Catechetical Day Sees Record Number of Attendees

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Cardinal Wuerl Celebrates Mass for More than 800 Teachers, Catechists, Youth Ministers and Religious Leaders                                         

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington celebrated Mass for the Archdiocese of Washington’s Bilingual Catechetical Day, a one-day event held for teachers of the Catholic faith to pray and reflect about teaching the faith and renew their commitment to serve.

Cardinal Wuerl asked those in attendance to reflect on “grace-filled moments” the archdiocese has shared together, including Pope Francis’ recent visit to Washington.

“The joy of the Gospel is something to be experienced, something to be known and lived only through giving it away, through giving ourselves away,” Pope Francis said in his homily for the Canonization of Junípero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Using Pope Francis’ words, the cardinal encouraged the attendees to “find ways in our teaching, in our witnessing the faith and in our expression of it to be able to get closer and closer to those with whom we wish to share this beautiful gift.”

The cardinal shared moments of interaction with Pope Francis from his visit, remembering especially the Holy Father’s requests to “lower the windows” and have the famous Fiat that transported him in Washington move closer to the crowds. “If we are going to reach people, invite people, they need to see in us a living witness to the faith – we need to lower the window, remove the barriers and share in a joyful spirit what you and I so treasure – our faith in Jesus Christ,” said Cardinal Wuerl.

“Sharing” means to tell others the story of Jesus, the cardinal encouraged. In doing so, the proclamation of that truth inspires others to love and follow Him. “This is the primary role of the catechist — to tell the story of Jesus with such conviction and with such witness power that others want to follow him,” the cardinal said. “Faith begins with this witness.”

The Mass and Catechetical Day were held at Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Md. Keynote speaker Msgr. John Enzler, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, started the day presenting “The Church’s Best Kept Secret: The Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching.” 70 workshops focused on the dignity of the human person were available for attendees, including one led by Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington on the Spirituality of Administration.

Just weeks after the Holy Father’s visit to Washington, the Secretariat for Education saw a spike in the number of registrations resulting in nearly 850 attendees, a record high for Catechetical Day. For more information regarding the Archdiocese of Washington’s Bilingual Catechetical Day, visit their website at


The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 95 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

Chieko Noguchi
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