One of Washington Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville’s favorite memories of Cardinal Donald Wuerl involves Pope Francis’s visit to Catholic Charities in September 2015, right after the Holy Father had become the first pontiff to address a joint meeting of Congress.
“The way he (the cardinal) was a facilitator for the pope to have an encounter with the homeless, the refugees and immigrants, the people we serve… He knows the pope loves the poor. By bringing him to Catholic Charities, he wanted him to know the archdiocese has never forgotten the poor, and we connect with his spirit and mission,” said Bishop Dorsonville.
In April 2015, Cardinal Wuerl ordained Bishop Dorsonville as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington. Bishop Dorsonville, a native of Colombia who was ordained to the priesthood in 1985 and became incardinated as a priest of the archdiocese in 1999, served as a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bethesda and at St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Hyattsville.
Bishop Dorsonville – who also served as director of the archdiocese’s Spanish Cantolic Center, as a spiritual director at the Saint John Paul II Seminary and as vice president for mission for Catholic Charities – said the pope’s visit to Catholic Charities offered a powerful witness on the importance of bringing Christ’s love to the poor, “showing a man full of mercy, compassion and solidarity for the poor.”
Interviewed about Cardinal Wuerl’s 50th anniversary as a priest, Bishop Dorsonville says the cardinal lives his priesthood through the service he gives to the Church, and in encouraging his flock to help build up God’s kingdom in today’s world.
“He loves the Church. He loves the work of Jesus,” the bishop said. “He’s so happy to celebrate the Mass and the sacraments” during parish visits and Confirmations, he added.
Bishop Dorsonville said Cardinal Wuerl is a man who gives himself totally to God, and in service to his people. “When he’s praying, he’s fully immersed in the presence of Jesus Christ,” the bishop said.
And when the cardinal is in the community, whether greeting people after parish Masses or personally saying hello to the homeless being served at Catholic Charities’ St. Maria’s Meals dinner program, “He devotes himself entirely to the person he’s interacting with… He’s able to connect with them,” Bishop Dorsonville said.