Bishop DiLorenzo extends invitation to Chrism Mass
Personal experience inspired Ed Landry to establish the Jobs Assistance Ministry (JAM) at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Glen Allen just over eight years ago.
“In 1991, I unexpectedly lost my job of 20 years as part of corporate downsizing,” he recalled. “Despite getting a severance package that included career placement assistance, I found the search for full-time employment extremely stressful and a test of my faith.”
Catholics who try to live out God’s loving will each day and adhere to Church teachings will often find themselves “rowing against the tide,” said Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo.
He made this comment in a talk on moral issues March 19 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart following the 11 a.m. Mass at which he presided.
With his focus on moral issues and the Catholic response, the bishop mentioned surveys undertaken by the Pew Research Center and Gallup Poll touch on how religion affects public life and policy.
In his message for Lent 2017, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that they should heed the Scriptures and treat each human person they encounter as a gift.
“Lent is the favorable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbor,” he said. “May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need.”
Almsgiving is a Lenten tradition and Washington resident Ron Van Bellen says his volunteer work feeding the homeless honors his Catholic faith as he prepares for Easter.
The real estate agent and parishioner at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown was one of several volunteers dishing up dinner for homeless men and women lined up March 8 for the weekly St. Maria’s meals program sponsored by Catholic Charities each Wednesday evening.
Things are looking up for school vouchers.
Although there is currently more talk than action on school vouchers — scholarships used for private school tuition — the conversation about them has moved from education circles to the highest levels of government as they are discussed by President Donald Trump, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and members of Congress.
Virginia “Ginger” DiLoreto, who for the past 15 years has been Executive Assistant to the Pastor of St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, died March 16 peacefully at her home. She was 74 and died after a two and a half-year struggle with cancer.
Special to The Catholic Virginian
Throughout the month of March, Masses of Thanksgiving and dinners were held at five locations in the diocese to thank adult volunteers who have helped make youth ministry possible in our parishes. On each of the five evenings, Mass was celebrated followed by dinner. After dinner, a presentation was given focusing on the theme “Fully Alive in Ministry,” which was chosen by the Diocesan Office of Evangelization.
Two awards for service were awarded by the Office of Evangelization. The St. John Bosco Award, named after the patron saint of youth, was presented to various individuals from parishes, schools or S
Young men and women can live a true experience of the church by joining together and reconnecting with the past, Pope Francis told Catholic young people.
“The genuine experience of the church is not like a flash mob, where people agree to meet, do their thing and then go their separate ways,” the pope said in his message for World Youth Day 2017.
The issues of religious liberty and abortion were briefly raised during the second day of Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee.
Gorsuch said March 21 that he wouldn’t give his personal views on Roe vs. Wade or any other Supreme Court decision during the hearing and only said the court’s decision in Roe set a precedent that has been reaffirmed by the court. He gave similar answers on questions about guns and campaign finance.
Five Richmond seminarians and a permanent deacon from the Diocese of Richmond were among a group of 16 who recently spent a week helping residents in Appalachia by making improvements to their homes.
They worked at three different job sites during the week of March 6-10 in Jonesville, located in Lee County not far from the Virginia-Kentucky border.
Roanoke Catholic School raised the most money among the 150 nonprofit organizations competing March 16 in “Roanoke Valley Gives Day,” a 24-hour online fundraising contest.
On March 23, 2017 Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington & Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond issued the following statement concerning Governor Terry McAuliffe's veto of the bill defending the right of religious organizations to practice their faith.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, whose cathedral is just a short walk from the scene of the London terrorist attack, called for prayers for the dead and wounded.
"Yesterday's attacks in Westminster have shocked us all," he said in a March 23 statement. "The kind of violence we have seen all too often in other places has again brought horror and killing to this city."
The Most Reverend Francis X. DiLorenzo released the following statement today on the passing of William Cardinal Keeler, 14th Archbishop of Baltimore.
Cardinal William H. Keeler, Baltimore's 14th archbishop, who was an international leader in Catholic-Jewish relations and the driving force behind the restoration of America's first cathedral, died March 23 at his residence at St. Martin's Home for the Aged in Catonsville. He was 86.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
These words from scripture describe the rationale of Shine: Social Ministry Summit 2017 which will be held Friday and Saturday, March 31-April 1, at the Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center northwest of Richmond.
The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has urged Irish people and those of Irish descent celebrating St. Patrick's Day to remember the plight of migrants.
Archbishop Eamon Martin -- St. Patrick's modern-day successor as archbishop of Armagh -- used his message for the March 17 feast to recall that St. Patrick was first brought to Ireland as a slave by traffickers.
Comments made by Catholic legislators in New Mexico in support of abortion and physician-assisted suicide "do not represent" church teaching and "may be confusing to the Catholic faithful," said the state's Catholic bishops.
"It is not appropriate for elected officials to publicly invoke their Catholic faith and to present their personal opinions as official church teaching," the bishops said in a statement. "This misrepresents church teaching and creates a public scandal for the faithful. Furthermore, this action publicly separates a person from communion with the Catholic faith."
Christians who trust in themselves rather than God eventually become unsympathetic to those in need and slide down the slippery path of corruption, Pope Francis said.
People who place their trust in their own vanity, pride and riches lose their sense of direction and "distance themselves from God," the pope said March 16 during his early morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Seventeen Republicans in the House of Representatives are calling on their colleagues to express a commitment to "conservative environmental stewardship."
Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York introduced a resolution in the chamber March 15 with 16 co-sponsors. At least four are Catholic.
A spokesman for the Catholic Climate Covenant expressed support for the measure, saying it could widen the discussion of environmental concerns and climate change in particular.
Dozens of little wax flowers lay on the table in front of her. With a gentle grip, Judy Hamrick picks up each one and covers the back in glue.
"It's very peaceful work," Hamrick said. "I've worked here 24 years and every paschal season I've been out here and we enjoy it out here."
Nearby are countless other wax decorations in the shape of lambs, crosses, numbers and Greek letters. Tubs of wax, rulers, brushes and boxes of pins lay strewn on Hamrick's desk and the desks of her co-workers.
Employers who make business deals that threaten people's livelihood commit a sin that robs men, women and their families of their dignity, Pope Francis said.
"Whoever -- because of economic maneuvering and business dealings that are not all clear -- closes factories and businesses and takes work away from men and women commits a grave sin," the pope said March 15 before concluding his weekly general audience.
Conversion doesn't come from the wave of a magic wand, but from learning to do good through concrete actions every day, Pope Francis said.
While even "the saintliest person sins seven times a day," conversion happens through humility and trying to become "better than the day before," the pope said March 14 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
McDonald's, Apple, Starbucks and … the Catholic Church?
In terms of recognizable organization names, the Catholic Church has to rank near the top. But, does it view itself as a brand to be marketed?
That was among several questions raised by attendees during a March 12 panel titled "Compassionate Disruption" at the annual South by Southwest Festival in Austin. The panel was one of the festival's first steps to address faith's place in secular discussions. Bishop Paul Tighe, adjunct secretary for Pontifical Council for Culture, was on the panel with Catholic communicators Helen Osman, Michael Hertl and Christoph Krachten at the Hyatt Regency.
Cody Hahn, a 7-year-old second grader at a Chesterfield County public school, who is eagerly seeking baptism at Easter, was among the catechumens who was present for the Rite of Election March 5 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
While Cody’s parents are fully supportive of Cody’s baptism at Easter, he received somewhat of a nudge from his aunt, his mother’s sister, and her husband and Cody’s uncle who will be the godparents.
I am pleased to share a report on the activities of the Office of the Propagation of the Faith for 2016.
The Statement of Activity for 2016 shows the financial activity for the year. I share with you some information behind the numbers.
During the weekends of March 11th-12th and March 18th-19th, the Diocese is conducting the in-pew gift phase of the 2017 Annual Diocesan Appeal – Building Our Family of Faith. These weekends allow the opportunity for the pastors and parish Appeal volunteers to ask parishioners for their support during Mass.
Logos Theatricus Productions, Inc. began as a single production put on by Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church in Roanoke. Today it’s an independent 501(c)3 that boasts attendance of 450-500 people per showing (usually three or four during each run) and casts that have exceeded 80 people. Their mission is to entertain, educate and enhance people’s lives while raising money for local charitable organizations.
People sometimes worry that while they have Christian faith, they feel they don’t find significant signs of God’s presence in their daily life.
But it is the contention of Father Ronald Nuzzi that such moments are there but are missed because many don’t recognize God’s grace which is right in front of them.
“We get busy, we take things for granted,” said Father Nuzzi, Senior Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program.
A pilot distance-learning course between Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach and St. Pius X Catholic School in Norfolk is paving the way for new methods of instruction, and that road to innovation is “awesome,” according to the high school’s assistant principal Daniel Miani.
St. Pius X School, which teaches children from pre-K to eighth grade, piloted the program with the high school in January when Mr. Miani taught ten eighth-grade students the statistics unit of their algebra class without ever leaving his school.
Donna Toliver Grimes, assistant director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be the keynote speaker at the first Black Catholic Awards banquet which will be held Saturday, March 25, at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa/Short Pump.
“The purpose of the event is to recognize strong leadership within our Diocese,” said Pam Harris, director of the Diocesan Office for Black Catholics and Asian Ministry.
On Friday, February 17 Fr. John Asare, pastor of St. Mary Church in Blacksburg, celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving to commemorate the 8th anniversary of St. Mary’s Mental Health, Prayer & Support Group (The Group).
Prayer, one of the three pillars of Lenten discipline, along with fasting and almsgiving, seems to get the biggest boost during Lent.
Spiritual leaders note that Catholics are most likely praying already and that Lent is a time to make this act even more intentional — to pray more or in a more focused way.
No matter how Catholics choose to up their prayer during Lent’s 40 days, they have opportunities to do so at their own parishes since many of them are offering Stations of the Cross, eucharistic adoration, added times for confession and maybe even retreats.
Pastors, attorneys, immigrants and immigrants’ advocates gathered at City Hall in Jackson, Miss. March 1 to express their concerns about recent immigration raids.
They also invited the community at large to attend a forum to discuss the contributions immigrants make to Mississippi and seek dialogue with law enforcement representatives.
Immediately after the news conference, one of the immigrants who spoke was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
In late February Father Mauricio Pineda, parochial vicar of All Saints Church in Manassas, Va. heard from a couple he had married a few years ago.
The husband had been detained by immigration authorities. They just had a baby four months ago. They didn't know what to do.
Father Pineda gave the best advice he could: Trust God. Keep praying hard. And he promised to pray for them, too.
Humility is needed in order to recognize the voice of God in others, especially those who are perceived to be weak or subject to prejudice, a Franciscan friar told Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia during their Lenten retreat.
God not only speaks through Jesus, but also speaks to him through Peter, who recognizes Christ as the Messiah “by revelation,” Franciscan Father Giulio Michelini said March 6, according to Vatican Radio.
Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church (OLN) in Roanoke has taken some unusual approaches in how the leadership is handling renovation plans.
The work is slated to begin this summer, but communications strategies have been in place for years to alert all interested parties simultaneously about developments.
Women and men from around the globe gathered for an event inside Vatican City that celebrated and encouraged the need for women's voices to be heard in the church and in the world.
The annual Voices of Faith conference was held March 8, coinciding with the celebration of International Women's Day.