Archbishop Charles Chaput visits UVA

 

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM, Cap., D.D.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM, Cap., D.D.

We were very honored to have a visit in Charlottesville from Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., on February 18th, as a speaker at the St. Anshelm Institute for Catholic Thought at the University of Virginia.  Archbishop Chaput gave a very good talk entitled City Upon a Hill:  Augustine, John Winthrop and the soul of the American Experiment Today.  Archbishop Chaput has been a great advocate for American Catholics to know their role in being faithful citizens, and it is part of everyone’s call to holiness to be involved in making a free and just society.

Archbishop Chaput speaking at The University of Virginia's St. Anshelm Insitute of Catholic Thiught

Archbishop Chaput speaking at The University of Virginia’s St. Anshelm Insitute of Catholic Thought

Archbishop Chaput is a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe, and was the second Native American to be ordained bishop in the United States, and the first Native American archbishop. He chose as his episcopal motto: “As Christ Loved the Church” (Ephesians 5:25)  Archbishop Chaput has served as a bishop of South Dakota and worked in the church for Native American issues, and spoke about Indian Spirtuality and its good and bad points, and why many Native American’s are drawn to the love of Jesus Christ.  Archbishop Chaput has also served as bishop of Denver, and presently in Philadelphia.  I find it most interesting that he as a Franciscan Capuchin, and his fellow bishop (Cardinal Sean O’Malley) were both called to “rebuild the church” in two of the most challenging dioceses in America (Philadelphia & Boston) that were affected by scandal and corruption.  I am extememly proud of my fellow Franciscan bishops, and that Pope Francis, in choosing his name, to take on this task of renewing our beautiful Catholic Faith in the spirit of St. Francis “to rebuild God’s house.”

Archbishop Chaput was just two weeks earlier called by Pope Francis to join the new Pontifical Council on the Laity.  Archbishop Chaput spoke in his talk of the great importance of the laity to help with the church in evangelization, prayer, support, and active participation amongst everyone, including those in the secular world.  Archbishop Chaput said he does not know yet what he will be doing on this new council, but looks forward to the challenges ahead.  I was pleased to meet him after his talk, and wished him well and said that he will be in my prayers.

I encourage you to view his entire talk, because I can’t do it justice in my writing, and the Q&A afterward in link below.

LINKS

Video of Archbishop Chaput’s Talk

St. Anshelm Institute for Catholic Thought at UVA

Archbishop Chaput’s website at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Pontifical Council for the Laity (Vatican)

Previous Blog about Archbishop Chaput at the Fortnight for Freedom Mass in DC

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Greater Good Technology – NEW ministry

Greater Good TechnologyGreater Good Technology is a new ministry developed by Catholic Web Services to help give disadvantaged people access & training in technology.  We have developed a successful pilot program here in our hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.  Greater Good Technology’s program aims to help homeless people, by giving them a fair seat at the table to search for a job.

 Empowering those transitioning from homelessness

Today’s society requires modern communications to be on a level field for employment.  We train a Lead Training Mentor that targets 12 other men and women transitioning from homelessness to train.  The lead trainer receives a Google Chromebook with which to train his trainees and receives payment for each trainee they graduate that is verified by our online training system at Catholic Web Services.   Each trainee receives a Google gmail account, Google Voice number for email, begins to create a resume, and receives training on how to make calls online.

Successful Pilot

Catholic Web Services is successfully working with Howard, our first Lead Training Mentor, in the Charlottesville pilot program.  Our Director of Technology, Carl Stacy became friends with Howard through a local mentoring program. Howard wanted a way to give back to the community, the same community that had provided him assistance in his time of need, and was very enthusiastic about sharing his new technology skills with others to help them find employment.

We were thankful for an initial grant from the Lions Club, but need your help to grow this deserving ministry.  Please contact us if you are interested in bringing Greater Good Technology to your community.

 

Charlottesville’s Support Network for Homelessness

One of the reason’s this program works well is because it adds to a great support system of people and agencies who provide a network of services helping the homeless gain independence, housing, and employment.   Charlottesville’s system of supports has grown over the years and is getting better through the cooperation of our great provider groups: PACEM, The Haven, Lion’s Club, The Salvation Army, and county and city social services.

PACEM

PACEM is a grassroots organization that coordinates space and volunteers to provide shelter for individuals in our community who are homeless.  Charlottesville currently has no permanent shelter for the homeless, so the religious community united to help in the cause of sheltering the homeless during the cold months of the season.

More than sixty congregations in the Charlottesville area take turns opening their doors – setting up cots, serving warm evening meals, and providing companionship. Through PACEM, congregations of many faiths and community groups come together to address the need for shelter in our community.  The name, PACEM, is an acronym for (People And Congregations Engaged in Ministry). Pacem is also a Latin word meaning peace.

 

Director Tom Shadyac visiting his friends at The Haven

Director Tom Shadyac visiting his friends at The Haven

The Haven is a safe and welcoming place for the homeless and very poor of Central Virginia to be during the day. Opened for business on January 18, 2010, The Haven provides this community with a central place to receive vital services and get connected to social service providers.  The Haven came into being through the generosity of UVA alumni & Movie Director Tom Shadyack.  Tom came back to Charlottesville in 2006 to film the movie Evan Almighty, a hit comedy retelling of the Noah’s Ark story, and he gave proceeds of the film to buy an old city church to make it a “haven” for the poor and homeless.

The Haven provides meals, short-term storage, showers, laundry facilities, computer access, living room, community garden and referrals to on-site service providers offering substance abuse assessment, mental health peer support, financial literacy and counseling, legal assistance, public housing applications, resume development and job search coaching, health advocacy and navigation, social services such as food stamp screening.  It has been a wonderful asset to bring all the services under one roof, and Greater Good Technology is working to help with technology training to give these men and women an opportunity at a better life.

Help Us GROW! — YOUR SUPPORT NEEDED

We would like to continue this program and grow it to other communities, but we need your support.  Your help with financial support, and through prayers are very much appreciated.   We are seeing a great need to help the homeless and your support in any way helps us to keep our ministry going.  We are looking for people who could donate any size donations which are very much appreciated.  We are fundraising now through Christmas with an indiegogo crowd-source funding campaign.  You can contact Catholic Web Services Director, John Clem, if you have any questions:

John Clem, Director of Catholic Web Services

Office (434) 202-4297

e-mail:  jclem@catholicws.com

Please click here for secure donation to Catholic Web Services using Indiegogo Campaign & PayPal to support Greater Good Technology ministry

indiegogo for Greater Good Technology

LINKS

Greater Good Technology (Catholic Web Services)

PACEM (People And Congregations Engaged in Ministry)

The Haven

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Laura Ingraham at UVA Law

Laura Ingraham speaking at UVA Law School

Laura Ingraham speaking at UVA Law School

Laura Ingraham came to the University of Virginia Law School as an alumnus to speak about her work and experience in law and politics from a very personal perspective.   Laura was invited by The Federalist Society for Law Public Policy Studies to speak about politics and the public perception of the Supreme Court.  Maybe I was expecting to hear the same brash personality from FOX News, or from her conservative radio show, but really she offered a very honest and rational view of the state of America.  Laura was critical of Democrats, but even more so of her own Republican Party.

Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham

 

Laura shared with us that she is friends with both of the candidates for the Virginia Governors race,  Terry McAuliffe & Ken Cuccinelli.    She said that she goes to the same church as Terry McAuliffe, and often has friendly debates with him, even though they do not agree ideologically.  She said Ken Cuccinelli is a “good man,” but does not have a vibrant personality needed to win with voters.  Laura made clear that she thinks many of the people in Washington are well-intentioned politicians, but we need someone who can lead our nation and “wright the ship” from a $17-trillion deficit or disaster will come soon. She said she does not care what party a politician follows, she just wants to see America get leadership in place that will address the biggest issues of jobs, the economy, and liberty.

Laura is true patriot and wants to see a better future for her children, and very worried about the state of our nation.  Laura commented that the current problems with the Affordable Health Care website are representative of of the problems of the Obama administration, showing his lack of experience in running a business.  Laura said that our next president should have experience in leadership running a business, as a vital requirement of the Chief Executive.  Laura said she is not critical of Barrack Obama as a person, but rather about his lack of leadership skills needed for the office.  Laura did comment that the US Courts also need good leadership, and questioned the ruling by Supreme Court Justice Roberts on the Affordable Care Act.

Adoption

The most important thing in Laura’s life is her family.  Laura is a wonderful mother who adopted three children, and is a strong advocate for domestic and foreign adoptions.  Two of Laura’s children were adopted from Russia, where she had to use her legal skills and ability to speak the Russian language in their courts to save these children. Laura was recently outraged at the ban on foreign adoptions made by Vladamir Putin in Russia.  In response, she has started a charity to help promote a culture of supporting adoptions called Burning Both Ends.   Laura shows us bi-partisan leadership in partnering with Democrat Mary Landrieu for this wonderful cause. Great video below worth your time to view:

A Charitable Heart

Laura helps many charities, and shows a love of people with the many works of mercy and financial supports in her work.  Laura has been a supporter of the military with the Wounded Warrior Project, and a number of worthy causes for our troops.  Laura is a breast cancer survivor who helps others afflicted, and in finding a cure.  She is also a staunch supporter of life–from conception to natural death.  Following is a list of her worthy charities:

Laura Ingraham’s Favorite Charities

 

Convert to Catholicism

Laura is a recent convert to Catholicism.  Laura has a very strong faith, and it is wonderful that she shares her faith with her listeners on her radio show.  Laura is friend’s with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, and they both share time with their families and appear on each other’s shows.

Raymond Arroyo & Laura Ingraham

Raymond Arroyo & Laura Ingraham (photo Huffington Post)

Laura said she was very grateful of her experiences from living in Charlottesville, and attending the University of Virginia.  She said it gave her the skills and knowledge that has guided her well in life. It was an honor to listen to her talk tonight, and I join her in praying that we find leadership in America to help us all out of this mess.

LINKS

Laura Ingraham’s Website

The Federalist  Society

Burning Both Ends (adoption charity)

Great Blog:  SENATOR MARY L. LANDRIEU AND LAURA INGRAHAM UNITE IN BI-PARTISAN ADOPTION COALITION

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Youth Apostles Institute, a growing ministry

Youth Apostles Institute

 

 

 

The Youth Apostles Institute is a vibrant and growing ministry serving the Diocese of Arlington and Richmond in Virginia.  Youth Apostles is a non-profit organization officially approved by the Catholic Church as a mixed Public Association of Christ’s Faithful.  Youth Apostles are priests and laymen who work with other volunteers to inspire young people to live a Christ-centered life.  They are currently serving in many parishes and college campuses across Virginia.

Youth Apostles Mission Statement:

The Youth Apostles Institute is committed to evangelize, teach, advise, challenge, console, and love the young with the ultimate purpose of inspiring them to live a Christ-like life centered on prayer and the Sacraments in the Catholic Church.

Youth Apostles Institute was founded by Dr. Eduardo Azcarate in 1979 after working with young people for many years at his parish, St. Anthony of Padua in Falls Church, Virginia.  Dr. Azcarate started a new program at the parish based on his own Jesuit approach to teen formation, called Catholic Life Community (CLC), which developed into Youth Apostles.

I recently joined the Youth Apostles on their annual retreat in Duck, North Carolina on the Outer Banks.  It is a wonderful experience to have daily Mass and prayer with this inspiring community of priests, young people, and their families.  I was very proud that my godson, Matthew Clem, became a candidate of YA during this retreat.  I had the opportunity to talk with their current director, Fr. Jack Peterson, YA, who joined as a young man and inspired by the same retreats–answered the call to become a Youth Apostle priest.

Youth Apostles: Dr. Eduardo Azcarate (Founder), Matthew Clem, Joseph Clem, Fr. Jack Peterson (Director)

Youth Apostles: Dr. Eduardo Azcarate (Founder), Matthew Clem, Dr. Joseph Clem, Fr. Jack Peterson (Director)

Three SaintsFr. Jack explained the inspiration for Youth Apostles comes from the three patron saints who were chosen by the early community:  St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. John Bosco.  As men who aspire both to cultivate their own interior life and to put the fruits of this prayer into action, the community’s founders looked to examples who could help us form our heads, hearts, and hands for the work.  St. Ignatius was very scholarly and represents the HEAD of Youth Apostles in its work for teaching the faith.  St. Francis was chosen for his love of the Eucharist and community, and represent the HEART through his work for the poor and rebuilding the church community.  St. John Bosco represents the HANDS of the community through his inspiring work with youth.  Fr. Jack sees a great need for serving young people and offering ministry drawing youth to a life centered on a loving community in Christ.

Fr. Jack is currently very concerned about the issue of the widespread use of pornography and negative effects on youth.  He has taken this concern to help in ministering at Youth Apostles in education, catechesis, and the sacrament of reconciliation.  I have included some useful links below on this subject.

The Youth Apostles Institute is a 501c3 Non-Profit ministry now serving in many parishes in youth ministry and campus communities.  Fr. Jack hopes that Youth Apostles will grow to more diocese in the near future and asks for your support.  Please help Youth Apostles with your prayers, time, and treasure.  Youth Apostles are now serving the following college communities:

Christopher Newport University

George Mason University

Marymount University

Old Dominion University

Virginia Tech

LINKS

Youth Apostles

Youth Apostles Prayer

Resources on pornography (Catholics Come Home)

Video: Overcoming Pornography Addiction (Catholic Answers)

Youth Apotles

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Habitat for Humanity — Charlottesville

Habitat for Humanity

SUNRISE PARK

Today marked the completion of six new Habitat for Humanity Homes in a wonderful rebuilt neighborhood called Sunrise Park.   This Habitat Humanity project is unique, as it is the first entire trailer park replaced in America with affordable housing for its residents.  My parish, Church of the Incarnation, helped contribute $60,000 and provided over 1,000 hours of labor toward construction of one new duplex home serving two families.  With the help of other faith communities and business partners, this neighborhood has been transformed into a lovely place to call home for many families who provided their own sweat-equity and investments in making this a reality.  This has been so successful Habitat for Humanity is now using this model to replace a larger 100 acre trailer park called Southwood.

Sunrise Trailer Court, Charlottesville Virginia (before Habitat for Humanity project)

Sunrise Trailer Court, Charlottesville Virginia (before Habitat for Humanity project)

Sunrise Trailer Court used to be a neighborhood of 16 trailers, and its residents agreed to work with Habitat for Humanity to offer them affordable housing in a co-housing neighborhood model offering apartments, duplex homes, community center and market rate homes.  Local architects offered plans that provided, affordable, durable, green, and beautiful buildings for the site.  The residents were not displaced during construction, but were offered the new apartments built on-site, while their homes were constructed.

SunrisePark

 

The families who moved into new homes today gave heartfelt thanks to Habitat for Humanity and all the community members who make it happen.   Rachel Mayo is a new homeowner from the new house our parish built, and wrote for today’s dedication:

Rachel Mayo (new homeowner)

Rachel Mayo (new homeowner)

“I would like to thank the people from Habitat who made this dream possible for me and my family.  There are no words to express to you how grateful I am.  I always wanted to own my home and never thought it was possible until people at Habitat gave me hope.  Thank you all for everything that made this happen.”  Rachel Mayo

Mayo & Fuentes Families Homes (New duplex home built by Habitat for Humanity)

Mayo & Fuentes Families Homes (New duplex home built by Habitat for Humanity)

 

New community center, offering important gathering point for neighborhood residents.

New community center, offering important gathering point for neighborhood residents.

 

“Our Catholic tradition, eloquently expressed by Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI, insists that shelter is one of the basic rights of the human person. The Second Vatican Council has said with great directness: ‘There must be made available to all men everything necessary for leading a life truly human, such as food, clothing, and shelter…” ["The Right to a Decent Home," USCCB, 1975]

Parishioners from Church of the Incarnation after workday this past April

Parishioners from Church of the Incarnation after workday this past April


Please consider volunteering or contributing to Habitat for Humanity to help in this worthy cause to bring affordable housing to those in need in your community.  There are more links at the bottom of this blog for contacts with Habitat for Humanity in your community.

Steel sculpture of Habitat for Humanity "Family" Logo, made from old trailer's I-Beams

Steel sculpture of Habitat for Humanity “Family” Logo, made from old trailer’s I-Beams at Sunrise Park

THE HABITAT STORE

Another great community asset is the Habitat Store here in Charlottesville.  It offers new & used building supplies at 25-75% off retail prices.  Many local contractors recycle their building supplies here and assist others with affordable housing.  Volunteers help run this store which offers many great products to anyone interested.

The Habitat Store

The Habitat Store

SPONSORS for Sunrise Park with Habitat for Humanity

Habitat Sponsors

LINKS

Video: NBC29 news coverage of the dedication featuring the home owner of the home built by my parish.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville

Habitat for Humanity International

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Nuns on the Bus — Charlottesville

 

Nuns on the Bus in Charlottesville

Nuns on the Bus arriving in Charlottesville

The Nuns on the Bus stopped by Charlottesville in helping to promote the need for fair and just immigration reform in America.  Charlottesville Mayor Sandrana Huja, himself an immigrant from India, greeted the nuns and spoke of his support for their cause of needed immigration reform.  The nuns were greeted with a diverse and enthusiastic group of people from Central Virginia.

Mayor Satyendra Huja welcoming Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, and the Nuns on the Bus to the City of Charlottesville

Mayor Satyendra Huja welcoming Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, and the Nuns on the Bus to the City of Charlottesville

Crowd supporting and welcoming the Nuns on the Bus to Charlottesville

Crowd supporting and welcoming the Nuns on the Bus to Charlottesville

Sister Simone Campbell was joined by other nuns from around the country and various religious orders to join  Network: A National Catholic Justice Lobby, to lobby for fair and needed immigration reform.  She was excited to report that she had just met with President Obama who supports immigration reform and he said that it is a bi-partisan issue and this is the year to get a bill passed.  The reforms that Network lobby are supporting are immigration reform that include the following items:

  • ensures family unity
  • protects the rights of immigrant workers
  • speeds up process of already-approved immigrants
  • acknowledges our borders are already secure, with only minor changes needed
  • enhances the present diversity visa program
  • provides a clear, direct path to citizenship.
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of Network

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of Network

 

President Obama meeting with Sister Simone Campbell in the Oval Office.

President Obama meeting with Sister Simone Campbell in the Oval Office on May 30, 2013.

A fellow parishioner, Fanny, from Church of the Incarnation, came and gave powerful testimony at a meeting with representatives of Congressman Robert Hurt’s office in Albemarle County.  She said that she is heartbroken due to her son being deported this past February.  Fanny said her son is a law-abiding and hard-working person who contributed to the New Jersey community for over 20 years, but was deported to Ecuador and not given option for appeal.  She lobbied for fair immigration reform that does not separate families and offers a path to citizenship.

Fanny & Nuns on the Bus speaking to representative of Congressman Robert Hurt's office

Fanny & Nuns on the Bus speaking to representative of Congressman Robert Hurt’s office

Toan Nguyen (Cville Coffee owner) speaks in support for immigration reform and talks about his experience immigrating from Vietnam

Toan Nguyen (Cville Coffee owner) speaks in support for immigration reform and talks about his experience immigrating from Vietnam

Nuns on the Bus – The Movie

Melissa Regan is an award-winning documentary film maker, and she is following and recording the nuns on their journey.  She is currently working on fundraising through her website and about to release a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to help complete the support needed to make this movie.  You can follow the Nuns on the Bus on their website and though their social networks–check links below.

Filming for Nuns on the Bus

Filming for Nuns on the Bus — The Movie

 

NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus are back on the road driving for faith, family, and citizenship — traveling across the United States — 6,500 miles over 15 states — 53 events in 40 cities — standing with immigrants, faith-filled activists, and Catholic Sisters who serve immigrant communities.

NETWORK’s Nuns on the Bus are back on the road driving for faith, family, and citizenship — traveling across the United States — 6,500 miles over 15 states — 53 events in 40 cities — standing with immigrants, faith-filled activists, and Catholic Sisters who serve immigrant communities.

Video from Catholic New Service:

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, marks 25 years of service to supporting immigrants, and are anticipating a lot of work ahead with reforms:

 

LINKS

USCCB Immigration website

Nuns on the Bus website

Nuns on the Bus Movie website

More photos from Nuns on the Bus visit to Charlottesville May 30-31, 2013

Washington Post article of Nuns on the Bus (May 31, 2013)

Nuns on the Bus 2 — National Catholic Register (June 6, 2013)

Last Blog about 2012 Nuns on the Bus – The Faithful Budget 

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The Sycamore Tree: a new Christian Book & Gift Shop

Maria & Richard Nootbaar

Maria & Richard Nootbaar

The Sycamore Tree is a new Christian book and gift shop located in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The Sycamore Tree is a wonderful family-run business founded by Richard and Maria Nootbaar, who are friends from my parish at Church of the Incarnation.  They have started a store that stocks ecumenical Christian books and gifts, Crane & Co. Stationery, and are providing a homeschooling consignment shop.

The Sycamore Tree merchandise

Richard and Maria saw the need to open a store in Central Virginia that offered a wide variety of Christian books and gifts.  The store offers both new and used books, and they can order any book on the market through their network suppliers.  Richard & Maria come from teaching backgrounds, and Maria is also a homeschooling mother, and they both saw the need for homeschooling supplies and resources.  If you are involved or thinking about homeschooling, they are a super resource for books, supplies, and know the supportive network of families and collaborative activities available in the area.

Fr. Gregory Kandt offering blessing to The Sycamore Tree

Fr. Gregory Kandt offering blessing to The Sycamore Tree

The Sycamore Tree is the exclusive distributor in the area for Crane & Co. stationery.  Crane offers the finest stationery, wedding and business invitations on the market, and they are known for providing the paper for our American currency.

Crane & Co. Stationary

 

SPECIAL SUMMER EVENTS & HOURS

THURSDAYS

We will have extended hours until 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 5, 2014, at 5:00 we begin our $2.00 book sale! You will pay only $2 for every used book in the store throughout the month of June. (Do you understand? That is five books for $10!) Starting at 7:00 p.m. you are invited to share favorite book excerpts or Bible verses. Enjoy a cup of coffee while browsing our sale books.

Thursday, June 12, 20146:00 to 8:00, we will have bedtime stories with local children’s author, Anne Marie PaceShe will be reading from her VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series at 6:30 and signing books throughout the evening. Kids, wear your pajamas (if you want) and come ready to enjoy milk and cookies! Mrs. Pace is the author of NEVER EVER TALK TO STRANGERS and A TEACHER FOR BEAR, both published by Scholastic Book Clubs; and the VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, published by Disney-Hyperion. Several more books are forthcoming from Henry Holt and Sterling.

Thursday, June 19, 20145:00 to 8:00, John Acquaviva, PhD, author of IMPROVING YOUR BODY IMAGE THROUGH CATHOLIC TEACHING, will be talking about his research and leading conversations about this contemporary epidemic. If you are a Christian who has grown tired of the insult to our bodies by the media culture of today, then you will want to meet John and read his book. Dr. Acquaviva is a professor in the School of Sports Sciences at Wingate University in North Carolina.

Thursday, June 26, 2014, remains to be announced. We are in communication with several authors whom we would like to host. Stay tuned for details!

 SATURDAY

Saturday, July 19, 201410:00 to 4:00, we will be hosting local artists on our front lawn. We have ten artists lined up for this July event! If you are an artist, let us know if you would like to join us to show your work!

Please support the Sycamore Tree, and all Christian bookstores–they deserve our business and prayers.  You can keep up with news from the store at their Facebook page with link below.

The Sycamore Tree

2246 Ivy Road, Suite 8, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903

(434) 529-8270

e-mail:  sycamoretreestore@gmail.com

Hours:

10am – 6pm, Monday – Friday

10am – 4pm, Saturdays

Closed on Sundays

LINKS

The Sycamore Tree Website

The Sycamore Tree on Facebook

Richard & Maria Nootbaar

Richard & Maria Nootbaar

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Chrism Mass at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

Chrism Mass at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

Chrism Mass at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Richmond, Virginia)

The Diocese of Richmond celebrated their annual Chrism Mass this past Monday evening at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.  It is a beautiful Mass that includes blessing of the holy oils used for every church, and the clergy make a reaffirmation of their priestly vows.

Holy Oils

Holy Oils

Blessing of Oils

Blessing of Oils

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bishop Francis DiLorenzo said at this week’s Chrism Mass: “Christians are called to reject the mythical concepts of “success” and “living the good life,”  Christians embrace an outlook on life that is nothing short of counter-cultural.”

Holy Oils:

  •  Oil of the Sick “Oleum Infirmorum” 
  •  Oil of Catechumens “Oleum Catechumenorum” used in Baptism along with water, in the consecration of churches, in the blessing of Altars, in the ordination of priests.
  •  Sacred Chrism “Sanctum Chrisma” which is olive oil mixed with a small amount of balm or balsam. Used in the post-baptismal anointing for infants, in Confirmation, for Holy Orders, the consecration of churches, altars, and even bells. In Holy Orders, the bishop is anointing on the head and priest are anointed on the hands.
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, bishop of Richomond Diocese

Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, bishop of Richomond Diocese

 

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond, Virginia

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond, Virginia

LINKS

Diocese of Richmond

 

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Dominican’s 50th Anniversary & New Priory in Charlottesville, Virginia

50th Anniversary Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas with Bishop Francis DiLorenzo

50th Anniversary Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas with Bishop Francis DiLorenzo

 

The Dominicans celebrated their 50th Anniversary with Bishop DiLorenzo coming for a special Mass and Blessing for a new Priory on March 24th.  The Dominicans came to Charlottesville on the Feast of St. Lawrence August 10, 1963 and established St. Thomas Aquinas Church, which serves Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and The University of Virginia.

This priory is the first built in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and offers a religious community for eight priests.  The priory was built to last using the skills of local artisans including cabinet makers, stain glass artists, masons, and carpenters.

New St. Thomas Aquinas Priory

New St. Thomas Aquinas Priory

IMG_8872

Daniel White is a young stained glass artist and parishioner with Cain Architectural Glass who co-designed the stained glass windows with pastor, Fr. Luke Clark ,O.P. that adorn the Priory Chapel.  The beautiful stained glass was made locally, and incorporated many symbols of the Dominicans.

 

 

 

 

The East Window highlights the Holy Spirit and is surrounded with the symbols of The Hand of God, St. Joseph, The Dominican Shield, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Lawrence, St. Dominic, The Blessed Virgin Mary, and Jesus, the Lamb of God.

The East Window highlights the Holy Spirit and is surrounded with the symbols of The Hand of God, St. Joseph, The Dominican Shield, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Lawrence, St. Dominic, The Blessed Virgin Mary, and Jesus, the Lamb of God.

The West Window highlights the Sacred Heart of Jesus, surrounded by The Eucharist, Flagrum, Spear, Baptism, Reconciliation, Crown of Thorns, Three Nails, and Grapes & Vine.

The West Window highlights the Sacred Heart of Jesus, surrounded by The Eucharist, Flagrum, Spear, Baptism, Reconciliation, Crown of Thorns, Three Nails, and Grapes & Vine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The priory also offers the St. Vincent Ferrer Columbarium, a first for Catholics in Central Virginia.  The word “columbarium” comes from the Latin and translates as a compartmentalized house for doves; the gentle birds mentioned in Holy Scripture and recognized as a symbol of peace.  There are over 50 memorial spaces which are available to Catholics for $4,500

St. Vincent Ferrer Columbarium

St. Vincent Ferrer Columbarium

The Dominicans, the Order of Preachers, is an order with a strong charism of preaching, and education.  The Dominican website explains the essence of the order: Dominicans preach the Word of God in every possible way including liturgical preaching, parish missions, retreat preaching, occasional lectures, addresses at religious conferences, street preaching, teaching, writing (especially books), through art (especially film, television, theatre, and radio), and by exploiting the advantages offered by the Internet and other advances of the digital age, without ever sacrificing the indispensable role of personal presence by which communication becomes true communion. Dominican Blessed Humbert of Romans sums up all of this in his famous 13th century Treatise on Preaching: “How necessary is the office of preaching without which the human heart would not rise to the hope of heaven.”

Fr. Jospeph Scordo, O.P., has served as a Dominican in the Military Chaplaincy:

The Dominicans also offer a great free App called iDoms Portal.  The App offers incredible resources including Dominican articles, videos, and audio from many of their great preachers and theologians.

iDoms Portal App

iDoms Portal App

The Dominicans are still in the process of fundraising, and if you can help I encourage you to look at their websites at the links below.

LINKS

St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish

St. Tomas Aquinas Priory

Dominicans of the Province of Saint Joseph

iDoms Portal App

Article about St. Joseph, protector of preachers statue in Dominicana

Saint Dominic and his dog

Saint Joesph and his dog statue in priory courtyard.

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Fortnight for Freedom–Charlottesville

Fortnight for Freedom

 

 

 

 

 

 

The area parishes of Charlottesville gathered this past Sunday evening at the First Amendment Monument Free Speech Wall for a prayer service for the Fortnight of Freedom.  We honored to have Fr. Stephen Alcott, O.P., to lead us in the Prayer of Protection of Religious Liberty and the Litany for Liberty.

Prayer Service at 1st Amendment Monument

Prayer Service at 1st Amendment Monument

Maddie Pericak is a talented artist who created a mural on the Free Speech wall to represent religious liberty.  The mural included images of St. Thomas More, the patron saint of religious liberty, the crosses at calvary, and mother earth.

Maddie Pericak

Maddie Pericak

 

Religious Liberty Mural on 1st Amendment Monument

Religious Liberty Mural on 1st Amendment Monument

Following is a stop-motion You Tube video of the making of the mural:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp3CaB39LvE

Nancy Brinkac also read the statement from Bishop Francis Dilorenzo that was in the Richmond Times Dispatch regarding issues about religious liberty.  It was very appropriate to read this in the very place where Thomas Jefferson and James Madison introduced the ideas of religious liberty to Virginia and later America. Following is the statement from Bishop Dilorenzo read at the prayer service:

“Imagine that you lived in a country where the government prohibited your church and its ministries from practicing the tenets of your faith. As a Catholic bishop — serving in the commonwealth where almost 250 years ago Virginians Thomas Jefferson and James Madison recognized religion as a natural right not to be infringed upon by the government — I find this threat to be almost unimaginable.

As a native Pennsylvanian, born in the city where patriots forged a nation enshrining religious liberty as the first among the citizens’ rights, to me the denial of that freedom is a foreign concept. So I am perplexed, and indeed dismayed, when I recognize the reality we face today: The religious liberty that rightfully belongs to the Catholic Church I love and serve — and to all people of all faiths — is being threatened by the same government that was founded to guarantee it.

The issue is a recent mandate by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that requires almost all private health plans nationwide to cover abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilizations. The mandate includes only a narrow and arbitrary exemption for “religious employers.” To qualify, employers must (1) have the narrow tax-exempt status granted to “houses of worship;” (2) teach religion as their purpose; (3) hire primarily people who share their religious tenets; and (4) serve primarily people who share those religious tenets.

The HHS mandate has become a divisive and often mischaracterized issue. From my perspective, it is unprecedented and nothing short of intrusive, coercive and selective.

The mandate is intrusive because it presumes to tell us what is and is not a religious ministry. It says that houses of worship are “in,” but charities, hospitals, and universities are “out.” But it is not the role of government to create two camps — those who are deemed “religious enough” to get a “pass” and others who must instead cast their religion aside because of the ways they serve the broader community. In fact, I even wonder which of the two designations our government would assign to Jesus and his disciples.

The mandate is coercive because it seeks to force many institutions to use their own money to provide drugs and procedures that are contrary to their foundational teachings on life, love and family. I fully recognize that the Catholic Church’s beliefs on contraception are not shared by all. But the issue is not whether our beliefs are popular. Rather, the issue is whether we are allowed to spend our own money in ways that are consistent with what we profess, or whether we are instead forced to give up our religion when we offer health plans.

The mandate is selective because it falls way short of religious liberty for all — all employers, insurers and individuals whose deeply and sincerely held religious beliefs make them unwilling to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilizations. The government has allowed members of some faiths, such as the Amish and members of Medi-Share, a program of Christian Care Ministry, to opt out of the Affordable Care Act entirely. That their religious beliefs are respected gives me hope that religious freedom is still alive; that the beliefs of many others are being trampled makes me wonder how much longer this first freedom will survive…

…The fact remains: When it comes to a religious exemption, some are “in” and others are “out.” Of those who are “out,” some will await what additional scraps of religious liberty may be salvaged if the yet-to-be-created “accommodation” provides more than what has been announced.

An essential question also remains: Will the religious liberty that is our right and our heritage be reduced to narrow exemptions and meaningless “accommodations”? Not if we unite around the foundational principles that Jefferson, Madison and many others knew would serve our country well.” (Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, Richmond Times Dispatch, April 9, 2012)

We ended our prayer service with the crowd singing America the Beautiful, and then everyone was invited to write messages or artworks on the wall for religious liberty.  I hope that these prayers and messages help to keep our religious liberty for all faiths in this country we all love.

The US Bishops came out with an important statement after the recent (5-4) decision by the US Supreme Court to move forward with the Affordable Healthcare Act.  The US Bishops still want to see changes made to improve the act, and will be moving forward with lawsuit against the HHS Mandate.  Following is the link to the press release from US Bishops:  Bishops Renew Plea to Congress and Administration to Repair the Affordable Healthcare Act.

LINKS

Fortnight for Freedom (USCCB)

First Amendment Monument–Charlottesville, Virginia

 Previous Blog–Fortnight Baltimore

Previous Blog–Fortnight Richmond

 

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