MOUNT WASHINGTON (KDKA) – Three weeks ago, Bishop Donald Wuerl was elevated to cardinal at The Vatican in Rome.
On Sunday, Cardinal Wuerl returned to the church where he grew up, in Mount Washington, for a welcome home celebration.
Members of St. Mary on the Mount said Wuerl never forgot his roots.
He grew up in the church, but came back when he was a priest. He later returned as a bishop. Now, he’s back as a cardinal.
“I don’t think you ever want to forget your roots. All of us depend so much on what we learn from our parents, our neighbors, our teachers, our pastors. I am never going to forget that so much of that is rooted right here in Mount Washington in Pittsburgh,” Cardinal Wuerl said.
However, his life and his duties are taking him farther from Pittsburgh.
He will still serve as archbishop in Washington, D.C., but Cardinal Wuerl must now answer to the Pope in Rome.
“One of the things that the Pope asks you to do is help him get a better grasp of the whole church universal. So, he asks that from the cardinals,” Cardinal Wuerl said.
“It’s just an amazing blessing. It’s very emotional for everyone. He is one of our hometown boys from Pittsburgh and he always remembers us,” Donna Gunia said.
Students attending his former elementary school, showered him with gifts. He posed for pictures with former schoolmates from the class of 1958 at St. Mary on the Mount High School.
“It was a wonderful Mass. It was wonderful seeing all the people and it was wonderful hearing about his life here,” Angie Reinheimer said.
Later in the day, Cardinal Wuerl presided over another Mass at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland where he offered words of thanks to the people of Pittsburgh.
“And I can say to you thank you. Thank you for your support, thank you for your support over so many years, for your care, for your love,” Cardinal Wuerl said.
When asked how often he will return to Pittsburgh, Cardinal Wuerl said he’ll leave that in God’s hands.