WASHINGTON—On Friday August 28 at 4 pm, Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory will celebrate a Mass of Peace and Justice in honor of the 57th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. People are invited to watch the livestreamed Mass from St. Matthew’s Cathedral via this link.
At the 1963 March on Washington, Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle—who began integrating parishes and schools in the Archdiocese of Washington shortly after becoming the archbishop of Washington in 1948—offered the invocation before Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Cardinal O’Boyle retired in 1973 and died in 1987.
Archbishop Gregory was installed as the current archbishop of Washington in 2019, becoming the first African American prelate to lead the Archdiocese of Washington. A leading voice in the U.S. Catholic Church for racial justice, Archbishop Gregory recently spoke on “Race in America: The Faith Perspective,” in an online forum sponsored by the American Jewish Committee.
He also recently spoke in a related panel discussion sponsored by Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life.
After the May 25 death of George Floyd—an African American man who died while under police custody in Minneapolis after an officer knelt on his neck—Archbishop Gregory issued a statement noting that “this incident reveals the virus of racism among us once again even as we continue to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.”
Washington Auxiliary Bishops Mario Dorsonville, Roy E. Campbell, and Michael Fisher will concelebrate the August 28 Mass, which is being organized by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Office of Cultural Diversity and Outreach.
(Right) Then-Washington Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle, at podium, offers the invocation on August 28, 1963 at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. At right is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech that day. (CS file photo)