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Archbishop Gregory opens cathedral doors for first Sunday Mass as Archdiocese of Washington’s newest leader.

"We are beginning something new – a new friendship and relationship that we pray will be fruitful and filled with joy," said Gregory.
Credit: DC Archdiocese

WASHINGTON -- Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory welcomed parishioners to his first Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle near Dupont Circle.

D.C’s newest Archbishop officially took possession of the cathedral during Sunday’s Mass where he was welcomed by Monsignor Ronald James in a celebration of the beginning of the new ministry.

RELATED: Washington Catholics' new black archbishop becomes official today

First greeted at the front doors of the cathedral, Gregory blessed the Mass with sprinkled holy water and proceeded down the aisle.

Gregory expressed his joy for beginning his new service in his homily, saying, “There is excitement in this moment for me, and I pray a spirit of hope for all of you, but there is also a realistic sense as well.”

“We are beginning something new – a new friendship and relationship that we pray will be fruitful and filled with joy. Together we will face our future and we pray that it will indeed be a future blessed by God,” Gregory said.

Gregory then asked the parishioners for their faith and prayers.

“I pray that you will let me in so that together we can strengthen one another, encourage one another, and together wait in hope for the return of the One we seek most of all.”

Following the Mass, Gregory introduced himself, shaking hands and talking with the Catholic parishioners that he will serve in his new position.

Archbishop Gregory was formally installed on Tuesday and he is celebrated as the first African-American leader of D.C.’s Catholic community.