Open Wide Our Hearts:
The Enduring Call to Love

Confronting the sin of racism: a diocesan response
through understanding, conversion, and action

Where:  Nativity Catholic Church, 6400 Nativity Lane, Burke, VA 22015

When: Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 5 p.m.

What:  Join the Diocese of Arlington Peace & Justice Committee's conference, “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love” with Keynote Speaker, His Eminence Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington. The conference will take place in person and virtually, as limited seats are available in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. Link to livestream event coming soon.

The event is free to attend, beginning with Mass as 5 p.m. Cardinal Gregory will be the main celebrant and homilist, and Bishop Michael Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, will con-celebrate alongside priests from the Diocese of Arlington. Mass will also be livestreamed.

Following Mass, light pre-packaged food will be offered to in-person attendees. During this time there will be a brief intermission for those streaming the event online.

Keynote will begin at 7 p.m. Following the keynote, Cardinal Gregory, Bishop Burbidge and diocesan parishioners will participate in will be a panel discussion and Q&A.

If you have any questions, please contact us at Peace@arlingtondiocese.org

This year's Conference asks us to confront the sin of racism in ourselves and in our society, and examines the response of our United States Bishops in their pastoral letter, Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love.    


  • 5 p.m. Mass
    • Celebrant and Homilist: Cardinal Gregory; Concelebrant: Bishop Burbidge
  • 6:15 p.m. Dinner
  • 7 p.m. Keynote by Cardinal Gregory
  • 7:45 p.m. Panel and Q&A with Cardinal Gregory and Bishop Burbidge, and the diocesan parishioners responding


Mass with Bishop Burbidge & Cardinal Gregory

Bishop Homily

Keynote Address

CDA Live Stream Mass

Biography Section



HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL WILTON D. GREGORY was born December 7, 1947, in Chicago, to Wilton Sr. and Ethel Duncan Gregory. He was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Chicago in 1983, installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Belleville in 1994, and appointed as the sixth bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 2005. In 2019, Pope Francis appointed him as the seventh Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington. In November 2001, he was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Archbishop Gregory has written extensively on church issues, including pastoral statements on the death penalty, euthanasia/physician-assisted suicide and has published numerous articles on the subject of liturgy, particularly in the African-American community.



BISHOP MICHAEL F. BURBIDGE was born June 16, 1957 in Philadelphia, Pa., the second son of Francis and Shirley Burbidge and brother of Francis Burbidge, Jr. In 2002, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia. As auxiliary bishop, he oversaw the Office of the Vicar for Clergy and the Office of Communications. On June 8, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Burbidge the fifth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh; Bishop Burbidge was installed in Raleigh on August 4, 2006. On October 4, 2016, he was announced by Pope Francis as the fourth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington; he was installed on December 6, 2016 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.

Panel Discussion


Emelda August, parishioner of Holy Family Catholic Church in Dale City and works with the parish's Black History & Heritage Outreach Ministry to promote Black Catholic saints and saints-to-be. Emelda was one of the selected speakers at the Diocese of Arlington's Listening Session on Racism in May 2019. She is active in the Diocese of Arlington's Black Catholic Ministry and is a recipient of the Father Augustus Tolton & Mother Lange Catholic Award.

Alexandra Luevano, Program Director, Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic at Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington. Alexandra is a member of the Diocese of Arlington's Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and was one of the organizers for the Diocesan Listening Session on Racism in May 2019.

Jose Aguto, Associate Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant in DC, and has worked for the National Congress of American Indians as the Senior Policy Advisor for tribal climate, energy and environmental issues, as Senior Policy Advisor with USEPA's American Indian Environmental Office, and Policy and Development Associate for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

More about the Peace and Justice Commission

The diocesan Peace and Justice Commission consists of members appointed by the Bishop.  It evangelizes, educates and encourages the faithful, collaborating with Bishop Burbidge to foster resolute dedication to the sanctity of life and the dignity of every human person, in accordance with the principles of Catholic social teaching.