Follow usTwitterFacebook


23 Nov 2015 Middle East - Africa News No comments

Pope Francis strongly condemns Mali attack as his African visit draws near

On Friday 20th November, 2015 Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako of Mali was attacked by a group of Islamic gunmen. The Gunmen came into the Hotel building, said noth…

Read more

19 Sep 2015 News USA Comments (1)

Catholic congressman to boycott Pope’s address over climate change

Arizona Republican says he cannot attend if Holy Father focuses on 'flawed' climate science An American Catholic congressman has announced he is boycotting P…

Read more

06 Jan 2016 Asia-Pacific News USA Vatican Comments (2)

Indian Christians brutalized to death in 2008 to be canonized Saints

Though it has been almost a decade since nearly 100 Christians were murdered in the Indian state of Odisha for refusing to convert to Hinduism, it’s been offici…

Read more

18 Jul 2015 Articles Comments (3)

The Mission of Mercy of St. John Paul

On a February night in 1931, a simple nun in Poland received a mystical vision of Jesus in a white robe with red-and-white rays radiating from his heart. Sister…

Read more

02 Mar 2016 Middle East - Africa News No comments

West Africa Catholic Bishops appeal to Catholics to always defend the truth about marriage and family life

At a conference held in Accra, over 150 West African Bishops of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa called on Catholics to defend the truth about m…

Read more

29 Oct 2014 Vatican Comments (3)

The Church's mystery: it's both visible and spiritual, Pope says

Vatican City, Oct 29, 2014 / 09:12 am .- In his weekly general audience Pope Francis spoke of the visible actions carried out by the Church, explaining that the…

Read more

03 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

How does the Church define love?

Full Question Please explain to me the Church's definition of love. I have always looked upon love as sacrifice, mercy, and joy all rolled into one. …

Read more

06 Nov 2015 Middle East - Africa News No comments

Senior Bishops of Kenya says Pope Francis' visit will bring healing and reconciliation to the nation.

Pope Francis’ imminent visit to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi will bring healing and reconciliation to the nation that has suffered a lot of misfortunes in the …

Read more

31 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (4)

What will our resurrected bodies be like?

Full Question I am having a hard time understanding the resurrected body. How old will we appear? If someone dies when he is ninety-five, will he forever l…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Archbishop of Washington celebrates annual white mass honoring individuals with disabilites

Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, celebrated the Archdiocese’s annual White Mass on Sunday Nov.8, honoring individuals with disabilities and mental health challenges at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, Where he urged the congregation to embrace, serve and welcome the diversity of the Church.

Father William Byrne, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Mercy in Potomac delivered the homily. The sermons urged all in attendance to embrace one another, be in service to one another, show hospitality to one another and welcome one another. He especially encouraged those involved in special needs ministry to both accept and receive love. “For those involved in this special ministry, every day we meet women and men who are like the Gospel’s widow.  In the mystical hug that is discipleship, mom’s and dad’s, brothers and sister, friends and neighbors, caregivers all, are the modern day vision of this Gospel.  They sacrifice but they also receive.”

In this giving and receiving, the mystical body is able to see the love of Christ. Real love is Jesus’ love and Jesus’ love goes out of its way for the other, Fr. Byrne reminded the congregation.  “The mandate to show forth the love of Christ is why I know that Cardinal Wuerl founded the White Mass,” said Fr. Byrne. “The White Mass is not just a nice thing to do. It is something we have to do.”

“Last week, I just met a wonderful man named Jason,” Fr. Byrne said in his homily, explaining that he came across the man at the Tricia Sullivan Respite Care Program run by the Potomac Community Resources.

“During the Rhythmic Music Program, Jason reached over and grabbed me around the neck, pulled our heads together and gave me a long hug,” he continued.

“The hugs of Jason and me, the embrace of the apostles, the warm squeeze of the cousins Elizabeth and Mary while John leaps for joy in his mother’s womb – these hugs are a great image for what we are called to be as a Church.”

“We are the universal Church, whose job it is to welcome, embrace and accompany everyone in his and her encounter with Jesus,” Fr. Byrne stated, saying “we are called to be the hug of Christ to the world.”

“The White Mass celebrates not just all are welcome to the altar, but most important, all are needed at the altar of God!” the priest stressed.

“The White Mass boldly proclaims that all are needed at the altar of God and commends and commissions us to be the agents of that message,” Fr. Byrne continued.

Fr. Byrne laid emphasis on Sunday’s Gospel of Mark 12:38-44, talking about the “The widow who had given ‘all she had to live on “…he praises the poor widow’s offering, and makes it clear that the standard measurement for assessing gifts is not how much we give to the work of God or how much we put in the offering plate, but how much we have left for ourselves.”

Her witness of giving everything she had, he stated, should be every Christian’s aspiration.

“The lady is not just giving up her second latte and dropping the change in the basket. She is literally hungry, hungry to serve God. She is hungry to help others.”

“Remember that in the end, what the woman in the Gospel was given was truly more than she herself gave. But, her giving also hurt,” he said, emphasizing that true love is sacrificial

Every year for the past six years, the White Mass in the Archdiocese of Washington has been held to honor individuals with special needs and their caregivers. Those in attendance are usually invited to wear white as a symbolic renewal of their baptismal vows.

Catholics are called upon to embrace the disables as equals, mingle with them, to see the person and their gifts, interests and unique personality, neglect their disabilities and focus on their abilities as well as recognize that each person is an important member of the Body of Christ. In 1995, the Catholic Bishops issued the Sacramental Guidelines for Persons with Disabilities which states: “By reason of their baptism, all Catholics are equal in dignity in the sight of God and have the same divine calling.”

The Archdiocese of Washington’s Department of Special Needs Ministries hosts this annual liturgy. The archdiocese has a proud legacy of serving Catholics and community members with special needs.



Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories