While Masses and other liturgical gatherings have been temporarily suspended throughout the Archdiocese of Washington in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Archbishop Wilton Gregory has issued a video message of hope and solidarity to the people of the archdiocese.

Speaking to his “brothers and sisters in Christ,” Archbishop Gregory said, “We are still united in Christ even though we are not able to be together for Eucharist.”

In the message - released March 19 and found online at https://youtu.be/54tHRTYvumY – the archbishop reminded the faithful that God “is present in all of our lives, and He listens intently to all His children when we speak to Him through His Christ.”

The message was filmed in the archbishop's private chapel. He noted that it is “where I begin each day, and you are my first intention.” He said that “I ask the Lord and Our Blessed Mother to watch over each and every one of you throughout the day.”

He added that “when I offer Mass here (in the chapel) you are the first intention I present to the Lord in the Eucharist. I do that because you are first in my heart.”

He also encouraged the faithful to “find a quiet place in your own home ... a quiet space where you can speak to the Lord and present your needs, your hopes, your dreams, your fears.”

“Please know of my prayers, my love and my support for each and every one of you,” Archbishop Gregory assured the faithful.

The video message was the second released this week by Archbishop Gregory.

In a video released March 16, and found online at https://youtu.be/aoUBiJVwIgo, the archbishop told his flock that while “fear, anxiety and worry has gripped our hearts through these turbulent times,” the faithful must band together.

“Let us remember that as members of the same human family, we are a people of hope and strength,” Archbishop Gregory said. “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love. Let us continue to hold each other in love, strength and hope.”