His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl celebrates Mass Sunday, Jan. 15 at St. Joseph’s Church in Morganza

Morganza, MD – His eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl blessed the parishioners of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Morganza on Sunday, Jan. 15 while celebrating Mass and the sacraments at 10 a.m. Mass Cardinal Wuerl is the Archbishop of Washington and he was visiting St. Mary’s County to officially install Father Andrew F. Royals, affectionately known as Father Drew, as pastor of St. Joseph’s.

The Catholic Standard Online News Magazine released Cardinal Wuerl priest appointments on June 13, 2016, for the parishes under the Archdiocese of Washington.

Father Drew replaced Father Keith A. Woods. Father Woods was reassigned to St. Peter located in Waldorf. Father Drew began his assignment at St. Joseph’s on June 6, 2016.

Prior to this appointment, Father Drew was pastor of St. Benedict the Moor and St. Vincent de Paul Parishes in Washington, D.C.,  and prior to that appointment, he was the parochial vicar at St. Elizabeth Parish in Rockville.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church has served generations of faithful Catholic families since 1860. Mass is held at 8 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Weekend Mass is held on Saturday evening at 5 p.m.; Sunday morning at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and then 6 p.m.

With anticipation, worshipers anxiously waited with praying hands in the aisle line as the Cardinal and Father Drew humbly served the Holy Eucharist jointly, side by side.

During Mass, Cardinal Wuerl shared words of encouragement for the individuals seated in the pews, as well as Father Drew. To the new pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, he said, “Always be a loving shepherd to your people.”

Cardinal Wuerl prayed, “God bless your pastor, and by the help of your mercy may he be helped.”

Father Drew was overwhelmed with appreciation by the service.  He said, “I am so grateful that our ‘spiritual father’ is here today and gave us his blessing. This is so special, especial since his eminence is celebrating 50 years being a priest this month.”

Cardinal Wuerl is the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington and was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. He participated in the March 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis. He is well known for his teaching ministry, being involved in education, health care, and social service organizations.

After Mass, guests were invited to meet the Cardinal and shake hands with him in front of the church. In addition, Father Drew encouraged those in attendance to stop by the fellowship hall to have coffee and donuts to fellowship as the ‘body of Christ.”

Contact Shertina Mack at s.mack@TheBayNet.com.