What We’ve Heard – September 5, 2022

Deacon Gregg Whisler reads the Gospel during an outdoor Mass on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on his current deployment to Eastern Europe with the Virginia Army National Guard. (Submitted photo)

With the new pastoral year underway, let’s catch up on what we’ve heard over the summer.

Service to God and country: Deacon Gregg Whisler, ordained last fall, is deployed with the Virginia Army National Guard and serving in Eastern Europe. When home, he serves at St. Edward the Confessor, North Chesterfield.

Gratitude for generosity: Archbishop Bernard Bober of the Archdiocese of Kosice in Slovakia thanked Bishop Barry C. Knestout and the people of the Diocese of Richmond for the $43,645.81 they sent to his archdiocese in June. That was part of $218,229.06 collected for the Church in Eastern Central Europe.

In a letter to Bishop Knestout, the archbishop wrote: “Please, know that the funds you have given us will directly impact the lives of Ukrainian refugees — mostly mothers with their children that we care for in the Archdiocese of Kosice.”

Speaking of collections, the Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be taken up Sept. 24-25. The faithful of the diocese contributed $128,197.84 to last year’s appeal. Nationally, it raised more than $28 million, which was distributed to 271 U.S. religious communities. Among local beneficiaries were the Comboni Missionary Sisters, Mary Mother of the Church Abbey, Monastery of Poor Clares and Our Lady of the Angels Monastery.

What a difference a year makes: More than 12 months ago, the Nightingale Ministry at St. Nicholas, Virginia Beach, began with seven women. Today, it has 17 members which come from several parishes. According to coordinator Susan Saunders, thanks to the group, she has taken “hundreds of homemade cards to assisted living facilities such as Marian Manor and Our Lady of Perpetual Help,” and sends cards every month to “the homebound, ill or forgotten.”

Honored: On Friday, Aug. 26, Benedictine College Prep presented Bishop Knestout with a bust of Servant of God Frank Parater, a 1917 Benedictine alumnus and seminarian of the Diocese of Richmond who passed away while in the seminary. It is an artistic rendering and model that was used to create a full-size statue of him for the Hall of Valor at Benedictine. The bust will be placed in the Museum of Catholic History at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

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