Liturgical Celebrations

Hilton Riverside New Orleans, Main Stage, Grand Salon

Tuesday, April 19

Opening Eucharistic Liturgy

The Most Reverend Gregory Michael Aymond
Archbishop of New Orleans

The 14th Archbishop of New Orleans, Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, is the first New Orleans native to serve as archbishop in the 216-year history of the archdiocese. Archbishop Aymond was ordained auxiliary bishop of New Orleans in 1997, named Bishop of Austin in 2000, and appointed Archbishop of New Orleans in 2009. He has served as chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People and the Committee on Divine Worship. He was also Chair of the Board of the National Catholic Educational Association from 2000-2004. In the 1980s he founded and lead a regular medical mission program to Nicaragua. He continues to serve on several U.S. bishops’ committees and currently chairs the board of the National Catholic Bioethics Center.


Wednesday, April 20

Eucharistic Liturgy

Father Sylvester Kwiatkowski
Diocese of Sacramento

Father Sylvester Kwiatkowski came to Elk Grove’s St. Maria Goretti Parish in 2019. He is the pastor and has a passion for art and is a collage artist. Father Kwiatkowski is a native of Poland, a refugee from Communist Poland, who earned his master’s degree in spirituality from Warsaw University. He is also a graduate of the St. Peter Favre Program in Spiritual Direction, which focuses on Ignatian Spirituality, including the 19th Annotation Retreat and the 30-day Retreat of Silence. Father Kwiatkowski has worked in California for more than 20 years and has served as a chaplain for Polish immigrants, most of whom were involved with Poland’s Solidarity movement with Lech Walesa, a former president of Poland and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who was known for his dissidence and union organizing.


Thursday, April 21

Closing Gospel Mass

The Most Reverend Fernand Joseph Cheri, III
Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of New Orleans

Bishop Fernand Cheri is the Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans. A Franciscan Friar of the St. Louis Province for 25 years, he has been ordained for 39 years. He is the Episcopal Moderator for the Catholic Campus Ministry Association; the Episcopal Liaison for the Black & Indian Mission Office African American Newsletter; and the convener of the African American Bishops. He is an archivist of Black religious music with over 6,000 recordings of gospel music, including: Songs of the Soul and the Soil: The History of Black Religious Music. He compiled two 9-volume Gospel Music Discographies; wrote “Black Catholic Liturgy” in the book TELL IT LIKE IT IS; “Mass of Thanksgiving” in FREEING THE SPIRIT magazine; and is the contributing author to SWEET, SWEET SPIRIT: Prayer Services from the Black Catholic Church.