WASHINGTON – Washington’s Archbishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, has celebrated his first Mass since returning home from Rome for the papal conclave.
Wuerl celebrated Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle on Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week.
He began by blessing palm branches, in memory of Jesus Christ’s journey into Jerusalem, when his followers laid palm branches in his path.
“We retrace the steps of Jesus and the story of his Passion, death and Resurrection so that we might renew our faith in order that we can enter spiritually and sacramentally the mystery of redemption,” said Wuerl.
Wuerl recently returned from Rome after participating in the papal conclave that elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, who is now known as Pope Francis. This was the first time that Wuerl, who became a cardinal in 2010, has participated in the conclave.
“We are invited to do more than just follow the story of the life and death of Jesus,” said Wuerl during the services. “We are called to renew our faith that these actions are the work of God bringing about our salvation, our new life,” he said.
He said Sunday that the pope is responsible for teaching the faith and providing pastoral leadership.
The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics.