- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, thanked Pope Francis at Wednesday afternoon’s Mass, saying Francis’s visit is “a blessing to all of us.”

The archbishop, speaking near the end of a Mass to declare Junipero Serra a saint, promised the Church will gather in worship and “seek to reflect your call to be missionary disciples.”

He noted that the vast audience that gathered to welcome Francis — with people from many races and nationalities — is “reflective of America.” When Francis responded with a big smile, the audience cheered.

Cardinal Wuerl noted that the first Catholics arrived in what is now the U.S. in 1634. Today, he noted, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, one of the 10 largest churches in the world, stands next to the Catholic University of America.

The archbishop concluded by promising that Catholics would strive to grow in joy, to share the great law of love of God and love of neighbor, and care for “our common home,” the Earth.

Francis gifted a chalice to Cardinal Wuerl, who displayed it happily to the crowd.

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