Form your conscience in advance of the November election, with help from Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde.
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Throwback: Pope Francis in the U.S.

One year ago today, Pope Francis arrived at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland as part of a six-day visit to the United States.

For #ThrowbackThursday, we're revisiting some of the highlights of his trip. What do you remember most vividly, one year later?

Check out the links below to see photos from papal events.

Pope Francis arrives at Joint Base Andrews

Pope Francis at the White House

Pope Francis' papal parade in Washington

Pope Francis at St. Matthew's Cathedral

Canonization Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine

of the Immaculate Conception

Address to Congress

Catholic Charities and St. Patrick's Church

Departure from Washington to New York

Philadelphia & World Meeting of Families


Know the positions of the presidential candidates

The Virginia Catholic Conference has put together a voter guide that depicts the positions of the two presidential candidates (Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump) on 12 key issues, including abortion, the death penalty and immigration.

The VCC is is the public policy advocacy organization representing Virginia's two Catholic bishops, Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond and Paul Loverde of Arlington, and their dioceses in matters before the Virginia General Assembly, the U.S. Congress, and the state and federal administrations and their agencies.

The guide was published in the Sept. 15 edition of the Catholic Herald. The English and Spanish versions of the guide can be found at   More

Election 2016: Forming your conscience

Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde will publish a six-part series on conscience formation for Catholics prior to the November presidential election.

Part 1: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

Part 2: The Right to Life

Part 3: Marriage and Sexuality

En Español

Primera parte — Comienzo en espíritu de oración

Segunda parte — Principios fundamentales: El derecho a la vida

Tercera parte — El matrimonio y la sexualidad: testimonio de la verdad

Columns will be added to this page as they are published.   More

Great Falls pastor remembers Barbara Olson

The following homily was delivered Sept. 15, 2001 by Fr. Franklyn McAfee, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Great Falls, at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington during the memorial Mass for author and commentator Barbara Olson, who was on board American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon Sept. 11.

I walked a mile with gladness

She chattered all the way

But left me none the wiser

For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with sorrow

And ne’er a word said she

But oh, the things I learned from her

When sorrow walked with me.

It is most appropriate that we gather for this memorial Mass for Barbara Olson in this cathedral, dedicated to St. Thomas More, a lawyer and a government official. He reminds us that the legal profession, and work in government, are noble professions.

It is also appropriate that we assemble to offer this Mass for Barbara and her family on the day which in the Catholic liturgical calendar is set aside to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Lady of Sorrows.

In the final moments of that awful drama, we all know that Barbara called her husband, Ted, on her phone, to inform him of what was going on, to ask for his advice, and tell him of her love. We heard them talk about this last night, on CNN and on Fox.

In imminent danger, at the very door of death, she turns to her husband, whom she trusts. Many poems can be written about love, but this surpasses them all. We can only imagine what went through Ted’s mind as his wife talked with him, especially since he was aware of the attacks in New York.

Ted might tell us what he thought, and he did so on the TV interviews, but there is no way he could convey to us what he felt, and what anguish and anxiety was piercing his heart. His wife was about to die, and there was absolutely nothing he could do. He was absolutely powerless. He was Solicitor General of the United States, and he could do nothing for the woman he …   More

Photo files and story leads

We’ve been looking through old files of Mother Teresa photos from her visit to the Arlington Diocese and to Washington way back in 1981 and 1982. Last week, I kept seeing photos of the same couple with two small children, who looked like they might be from India.

Photo after photo, I saw them in a crowd surrounding Mother Teresa, sitting just the four of them and finally, the money shot — Mother Teresa leaning down to speak with one of the girls.

After a hunt in our bound volumes of back issues, we found one of the photos with a caption and their names.

After a check with their parish, we had contact info. I put Zoey DiMauro, staff writer, on the case and within an hour she was on the phone with Ellen Alterman getting the story and the profound connection to the soon-to-be-saint.

Read the story

Seeing Mother Teresa’s small hand cradling the chin of a tiny girl illustrates her great love for children.

In 1982, on her first visit to a war zone, she reportedly met with Red Cross officials in East Beirut. A nearby mental hospital had been bombed, and 37 mentally and physically handicapped children had to be evacuated.

“I’ll take them,” she said.

This weekend, as another modern-day saint is added to the list of the church’s holy men and women, consider how her example might affect the choices we make as we try to find our own Calcutta.

Augherton can be reached at or on Twitter @aughertonACH.


Buy photos from Mother Teresa's 1981 and 1982 visits to Arlington and Washington; or print them on keepsake coffee mugs, magnets and more.   More

As Mother Teresa said …


“Live simply so others may simply live.”

“A life not lived for others is not a life.”

“The fruit of abortion is nuclear war.”

“Never travel faster than your guardian angel can fly.”

Which of these are quotes from Blessed Teresa of Kolkata?

The answer — none of them.

Call it urban legend, simple misquoting or out-right fabrication, there are dozens of quotes attributed to Mother Teresa that, according to the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center, she never said. (Style note: Blessed Teresa of Kolkata became the preferred style in Catholic media a few years ago.)

To combat the perpetuation of these misquotes, the center compiled a list of quotes falsely attributed to the soon-to-be saint. And, there’s a section called, “Quotes that are significantly paraphrased versions or personal interpretations of statements Mother Teresa made; they are not her authentic words.”

So, according to the list, she didn’t say, “I think it is very good when people suffer. To me that is like the kiss of Jesus.” Nor did she say, “Good works are links that form a chain of love.” Some of these quotes sound like her style, some are too far-fetched to believe.

Others are just a bit off-track, “I don’t do great things. I do small things with great passion.” She is however quoted in the book Come Be My Light, edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk as saying, “Don't look for big things, just do small things with great love. ...The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love.”

The center’s website points out that many entities are appropriating Mother Teresa’s name or image without permission of the Missionaries of Charity. Their list is a helpful reference as the Sept. 4 canonization nears.

So next time someone tells you, “As Mother Teresa said … ”smile, but doublecheck it.

Augherton can be reached at …   More

Seven ways to end food waste and save money

The scene is a familiar one for us all: in the midst of cooking a new meal, you glance in the fridge to see last week’s leftovers, still in a container. Out they go, and it’s on to tonight’s dinner.

But that momentary decision has consequences. According to the Ad Council’s Save the Food campaign, a family of two wastes around $63 a month on uneaten food, adding up to $750 a year.

In fact, almost half of all food — 40 percent — is thrown away. It then ends up in landfills, “where it decomposes and releases methane,” according to the Ad Council. “In fact, food is the single largest contributor to U.S. landfills today.” Meanwhile, thousands of Americans go hungry each night.

Check out these tips for ending food waste in your own life, helping planet earth and feeding those in need:

Plan ahead. It’s good advice for just about everything, including curbing food waste. Before you head to the grocery store, take some time to plan out your meals so that you only buy what you need. If you purchase a special ingredient that won’t be fully used in one recipe, make sure you also plan for another meal that utilizes it. Once, after making a delicious cabbage soup, I was left with half a head of cabbage and no idea how to finish it. With advice from my mom, it soon turned into a kale cabbage salad.

Make sure the recipe you use will yield the amount of food you’ll need. Many online recipe sites have the option to scale down or increase the number of servings — an invaluable tool.

Go frozen. More things can be frozen than you think, including flour, milk and pizza dough. I like to freeze overripe bananas and later use them for banana bread or milkshakes. For a comprehensive list of freezable items, check out this article from Once a Month Meals . Relying on frozen fruits and vegetables is an easy way to ensure fresh produce doesn't go to waste. Try making meals in bulk and freezing the leftovers for later.

Even before freezing, …   More

Play and pray with Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go has come to the Arlington Diocese and it’s here to stay — for now. The mobile app phenomenon hit gamers’ smart phones July 6 and players have in turn hit the road in droves in search for PokéStops, gyms and the elusive Pokémon characters they are trying to catch. Some players are finding themselves in places they would not normally go — including church.

In the past week, a number of churches in the diocese have seen an increase in traffic because unbeknownst to them there is a gym or Pokémon spot near their location. The Pastor and church employees have no warning that their church has one of these spots until the players come knocking.

Kevin Finn, who works at the front desk at St. Charles Borromeo in Arlington noticed a large group of young men in their 20s hanging out in the parking lot with their phones in the air.

“My daughter told me later that the chapel was listed as a gym,” said Finn. A gym is a place where Pokémon players can come and train or do battle with other players.

Many parishes are trying to figure out how to reach out to gamers visiting the parish, while also standing firm about not trespassing overnight or catching Pokémon in the church. Seminarian John Paul Heisler described a group of players who came into Church of the Nativity in Burke during the 11a.m. Mass on Sunday in search of a Pokémon. According to Heisler players were oblivious to the sacredness of what was happening.

Father Patrick L. Posey, pastor of St. James in Falls Church, sent out a letter informing parishioners about the six PokéStops on the church property. He welcomed players to visit the church but to be respectful. He also encouraged players to celebrate the feast day of St. James with them at their ice cream social Monday, July 25.

“Hopefully, once a person finds the Pokémon, they will enter the church and find Christ. Just to be clear, I do not believe there is anything wrong with playing Pokémon Go. However, I do …   More

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