What We’ve Heard — April 1, 2024

(Photo submitted)

40 Days for Life (above): On March 24, members of the Knights of Columbus and the 40 Days for Life Lenten Prayer Campaign met outside an abortion business in Newport News for the closing prayer rally. About 20 people joined in prayer and song for life. Every single prayer offered throughout these 40 days were joined with the prayers of people praying all over the world. It is believed that 233 precious babies were saved from abortion during this campaign – and those are just the ones known by the campaign.

Three seminarians receive Call to Orders (below): Three seminarians for the Diocese of Richmond: Andrew Clark, Samuel Hill, and Matthew Kelly, received the Call to Orders on March 19. They will be ordained transitional deacons on May 18 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond, as they continue discerning the priesthood.

Two of the seminarians, Clark and Kelly, received the Call to Orders by Bishop Barry C. Knestout in person at the Pastoral Center, Richmond. Hill is studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome; he received his Call to Orders after virtual meetings with the diocese’s Vocations Advisory Board and Bishop Knestout.

The Catholic Virginian will introduce you to all three seminarians in the weeks leading up to their ordination day.

(Left to right) Father Timothy Kuhneman, vicar for clergy; Father Eric Ayers, pastor, St. Bede, Williamsburg, and vicar of Eastern Vicariate; Father Matthew Kiehl, vicar for vocations; seminarian Matthew Kelly; Bishop Barry C. Knestout; seminarian Andrew Clark; Father Michael Boehling, vicar general; Father Kenneth Shuping, pastor of St. Bridget, Richmond, and vicar of Central Vicariate. Father Ayers, Father Boehling, Father Kuhneman, and Father Shuping are on the Vocations Advisory Board. (Not pictured: seminarian Sam Hill) (Photo/Lily Nguyen Dunkle)

Blessed Sacrament reserved at St. John Neumann Academy (below):

The Blessed Sacrament is now present in the chapel of St. John Neumann Academy, Blacksburg. Father Cassidy Stinson, school chaplain and pastor of St. Jude, Christiansburg, celebrated Mass at the school on March 19, after which he, students and staff processed to the chapel for a blessing of the tabernacle. Father Stinson said it was a “personal high point” that he had the chance to lead each class in prayer in front of the tabernacle.

As part of the school’s participation in the National Eucharistic Revival, Bishop Barry C. Knestout has given them permission to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel. “Having Our Lord here with us in our chapel makes our belief in his sacramental presence concrete for us in a unique and irreplaceable way, and gives even our youngest students an opportunity to learn,” said Father Stinson.

“I can’t wait to see the fruit of Christ’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament for our students, as well as the teachers and staff,” he added.

Father Stinson celebrates Mass in the chapel each week for the students. Additionally, each class prays at the chapel at least once a week.

“It’s hard to quantify the impact of time spent with Our Lord, but we know by faith and experience that these encounters enrich and even change the course of our lives,” Father Stinson said.

(Photo/Julia Wharton)

Men of St. Joseph: Seventeen men are members of the Men of St. Joseph chapter at St. Mark, Virginia Beach. The men’s group gathers weekly for prayer and reflection on the upcoming Mass readings for the weekend. On Feb. 16, the men began a 33-day consecration to St. Joseph, which concluded on March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph. To mark the consecration, Father Eric Baffour Asamoah, pastor of St. Mark, celebrated Mass on March 19 for more than 75 parishioners, followed by a potluck dinner.

Read more about the Men of St. Joseph in the March 18 issue.

Women’s Giving Circle (below): A new season of philanthropy kicked off March 21 at the Pastoral Center, Richmond, for the Women’s Giving Circle. Bishop Barry C. Knestout celebrated Mass in the chapel, then joined the women for lunch. This year, 37 women joined the group and hope to award about $42,000 to deserving nonprofits that help strengthen communities in the diocese. Last year, the women awarded more than $25,000 to four organizations. The Women’s Giving Circle, part of the Catholic Community Foundation, will announce this year’s grant recipients on May 7 at the Pastoral Center.

(Photo/Claire Bebermeyer)

Greg Lilly

Interim Head of School (right): Greg Lilly will become interim head of school for Benedictine College Preparatory, Richmond, effective July 1. This appointment comes after Del Smith was promoted to the position of Vice-President of Mission for Benedictine Schools of Richmond.

“I am honored and energized by this opportunity to lead our talented faculty in preparing our Cadets for their future, as community leaders and in their personal lives,” said Lilly.

Lilly will continue in his role as director of admission for Benedictine Schools of Richmond through June 30, and will remain head football coach for the Benedictine Cadets for the 2024-2025 season.

The national search for Benedictine’s head of school position will remain open.


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