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Cardinal Wilton Gregory and Bishop Michael Burbidge to Address Racism

March 20, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Open Wide Our Hearts” Conference

On Saturday, March 20, 2021, Cardinal Gregory will serve as the keynote speaker and join Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington at “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love.” The conference, named after the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 2018 pastoral letter responding to racism, is hosted by the Diocese of Arlington’s Peace and Justice Commission and will be held at the Church of the Nativity in Burke, Va. Presenters will take an honest look at racism in our communities and discuss how Catholics should respond. Immediately prior to the conference, Cardinal Gregory will celebrate Mass in the church.

“Sadly, more than 50 years after the civil rights movement began in this country, the evil of racism continues to exist in our nation,” said Bishop Burbidge. “While great progress has been made to ensure that the rights of individuals are protected and injustices exposed, the wounds of racism persist and cry out for healing, unity and peace. As followers of Christ, we are called to respond and to confront all forms of prejudice and bigotry. We have a sacred duty to do our part in replacing all forms of hatred with love, so that we can live in harmony as brothers and sisters united in Christ. I thank Cardinal Gregory for his ongoing leadership on this issue as we collaborate in addressing this evil.”

Panelists include: Emelda August, parishioner of Holy Family Catholic Church in Dale City who works with the parish’s Black History & Heritage Outreach Ministry to promote Black Catholic saints; Alexandra Luevano, Clinic Director, Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic at Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington and member of the Diocese of Arlington’s Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism; and Jose Aguto, Associate Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant in Washington, D.C., who has worked for the National Congress of American Indians and as a Policy and Development Associate for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

To Watch Live: The Mass, keynote and panel discussion will be livestreamed on the Diocese of Arlington’s YouTube channel

Registration is not needed for the livestream.
Last August, at a Mass marking the anniversary of the March on Washington, Cardinal Gregory announced the initiative “Made in God’s Image: Pray and Work to End the Sin of Racism (CCC 1935)” to fight racial injustice. The initiative includes a range of pastoral activities and outreach including prayer, listening sessions, faith formation opportunities and social justice work.


March 20, 2021
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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