What We’ve Heard

What We’ve Heard

What have you heard? The CV welcomes hearing about awards, honors, achievements, accomplishments and good works related to the Catholic community. Put “What we’ve heard” in the subject line and email your item to acarneal@catholicvirginian.org. Include your name and phone number in case we need to follow up. Information cannot be taken over the phone.


December 3, 2018

 Honored I: Sister Bernadette Kenny, a Medical Missionary of Mary, was awarded the Bishop Sullivan Award for Peace and Justice at the annual meeting of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia in Abingdon, this past September. Sister “Bernie,” who has lived in southwest Virginia since 1978, was recognized for her commitment to the health of the community.

Honored II: Alexander Feher, son of Stephen and Natasha Feher, earned his Eagle Scout Award through Troop 1893 in September. A senior at Monacan High School, his Eagle Scout service project was to rebuild and enlarge the outdoor classroom stage at the Rockwood Park Nature Center in Chesterfield County. In addition to his involvement with the scouts, Alexander has been a youth ministry leader at his parish, St. Edward the Confessor, Richmond, and participates in Knights of Columbus fundraisers and activities.

November 5, 2018

Honored I: Megan Gillespie, daughter of Mark and Kathy Gillespie, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Newport News, alumnae and senior at Jamestown High School, earned the Girl Scout Gold Award — the Girl Scouts’ highest honor. Through her project, “Growing for Giving: New St. Bede Garden Ministry,” she is assisting less-fortunate members of her community. With the help of the Williamsburg House of Mercy and St. Bede, Williamsburg, where she is a parish council member, Gillespie created a garden at her parish which produced food that fed the guests of the Williamsburg House of Mercy. Her project will be sustained by the parish’s garden ministry.

Honored II: Michael von Spakovsky, a member of St. Jude Parish, Radford, professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering and director of the Center for Energy Systems Research at Virginia Tech, has been named the Robert E. Hord Jr. Mechanical Engineering Professor by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. The professorship acknowledges and rewards faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering who have shown exceptional merit in research, teaching and/or service. According to parishioners, Michael is a pro-life leader in the parish and community, as well as active in multiple parish ministries.

Good people doing good things: For the seventh consecutive year, Commonwealth Catholic Charities has awarded scholarships to students in Richmond-area Catholic schools through its Karl N. and Edna L. Reidelbach Scholarship Fund. Eighteen students will receive tuition assistance for the 2018–2019 academic year. A total of $10,500 will be disbursed. Scholarship recipients are enrolled in the Richmond schools of All Saints, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Benedict, St. Bridget, St. Edward-Epiphany and St. Mary, and in Powhatan at Blessed Sacrament Huguenot.

Breathing easy(ier): Residents at Our Lady of Hope Health Center, Richmond, are the beneficiaries of the facility’s new comprehensive cardiopulmonary therapy program. It is offered through Respiratory Health Services, a division of Genesis Rehab Services. Genesis Rehab already offers physical, occupational and speech therapy services to Our Lady of Hope residents. Rehabilitation is also available on an “outpatient” basis to individual patients who prefer to seek care at Our Lady of Hope instead of a hospital setting.

October 8, 2018

Good people doing good things: Thanks to the generosity of the Knights of Columbus, Virginia Veteran and Family Support has more resources with which to serve its clients. With the proceeds from its Sept. 7 golf tournament, the Knights have raised more than $40,000 over the last six years. The event was hosted by Knights of Columbus Fr. John Boddie Assembly 3349.

September 10, 2018

Knights to the rescue — rescue mission, that is: Fifteen members and their families from Knights of Columbus Salem Council #10015 recently volunteered at the Roanoke Rescue Mission, helping prepare food and then serving it to the more than 250 guests at the mission.

Scouts honored: It was quite a celebration at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Harrisonburg, Saturday, Aug. 25. During Mass, six Boy Scouts from the parish — Joe Blanton, Liam Chester, Owen Chester, Collin Jessie, Aiden Keesee, Chris Syptak — received the Ad Altare Dei Award, while Brady Hecker received the Parvuli Dei Award for Cub Scouts. The former award emphasizes the sacraments and includes a service project, while the latter focuses on the presence of God in the scout’s family and parish.

More ministry: The Sisters of Bon Secours USA has expanded its Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry, begun in Baltimore in 1999, to Richmond. Volunteers will serve with Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital’s emergency room and patient advocacy team, a neighborhood and nutrition center and on a mobile health clinic. They will also share common meals, weekly morning reflection, weekly contemplative prayer and dialogue, seasonal retreats and spiritual direction.

August 27, 2018

Train to evangelize: Three diocesan parishes and William and Mary Campus Ministry participated in a three-day training camp sponsored by Evangelical Catholic in Carlinville, Ill. Evangelical Catholic focuses on training people to do small group evangelization in their parishes. Parishes participating in the training included Blessed Sacrament, Harrisonburg; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Newport News; and the South Richmond cluster — Dinwiddie, Hopewell and Prince George County.

July 30, 2018

Making the Top 40: The Virginia Housing Alliance recently recognized Jay Brown, division director of housing services at Commonwealth Catholic Charities (CCC), with their Top 40 Network Award. Recipients, under age 40, have demonstrated professional excellence in the state’s housing industry and leadership in innovation.

During the last five years, with Brown’s leadership in the housing division, CCC has expanded services into four markets of the Commonwealth, more than doubled its operating budget, and significantly increased the capacity of CCC to serve the most vulnerable.

Practicing what is preached: Twenty-seven members of Immaculate Conception, Buckner, and St. Jude, Mineral, practiced the Gospel mandate “feed the hungry” as they were among those packaging and boxing 10,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, Mineral. At least eight churches participated in the June 10 undertaking, which was completed in 90 minutes.

Honored: Emma-Marie Dulog is the recipient of the St. Michael Joseph P. Solari Council 1172 Knights of Columbus (Female) Ambassador Scholar Award. The daughter of Marco and Cheryl Dulog, Emma-Marie is a parishioner at St. Michael the Archangel, Glen Allen, and an accomplished harpist who shares that gift with faith communities throughout the area. She will use the monetary portion of the award to travel to Catholic churches while in Germany for the second half of her Gap Year Study.

July 16, 2018

Diamond jubilarian: Sister Rita Thomas, a member of the Sisters of Bon Secours USA, recently celebrated 75 years with her religious community. She helped open St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, and served as its CEO in 1967, becoming the first female CEO of a Richmond hospital. She also helped establish the Bon Secours Health System in Hampton Roads.

Gratitude for clergy: Knights of Columbus Salem Council 10015 recently held a Clergy Appreciation Night at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Social Hall. The 56 attendees included Knights and parishioners who honored those who have answered the call to ordained ministry. The honorees were: Fathers José Moran Arce, Ken Shuping, Paul Maier, Daniel Kelly, Louis Benoit, and Deacon Eric Surat.

July 2, 2018

 E-x-c-e-l-l-e-n-t  s-p-e-l-l-e-r: That’s Ryan Crawford, an eighth grader at Sacred Heart Catholic School, Danville. He recently competed in his second consecutive Scripps National Spelling Bee, finishing tied for 42nd place. To qualify both years for the national competition, Ryan won the City of Danville Spelling Bee, sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters.

June 18, 2018

First place at state: Members of Court Regina Coeli 2032 of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas from St. Ann, Colonial Heights, earned three first-place awards at the organization’s state convention. Pat Ewen, treasurer, won for the annual crowning of Mary in the spirituality division. In the family division, Pat Blaszak, financial secretary; Father Ramon Baez, state chaplain; Chit Peters, regent; Vanny Marrero, Father Baez’s mother; and Karin Mitchell, vice regent, for the marriage blessing. Theresa Grizzle, recording secretary, won for the court newsletter.

By the numbers: The Vatican has released its Statistical Yearbook of the Church, from which one learns, among other things, that in North America there are 1,916 Catholics for every priest; in South America, there are 7,203 Catholics for every priest. It also reports that the world’s 1.29 billion Catholics are 17.7 percent of the population.

Following up: Kristen Byrd, who wrote the feature on Brian and Gerson Carrera in the Nov. 20, 2017 issue of The Catholic Virginian, reports that the Benedictine College Preparatory graduates are headed to VMI on full scholarships. If you missed the story, you can read it at www.catholicvirginian. org/?p=6276.

Benedictine receives $750,000 for Scholarship Program

The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., is pleased to announce a $750,000 donation to launch the Smithfield Foods Scholarship Program at Benedictine College Preparatory. With the support of Smithfield’s substantial gift, this new program will provide need-based scholarships for students from lower-income families.

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