PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The National Catholic Educational Association Convention and Expo is expected to draw thousands of Catholic educators from across the county to Pittsburgh.

It also brought a very special guest back to his hometown.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, now Archbishop of Washington, stood beside Bishop David Zubik in front of thousands during opening liturgy at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Cardinal Wuerl has returned to Pittsburgh to be part of the NCEA convention.

“I’m so pleased it’s in Pittsburgh this year, the convention,” said Cardinal Wuerl. “Pittsburgh gets a chance to show what a beautiful city it is.”

This is the first time the NCEA has held their convention and expo in Pittsburgh. Six thousand people are expected over the next couple days.

“I’m excited to be here and to learn everything I can to enhance the curriculum in my classroom,” said Angela Younce, a teacher from Steubenville.

“It’s also an opportunity to bring together those people who are on the front line of catholic education – teachers, administrators, everybody involved,” Cardinal Wuerl said.

As educators convened, Bishop Zubik and Cardinal Wuerl spoke about jumping over financial hurdles within the Catholic school system, finding new ways to keep schools open and increase enrollment.

In Pittsburgh, while several schools have closed or consolidated over the years, a new catholic high school will be opening this fall in Cranberry.

Bishop Zubik says it must be a joint effort across the Diocese.

“Do it with much greater support, with parishes working together in a model that I think promises great success and the continued presence of schools within our Diocese,” he said.

“Cardinal Wuerl was only in town Tuesday, but the convention runs until Thursday.

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