Installation Anniversary - Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Uploaded by WashArchdiocese on 29.06.2011

“My hope is to walk with you, to work with you, to minister together with you and for
you so that Christ’s light, already shining brightly in this faith community, might continue
to be reflected all the more strongly.” Amid the pageantry of centuries-old rituals,
prayers to God, invocations of the Virgin Mary and of the saints, and of thunderous
applause, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl was installed as the sixth Archbishop of Washington on June
22, 2006 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Just one month
earlier, Archbishop Wuerl had been named by Pope Benedict the Sixteenth to succeed Cardinal
Theodore McCarrick. More than three thousand people filled the Basilica, the largest Catholic
church in the Western Hemisphere, to welcome the new Archbishop, and to witness his acceptance
of the shepherd staff. In attendance were family and friends, clergy and laity from
parishes, religious orders, and Catholic and community organizations within the Archdiocese,
government officials, ambassadors from nearly two dozen countries, and guests representing
other faith communities. They were joined by hundreds of clergy and laity from the diocese
of Pittsburgh, which Archbishop Wuerl had led for 18 years before he was appointed to
Washington. Processing to the alter were over 300 priests, 60 deacons, 13 archbishops, 60
bishops, and nine American cardinals. As archbishop Wuerl processed up the aisle for his installation,
the bells in the tower were pealed. Applause greeted him in waves as he made his way to
the alter. In the grandeur beneath the great domes of
the Basilica, the massive installation began with a greeting from Cardinal McCarrick: “My
dear friends, you all know that this is a very happy day for the church of Washington.
We’re so grateful to God and to our Holy Father Pope Benedict for the wonderful gift
of Archbishop Donald Wuerl to be our shepherd, our father, and our guide. For me personally,
it’s a special moment of joy and gratitude as I ask you to welcome our new Archbishop
with love and enthusiasm as he comes today to begin his ministry among us. We have no
doubt that he will be for us, here in Washington and for the whole church, a tireless witness
of hope for the third millennium. Let us turn to God with open hearts, filled with confidence
and joy, as we pray for our brother Donald, and ask the Lord through his loving intercession
of Mary the Immaculate, to enable this faithful servant of his, by word and example, to carry
out worthily and with joy the office of ministry of bishop which the Holy Father now entrusts
to his care.” “Let the college of consulters come forward
to examine the apostolic mandate.” With these words, the rite of canonical procession
began. Each consulter examined the apostolic mandate appointing Archbishop Wuerl as the
new archbishop of Washington. The inspection was then certified by the Chancellor of the
archdiocese: “Let it be known, that in accord with the provisions of cannon law, the college
of consulters has duly examined the apostolic mandate, by which the Most Reverend Donald
W. Wuerl is appointed archbishop of the metropolitan city of Washington as decreed by his holiness,
Pope Benedict the Sixteenth. Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States,
then read the mandate, which had the character of a personal letter from Pope Benedict to
Archbishop Wuerl. The Pope wrote of the intellectual gifts and pastoral experience that he would
bring to his new post, and hailed Archbishop Wuerl as a venerable brother who has proven
fidelity to Mother Church. He proclaimed, “We judge you venerable brother to be both
suitable and prepared to lead wisely.” “Most Reverend Archbishop, you have heard
the letter of his Holiness, Pope Benedict the Sixteenth. You are called by the Holy
Spirit to serve almighty God and the people of the Archdiocese of Washington in faith
and love as their shepherd. Are you willing to accept this metropolitan seat in the tradition
of the apostolic faith of our Church?” “With faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ, and
with the love of God in my heart, I do accept the pastoral care of the people of God in
the Archdiocese of Washington, and I resolve to serve faithfully the spiritual needs of
this local church. Archbishop Sambi and Cardinal McCarrick then
escorted the newly proclaimed Archbishop to the cathedra, the chair reserved for bishops.
Archbishop Sambi presented the new Archbishop of Washington with a crosier, the symbol of
his pastoral office. The faithful greeted their new archbishop with a rousing and sustained
standing ovation. After he was installed, Archbishop Wuerl was welcomed to Washington
by a delegation of 25 representatives from various archdiocese and ministries and groups,
as well as religious leaders of other faith communities.
“What we begin today is one more chapter, a new one for us, in the life of this Archdiocese.
We, the clergy, the religious, the lay women and lay men of this portion of God’s vineyard,
we now continue our faith journey. Before us is a path illumined by the light of Christ,
with us is the risen Eucharistic Lord strengthening us, and beyond us is a future that only God
can see. But our faith journey together, beginning today, our faith journey as a part of the
glorious history of this great Church, is the blessing we give one another; it’s the
blessing we share with one another. With my few talents and gifts, I pledge you with all
my heart and energy to make this journey of faith with you and for you. May God’s love
transform our efforts and make them worthy of this great Church. Thank you and God bless
you.” In their reflection of the many ethnic traditions
and cultural backgrounds of the archdiocese, the readings for the mass were offered in
both Spanish and English, and the intercessions were prayed in ten of the 22 languages in
which the Sunday liturgy is celebrated in the Archdiocese of Washington.
After the mass, children present the new Archbishop with flowers. Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor
Michael Steele read a proclamation from Governor Robert Erlich that recognized the Archbishop
for his lifelong faith and devotion to the Catholic Church, and proclaimed June the 22nd
a day of tribute to Archbishop Donald Wuerl. “In an age that so desperately needs to
hear the gospel of life and witness the splendor of truth, and live the challenge of faith
and reason, the Church, you and I gathered around the successors to the Apostles, always
one with Peter, must lovingly, persuasively and fearlessly reflect the light of Christ.
Today, today we open a new chapter in a book already so well written in the faith and ministry
of this Archdiocese. As your new shepherd, I pledge you my total pastoral commitment,
and I look forward with you to this journey of faith that we continue to make. The gift
we give one another is our presence together on that journey. May God bless you and may
God bless our time, our journey, our gift of our presence to one another and to the