Cardinal Gregory greets parishioners of titular church in Italian, parishioners answer with prayers for cardinal – Catholic Standard

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When he took possession on September 27, 2021 of its titular church in Rome – Santa Maria Immacolata a Grottarossa (Immaculate Parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Grottarossa) – Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory greeted the parishioners of the church in Italian .

The following is an English translation of what Cardinal Gregory said:

“My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

“I greet you with joy in my heart on this first official visit to the titular church and parish of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I am deeply grateful to Pope Francis for appointing me Cardinal Priest of this beloved community. I am especially grateful because the Immaculate Conception is also the patroness of the Church in the United States of America.

“Whenever I remember the title of Our Lady, I will be united with you, your families and your clergy in prayer. I also hope you will remember me and the Archdiocese of Washington in your prayers as we are now united in devotion and affection through the intercession of her whose Church the Son established as one. family of faith, hope and love.

“Mary Immaculate, pray for us. “

Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory of Washington leads a prayer service as he takes possession of his titular church of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in the district of Grottarossa in northern Rome, September 27, 2021 (CNS Photo / Paul Haring)

According to an old tradition, a titular church is attributed to each ecclesiastic when he is elevated to the college of cardinals. The church is located within the boundaries of the Diocese of Rome and symbolizes this cardinal’s relationship with the Pope, who is Bishop of Rome.

Father Valerio Bortolotti, parish priest of Santa Maria Immacolata a Grottarossa, welcomed Cardinal Gregory to the church, noting that the parish was created in the 1920s for the workers of a local brickyard and that the Pope (now a saint) John Paul II went there in 1986 and crowned a statue of Mary.

“Here today, a cross and a mother are the treasure you take possession of,” Father Bortolotti told Cardinal Gregory. “Today you are here to listen to Mary’s words: ‘whatever He tells you, do it’, and to receive encouragement from this Mother. You are here to dream how to evangelize your faithful by showing them the sign of the Saving Cross.

Father Bortolotti said that as Cardinal Gregory took possession of his titular church, the Cardinal “would see how, in humility, God does great things. My parishioners and I are witnesses to it, conquered and fascinated by Jesus by Mary here in this humble remote church, an oasis of peace for those who discover it.

Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory of Washington kisses a crucifix as he arrives to take possession of his titular church of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in the district of Grottarossa in northern Rome, September 27, 2021 (CNS Photo / Paul Haring)

Calling Cardinal Gregory “our very dear Eminence”, Father Bortolotti declared that the parishioners of the church “want to pray for you and ask that the Immaculate Conception guide you on your way and that, with the sign of the Cross, you were leading those whom the Lord had entrusted to you to faith.

The priest then recited the prayer offered by Saint John Paul II during his visit to the parish in 1986 and which has been recited after every mass there since that visit:

We turn to you, Blessed Immaculate Virgin. In you begins the mystery of redemption which frees us from death, for the inheritance of sin has not come to you.

“You are full of grace, and in you the kingdom of God opens for us, the new future of man, who can, in faith, contemplate in you the work of his renewal and the foundation of his hope. immortality.

“You bring us, in your purity, the Son of God, the ‘light that came into the world.’ and you lead us all on the paths of holiness so that we can meet Christ, now and forever.

“We call on you, guide us on our way, Blessed Virgin, so that by working on the truth we come to the light of your Son, we seek the grace of his word, we walk faithfully on the path that leads to mountain of God, to the sweet port where our loved ones have come and where, with Jesus, you await us.

After taking possession of the church, Cardinal Gregory said: “I hope the people of the (Roman Catholic) Archdiocese (of Washington) will know that this parish is part of my pastoral responsibility and that they too will pray. for the parish.

“Once COVID is over and people can travel, I hope the people of the Archdiocese of Washington can take a cab here and say, ‘This is where the titular church of the archbishop, “” Cardinal Gregory said.

Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory of Washington leads a prayer service as he takes possession of his titular church of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in the district of Grottarossa in northern Rome, September 27, 2021 (CNS Photo / Paul Haring)

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on December 8 and commemorates the fact that from the moment she was conceived in the womb of her mother Saint Anne, the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from original sin. Although the feast dates back to the 7th century, the Catholic Church did not declare the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary as an infallible doctrine until 1854.

Our Lady under this title is the patroness of the United States, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, is dedicated to her. In the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, the parishes of Mechanicsville, Maryland and Washington, DC, are named in his honor.


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