Established as “a communion of life, charity and truth,” the Catholic community “is sent forth into the whole world as the light of the world and the salt of the earth.”

~ Blessed Paul VI, Lumen Gentium, 9

Every day people’s lives are touched in ways large and small by the Catholic presence in the District of Columbia and Maryland counties of the Archdiocese of Washington.

Young people are formed to be good citizens, patients receive life-saving treatment, families are strengthened, seniors are cared for, disadvantaged men and women are fed and provided a place to sleep, people in distress are given respite and hope, and others find the meaning in life they have been searching for – all due to the efforts of the Catholic community.

The agencies and programs of the Archdiocese of Washington and other Catholic entities serve everyone regardless of faith, race, gender, sexuality, ethnic background or social condition. They especially do the work that many others do not – or will not – for the poor, the marginalized and the suffering.

In these institutional efforts and in the way individuals serve others in their work and social endeavors, the Catholic people, from the beginning, have sought to share the story of Jesus. That way of life has now become woven into the fabric of the civil society we know today, even if that Catholic impact is recognized mostly by the people it touches directly.  

The Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Washington

  • Led by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
  • Includes the District of Columbia and the five surrounding Maryland counties of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles, and Saint Mary’s
  • More than 655,000 Catholics
  • Home to people from every corner of the world, including 270,000 Catholics of Hispanic ancestry and 100,000 Catholics of African and Caribbean descent.
  • Mass is celebrated in more than 20 languages weekly, including English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, Portuguese, French, Haitian Creole, Polish, American Sign Language and Latin
  • 139 parishes and missions
  • 93 Catholic schools serving 26,000 students
  • Three Catholic universities – The Catholic University of America, Georgetown University and Trinity Washington University
  • Awards $6 million in annual tuition assistance to Catholic school students
  • More than 142,000 men, women and children served by Catholic Charities each year
  • Providence Hospital, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington and Holy Cross Hospitals in Silver Spring and Germantown, provide millions of dollars of charitable care each year