Catholic Charities Car Ministry program, Bishop Burbidge visits every deanery, and several upcoming events
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"Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in His great campaign of sabotage."

                   -- C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)
Encourage and Teach Blog
Dear Friends in Christ,

This morning I attended a quiet car blessing service out in the chilly parking lot and witnessed a small act of sabotage.  Fr. Paul Berghout blessed a donated minivan that was then presented by Brian O'Conner to a single mother as part of the Catholic Charities Car Ministry program.  (Please consider it if you're planning to replace your car soon, as they have a waiting list of people in need of cars.)  This mother, whose young daughter was with her for the service, was so grateful to receive a car that many of us might consider a liability, and that was cause for reflection.

In the midst of the transitions taking place these days in Washington DC and in our diocese, I was struck by the new beginning that such a donation makes possible, on a much smaller scale, in the life of a family.  What a difference it makes, particularly here in Northern Virginia, to have a vehicle when one is striving to escape poverty.  I tend to spend much more time thinking about how much my old car is costing me rather than being grateful for all it makes possible in my life.  Sure, having that vehicle will bring new expenses for that mother, but it may also bring the promise of a better job and more possibilities for her young daughter.

As Fr. Berghout noted this morning, we really are called to embody hope to each other, and the Car Ministry program is a simple way to do that in a very tangible and practical way.  Because of the generosity of one parishioner here in the diocese, a needy family has been given the gift of hope and the promise of a new beginning in the unlikely form of a used minivan.  That quiet act of generosity is a small act of sabotage against the ruler of this world, and how wonderful that it takes place during the Christmas season.

May you be richly blessed as this Christmas season draws to a close, inspired to a daily habit of gratitude to the Lord.  Don't take your blessings for granted.  Be a light of hope to others in this new year, that they may recognize the light of Christ in you and seek to know Him because of that encounter.

Pax Christi,

John Knutsen
Coordinator for Evangelization & Adult Faith Formation
(703) 841-3802

"Do not be amazed, then, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.  We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.  Whoever does not love remains in death."  (1 John 3:13-14)
Arlington Catholic Herald Event Calendar
Don't miss the chance to meet Bishop Burbidge during his "tour" of the diocese this month!  He will be celebrating Mass in each of the seven deaneries, followed by a reception with parishioners.  Mass begins at 7:00pm in each location.  The schedule is as follows:

January 9
Deanery IV, Sacred Heart of Jesus (Winchester)

January 10
Deanery I, Cathedral of St. Thomas More (Arlington)

January 11
Deanery V, All Saints (Manassas)

January 13
Deanery III, St. Theresa (Ashburn)

January 17
Deanery VII, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception (Fredericksburg)

January 18
Deanery VI, Our Lady of Good Counsel (Vienna)

January 23 (new date!)
Deanery II, St. Bernadette (Springfield)

Note that five of Bishop Burbidge's homilies are available on the diocesan YouTube page, and you can sign up to receive his daily messages on Twitter.
Registration is now open for the diocesan Men's and Women's Conferences, and with these line-ups you'll want to get it done early as these will fill up quickly:

March 4 - Men's Conference
St. Joseph Catholic Church, Herndon
Featuring Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. Ralph Martin, and Fr. James Searby

March 11 - Women's Conference

St. Joseph Catholic Church, Herndon
Featuring Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Immaculee Ilibagiza

Registration for both events is $55 through February 1 ($65 after).  Students can attend for $25 (mail-in registration only), and scholarships are available upon request.  Confession will be available during check-in and breakfast.  Parking is limited, so please plan to carpool.
The Institute of Catholic Culture's first Sophia Symposium of 2017 begins soon.  Register for this intensive 5-part overview of the New Testament with Fr. Sebastian Carnazzo, Ph.D.  This is a live webinar course running on Tuesday evenings from January 24 to February 28.  Applications are due by January 15, and there is no charge for the course.

Also, consider joining Fr. Hezekias Carnazzo for an ICC pilgrimage to the Holy Land from June 22 to July 4.
Save the date (March 18) for the 14th annual Live Jesus! morning of reflection, fellowship and prayer with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales at St. John Neumann in Reston.  Speakers will be Fr. Francis Danella, OSFS and Fr. Matthew Hillyard, OSFS.  Check-in begins at 8:00am and the event concludes at 12:30pm.
Mark your calendars now for July 8, when Christendom College will host a one-day conference on Restoring the Divine Plan for Marriage and Family.  Confirmed speakers include Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, Senator Rick Santorum, Mary Beth Bonacci, Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. Timothy O'Donnell, and Mary Stanford.  Registration is not yet open, but save the date and keep checking the Christendom College website.

"Jesus Christ is my kingdom.  If He is all I have, I shall have everything.  If I do not have him, I lose everything."

              -- St. Louis of Toulouse (1274 - 1297)
Copyright © 2017 Catholic Diocese of Arlington, All rights reserved.

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