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Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde gave a presentation on his pastoral letter “Bought with a Price” to the Congressional Catholic Staff Association Jan. 23 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

“We must be willing to break the silence on the evils of pornography,” Bishop Loverde told the Catholic group. “We must educate and do a better job protecting our families — and especially now, our children. To do anything less makes us complicit in this conspiracy of silence.

“What if the leaders who propel images of objectified women across the Internet, television and cable were compelled to articulate their reasons for their wide-scale distribution of images of objectified women?” the bishop asked.

“By living with purity and integrity; by educating others about the impact of pornography; and by shining a light on this grave evil, you can make a profound and tangible difference for the good in the lives of others,” he said.

“We must examine our own hearts — in daily prayer, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, through a gradual healing of those wounds, which might fuel addictive desires in our lives, and yes, through a relentless acceptance of the mercy which our Lord and Savior offers us.”

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Clad in white tunics dangling with rosaries, six Dominican brothers and one priest sat in a semicircle Jan. 14 to practice a blend of bluegrass, Irish-American and Scottish folk, Americana spirituals — and a touch of reggae.

The group, called the Hillbilly Thomists, plays after ordinations and vow professions at the Dominican House of Studies, which provides intellectual, pastoral and spiritual formation to Dominican student brothers.

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Pope Francis wrapped up his visit to the Philippines with a Mass, attended by 6 to 7 million people, at a Manila park Sunday. In this video, Catholic News Service looks back at the pope's five-day visit, during which he met with typhoon survivors, made a surprise visit to a Buddhist center and met with former street children.

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Father Joel D. Jaffe, director of vocations stresses the importance of meeting and talking with priests and sisters when young people are discerning the religious life. He says, "One of the best things that happens in the (seminarian hoops challenge) is that everybody can see that seminarians and priests are just normal guys." The seminarians beat the high school Quo Vadis team 54-52 in the Jan. 3 game.   More

After four years at the helm, Coach Gordon Leib has stepped down as varsity head football coach at Paul VI Catholic High School.

In 2012, Leib led the Panthers to their first winning record in 12 years, while amassing a 6 game winning streak over 2 seasons. The football program produced seven college players during his tenure. Plagued by injuries in 2014, Paul VI finished 2-8.

Paul VI Athletic Director Billy Emerson remarked, “Coach Leib did a great job building high character program. He brought success to our football team and he’s leaving a strong foundation to build upon. He is irreplaceable, but we will have to find a new football coach.”

Paul VI is accepting applications for Varsity Head Football Coach. Please email a resume with a cover letter and at least two letters of recommendation to: lindaz@paulvi.net no later than January 30, 2014.

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Christendom College will host a first-class relic of the recently canonized Pope John Paul in the Chapel of Christ the King Jan. 7. Beginning at the 11:30 a.m. Mass, veneration of the relic will continue until 2:00 p.m. Presented by the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the relic is a vile of the late pontiff’s blood – one of only three such relics in the world.

“Christendom College has had a strong connection to Pope Saint John Paul since his pontificate, and so it is nothing less than an absolute honor to be have the opportunity to venerate a first-class relic of such a beloved saint,” said Fr. Stephen McGraw, the chaplain of the college.

The relic is a “first-class” relic since it was taken directly from the saint during his final hospitalization prior to his death in April of 2005.

The Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a religious institute founded in the Archdiocese of Miami, Florida, in 1990, are responsible for organizing the relic’s pilgrimage in the United States.

St. John Paul knew Christendom College well, having met with college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell on numerous occasions, and appointing O’Donnell a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family in 2002. In a 1992 meeting, the late-pontiff told a group of Christendom College pilgrims that Christendom was “doing a great work for the Church.”

The college community has always had a great devotion to St. John Paul. One of the central hubs for students on campus is the John Paul the Great Student Center, which features a beautiful and welcoming statue of the pope that students walk by everyday. Also, the college’s Christ the King Chapel is home to a chalice and paten of the saint, which was given to the college on the occasion of the chapel’s dedication. The same chalice will be used during the Mass on January 7.

The Mass and veneration of the relic are open to the public.

St. Veronica Church in Chantilly will also host …   More

Last year's Lessons and Carols 2013 performance was canceled due to an unexpected snow storm. On Sunday Dec. 7, the Cathedral of St. Thomas More welcomed parishioners to join them for Lessons and Carols: Take Two. The night's festivities included songs by the Cathedral's Children choir along with special performances by the Cathedral choir.   More

Catholic News Service looks back at some of the images that made us laugh, cry and think in 2014.

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It seems that just about every week Pope Francis is in the news. With his unconventional style and words of wisdom, the pope is regularly one of the most talked-about topics on the Internet. Here are the most popular stories about him over the last year on catholicherald.com.

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In the Dec. 11 issue of the Catholic Herald, I wrote "Sharing the Christmas joy" about the evangelization efforts of St. John the Beloved Church in McLean. Groups of parishioners went door-to-door to say hello and invite neighbors to parish functions.

I went along with Dave Scully, Edward Ciesielski and Kyle Herbert. At one of the homes we were asked to sing Christmas Carols to Edward Leong, who was dying of cancer. His wife, Janee, said Edward loved music, so we sang.

I received an email from Scully, who said that he called Mrs. Leong and found out that Edward died the following day.

I believe that Scully, Ciesielski and Herbert made Edward’s last hours on earth a bit happier with their special Christmas gift.   More

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