The Friday Five: Saints, Synods, and Getting in Shape

By: Elise Italiano, Director of Communications

1.  This week Pope Francis continued the trend of having blesseds and saints beatified and canonized on their home turf.  During his apostolic visit to Sri Lanka, he celebrated the canonization of St. Jospeh Vaz, who according to Francis, “teaches us how to go out to the peripheries, to make Jesus Christ everywhere known and loved.”  And speaking of going to the peripheries,  the Holy Father is planning to give us another American saint during his visit to the United States this fall: Blessed Junipero Sera, founder of California’s first missions, whom Francis calls the “evangelizer of the west.”


2. Getting in shape. It’s a resolution that many undertook a few weeks ago at the start of the new year.  In his most recent column in the Arlington Catholic Herald, Bishop encouraged us to get our spiritual lives in shape, too.  One way to do that is by dedicating time to spiritual reading.  Two members of our diocese, Fr. Paul Scalia, Bishop’s Delegate for Clergy, and Soren Johnson, Special Assistant to the Bishop for Evangelization and Media, were interviewed (along with a former American President, news columnists, and an actress) about their favorite books on spirituality.  Tweet your spiritual reading recommendations to @arlingtonchurch with the hashtag #arlingtonreads and we’ll circulate the list we compile on our social media accounts.

3.  The media was buzzing this past fall with news from the first of two Synods on marriage and the family.  As a Church we were challenged to discern ways to support spouses in strengthening their commitment to one another. Bishop Loverde and the Office for Family Life are answering that call by offering the “Busy Couples Retreat,” a free, online retreat beginning February 7, World Marriage Sunday, and ending on Valentine’s Day.  Watch Bishop Loverde’s invitation to make time for your marriage and sign up here:

4. Tired of the false divide between “social justice” Catholics and “pro-life” Catholics?  The Diocese of Arlington, committed to the fullness of faith, has begun a 4-week period of commitment to alleviating poverty, ending abortion, providing education, and strengthening marriage.  Every life matters.  Every life counts.

5.  This week at Mass, a priest quoted St. Jerome’s maxim that “ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”  I was struck by one line in particular in from Wednesday’s Gospel: “Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, ‘Everyone is looking for you'” (cf. Mk. 1:37)Everyone is looking for Christ.  A simple, yet profound reminder that even if someone doesn’t know it, he or she is looking for Christ.  Everyone is seeking Him.  Let’s pray for opportunities to offer our neighbors an encounter with Jesus next week.


I pray you have a blessed and restful weekend!

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