Pilgrimage For Cardinal-designate Wuerl’s Elevation to College of Cardinals

October 26, 2010

A pilgrimage to the Vatican has been organized for parishioners interested in attending the November 20 consistory during which Cardinal-designate Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, will be elevated to the College of Cardinals. Pope Benedict XVI named the archbishop a Cardinal on October 20, 2010. Cardinals serve as advisors to the Pope and are eligible to vote in a Papal election until their 80th birthday.

The pilgrimage is being organized by Bethesda Travel (www.bethesdatravel.com and 301-656-1670) and includes flights, hotels, tickets to the consistory events, daily liturgies, tours of Rome and some meals. Two options are available: November 15-23 and November 18-23. A brochure with details is attached (PDF format).

The consistory will include two ceremonies. On Saturday, November 20, Pope Benedict XVI will create the 24 new cardinals. During a ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica, he will give each a traditional scarlet biretta, a square hat with three ridges. As he places the red hat on each new cardinal’s head, the Holy Father says, “Receive this red hat as a sign of the dignity of the office of a cardinal, signifying that you are ready to act with fortitude, even to the point of spilling your blood for the increase of the Christian faith, for peace and harmony among the people of God, for freedom and the spread of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.”

On November 21, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass with the new cardinals and give each of them a ring.

Cardinal-designate Wuerl has been Archbishop of Washington since 2006. Prior to that, he was Bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years. He is the chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine and has headed numerous other committees, including Education, Evangelization and Catechesis. He recently was named by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the Vatican’s delegate for Anglican parishes in the United States who are seeking unification with the Roman Catholic Church.

In April 2008, he hosted Pope Benedict XVI during the Holy Father’s visit to Washington, DC. In September 2010, he released a pastoral letter, Disciples of the Lord: Sharing the Vision, calling upon Catholics to renew their faith as part of a New Evangelization. In October, he announced the Archdiocese will open a new seminary in fall 2011 to respond to an increase in the number of seminarians in college and pre-theology studies.

He is past chairman of the National Catholic Educational Association and the National Catholic Bioethics Center. He received graduate degrees from The Catholic University of America, Gregorian University in Rome, Italy and the University of St. Thomas in Rome, where he received a doctorate in theology. Ordained to the priesthood in 1966, he was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II in 1986 and will celebrate his 25th anniversary as a bishop in January 2011.

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