Archbishop reaches out to immigrant parishioners

January 5, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On January 5, 2001, The Washington Post reported on the "newly installed Roman Catholic Archbishop Theodore E. the new spiritual leader of a half-million Washington area Catholics. An estimated 4,000 parishioners and dignitaries attended" the Mass of Installation to welcome him to the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. "From the altar, McCarrick looked down on one of the nation's most diverse group of Catholics...Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Pope John Paul II's representative to the United States, read the pope's letter announcing McCarrick's appointment...During a 25-minute homily, [McCarrick's] first public sermon as archbishop, he broadened the welcome to his 'new family' by offering greetings in nine languages: Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, Polish, Portuguese and Italian...His longest and warmest comments were for the area's Latino Catholics: 'I know the great gifts you bring to this local church and the crosses you sometimes must carry as a newly arrived presence here seeking your rightful place in society,' he said in Spanish." Parishioner George Silva said, "this is a new future for the Hispanic community." McCarrick succeeds Cardinal James A. Hickey. "During his 20-year tenure, Hickey invigorated the church by improving educational facilities and doing more to help the sick and infirm through Catholic social services agencies. At the same time, he reached out to Latinos and African Americans. Under Hickey, the Archdiocese of Washington -- the District and five Maryland counties -- grew by more than 100,000 members. Members of the archdiocese want to see more of the same from McCarrick."