By: Corinne Monogue, Staff Spotlight
I cannot imagine a better way to finish off the joy of summer and usher in the fall than by celebrating our faith with hundreds of fellow Catholics from Northern Virginia.
Plans are already underway for the Second Annual Catholic Heritage Festival at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville on October 2. There was a great deal of hope and anticipation for last year’s first-ever diocesan-wide festival, and it surely didn’t disappoint. It is, at the very least, simply amazing to witness the sea of hundreds of faithful from the many parishes, missions, organizations and ministries that comprise the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. The Catholic Heritage Festival appropriately begins with the passion that ties us together, the most holy sacrifice of the Mass, celebrated by Bishop Paul Loverde.
Considering the talents and treasures shared by the many cultures and people present in our diocese, at the Catholic Heritage Festival, “something for everyone” is an understatement. There are games and face-painting for kids; activities and several inflatables for youth; music; entertainment; a strong sampling of various national and international foods; local and multicultural groups who enrich, enliven and entertain; and a solid sense of community that ties it all together. Some more highlights from last year included: frisbee golf, water bucket relays, dizzy bat races and performances by Quincy House Band, Irish Dancers from Boyle School of Dance and the Sahmulrohryee Korean Drummers.
Another crowd pleaser that is also planned for this year is the Arlington Diocese’s own mini “World Cup,” small-sided (half field) soccer tournament, where a variety of Catholic groups and parishes form teams to compete throughout the afternoon. A trophy and bragging rights are up for grabs!
In addition to the games and activities, the festival boasts a diverse lineup of vendors and exhibitors, who reflect the exciting multicultural landscape of our Catholic community. They present a unique opportunity to learn more about our Catholic high schools, locate a prayer group that can draw you closer in your relationship with Christ or find that particular organization which can provide you the opportunity to give back to the community and share the gifts you have received.
As with all of our endeavors, the festival only succeeds through the hard work and dedication of many volunteers. There are numerous volunteer opportunities to help support the festival. Please check out our web site www.catholicheritagefestival.org for more information regarding vending, exhibiting or volunteering.
The coming together of so many Catholics to enjoy a day of faith, family and fun is an opportunity that simply should not be missed. Hosted jointly by the Offices for Family Life, Spanish Apostolate and Multicultural Ministries, the Catholic Heritage Festival demonstrates the true collaboration of One Father, One People, One Faith! Here in Northern Virginia, we are blessed with a unified Church that consists of truly diverse, active and generous communities of Catholic faithful. Our Catholic heritage is cause for great celebration, so mark your calendars and be on the lookout for more details between now and October, on the web, in your parish bulletin, in the Catholic Herald, and on this blog.
Staff Spotlight is — in an ongoing effort to get a range of content on Encourage & Teach — content from staff members within the Diocese of Arlington from contributors who do not write as a part of their day-to-day job.
Corinne Monogue is the Director of Multicultural Ministries for the Diocese of Arlington.