow at the end of this report.

At the Eucharist, Bishop Agnelo Gracias welcomed Cardinal Wuerl and thanked him for his hospitality to our own Archbishop , Oswald Cardinal Gracias, and for taking care of his extended stay in Washington due to medical reasons. The two Cardinals enjoy a friendship that goes back many years. Cardinal Gracias was unable to concelebrate the Eucharist as he is still recuperating but at the altar, together with Cardinal Wuerl, were Bishop Agnelo Gracias, Fr. Michael Goveas the Rector of the Cathedral,, Fr. Sunder Albuquerque, and Fr. Jervis D’Souza. The Cathedral choir leant harmony to this uplifting and solemn occasion.

The Eucharist was followed by a short entertainment program at the Holy Name High School Hall and was put up by the schoolchildren of Holy Name High School and Fort Convent.  They ‘took’ their eminent guest to Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and the North East through dance, very energetically and enthusiastically performed in colourful costumes and with toe-tapping accompaniment, so that he could ‘ENJOY THE SPIRIT OF INDIA’! The evening was compèred by Fr. Jervis D’souza, who brought his own brand of humour to the show.  

All those who attended were overjoyed to see His Eminence, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, back among us and many took the opportunity to greet him and wish him well.  He spoke a few words telling us how glad he was that Cardinal Wuerl had accepted his invitation to visit – it was actually the second invitation but the earlier visit did not materialize as Cardinal Wuerl had to attend a Consistory in Rome. 

Cardinal Wuerl also addressed the crowd, thanking everyone for the hospitality and for the wonderful experience that he had not only at the evening’s event but even during his short tour of Mumbai city and a visit to the Seminary.  He was struck by the vibrancy and energy of the people and the place and commented that it was surely the grace of God that was at work among us. He had expressed his thanks too, to his host and the congregation, at the Eucharist earlier.

The general vote of thanks which brought the evening to a close was given by Fr. Shavito Correia.

It was pointed out earlier, by Bishop Agnelo, that Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s motto is ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ and it is our fervent prayer – reiterated every day in the Lord’s Prayer (commonly referred to as the ‘Our Father’) – that this becomes true for Washington, for Mumbai and for the World.  Then earth would be heaven indeed!

Donald Cardinal Wuerl is the Archbishop of Washington and was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. He participated in the March 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis. 

He serves on numerous national and international bodies and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Chancellor of The Catholic University of America, Chairman of the Board of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Foundation and also of The Papal Foundation. He serves on a number of Vatican Congregations, Councils and Commissions including those for the Doctrine of the Faith and for Bishops. He has served as Chairman of numerous committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 Cardinal Wuerl is known for his teaching ministry and is involved in many education, health care and social service organizations. He is the author of numerous articles and over a dozen books, including the best-selling catechisms, The Teaching of Christ and The Catholic Way. His recent books include, The Church (2013), The Light Is On For You (2014), Open to the Holy Spirit: Living the Gospel with Wisdom and Power (2014),  The Marriage God Wants for You (2015), To the Martyrs (2015) and Ways to Pray (2015).

Cardinal Wuerl hosted in Washington Pope Benedict XVI in April 2008 and Pope Francis in September 2015 for their first pastoral visits to the United States. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to help direct the October 2012 Synod of Bishops on The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. Cardinal Wuerl was also appointed by Pope Francis as a member of both the 2014 and the 2015 Synods on the Family.

Link to blog:

Link to brief biodata:


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