What We’ve Heard – Feb. 5, 2024

Deacon Bob Young (with crosier) and clergy from the Church of the Vietnamese Martyrs assist Bishop Barry C. Knestout as he blesses the parish grounds on Jan. 21, 2024. (Photos/Đức Nguyễn)

Bishop blesses renovations ( photo above)Bishop Barry C. Knestout visited Church of the Vietnamese Martyrs, Richmond, Jan. 21 for Mass and a special blessing of buildings and renovations on the parish grounds. Before Mass, the bishop blessed the newly renovated parish office, outdoor rectory area, Good Shepherd Garden, and parish hall with a formal meeting room commemorating the church’s former bishops and pastors.

“We have had a beautiful and meaningful celebration with our bishop,” said Dominican Father John Baptist Nghieu Nguyen, pastor of Church of the Vietnamese Martyrs. He concelebrated Mass with the bishop. Deacon John Baptist Liem Do, Deacon Joseph Thoai Tran and Deacon Bob Young, director of the diocesan Office of Worship, also served at Mass.

“I was happy to join the community for the celebration of Sunday Mass and bless their new meeting room, office space and prayer garden,” said Bishop Knestout. “These places will enhance the community’s opportunities to live and spread the faith.”


Celebration of Catholic schools hits high note (photos below): Students from three Catholic schools took part in a musical performance at the Pastoral Center, Richmond, to celebrate Catholic Schools Week on Jan. 30. Bishop Barry C. Knestout was in the front row as the staff was treated to performances by the choirs from All Saints Catholic School, Richmond, and Christ the King Catholic School, Norfolk. The Pipe and Drum Corps from Benedictine College Preparatory, Richmond, also took part in the musical showcase. Catholic Schools Week was celebrated Jan. 28-Feb. 3 as a chance to highlight the joy of a Catholic education.

All Saints Catholic School, Richmond (Photo/Stephen Previtera)

Benedictine College Preparatory, Richmond (Photo/Stephen Previtera)

Christ the King Catholic School, Norfolk (Photo/Stephen Previtera)


Purple Star Schools: Three schools in our diocese have been awarded the Purple Star designation by the Virginia Department of Education for the 2023-2024 school year: Catholic High School, Virginia Beach; St. Matthew’s, Virginia Beach; and St. Patrick, Norfolk. They are among 110 public and private schools to receive the designation. The Purple Star is awarded to schools that support and celebrate military families. This is the second time St. Matthew’s has received the award. St. Patrick Head of School Lauren Mazzari said it is an honor and privilege to have more than 41% of their families in the military, as well as many staff who are military spouses or come from military families.


Virginia Tech’s new tiles (photos below): Fifteen students from the Knights of Columbus St. John Henry Newman Council 11323 tiled part of the adoration chapel inside the Newman House (Virginia Tech’s Catholic Campus Ministry House). The student Knights spruced up the chapel by teaching themselves tiling techniques. The chapel is available around the clock for students to pray and the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for adoration 23 hours a week during the school year.

(Photo submitted by Virginia Tech Catholic Campus Ministry)

(Photo submitted by Virginia Tech Catholic Campus Ministry)

Polar Plunge milestone: The Virginia Knights of Columbus announced Jan. 30 that it has hit a milestone in its fundraising for Special Olympics Virginia (SOVA) through the annual Polar Plunge in Virginia Beach. Since 2013, families of the Knights have raised more than $1 million through the Polar Plunge for those with intellectual disabilities. Money raised by the Knights is earmarked each year to cover the costs for Special Olympians to compete in annual championship games.


Full scholarships: Three seniors from Cristo Rey Richmond High School, Richmond, have been awarded full college tuition scholarships. Sarah Costa and Alexandria Louis were both awarded full, four-year scholarships to the University of Notre Dame. Anyah Allen was awarded full tuition to William & Mary and she has accepted.


Helping the homeless and Haitian families (photo below): Church of the Redeemer, Mechanicsville, raised a record $44,900 during its annual fundraiser, “No Room at the Inn” (The Catholic Virginian, Dec. 25, 2023). Two local nonprofits, Moments of Hope Outreach and Mechanicsville Churches Emergency Functions, will receive half the proceeds. The other half will be used to build three houses in Haiti. Since 2008, the nativities exhibit has raised more than $411,000 for nonprofits and funded the construction of 35 houses in Haiti.

(Photo/Bernadette Jean)


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