Diocese of Richmond: A Rising STAR!


#1

I’d just like to give a brief tribute to my home Diocese, the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia.

Just over two years ago, we were one of the worst dioceses in the country under the leadership of our former Bishop, Walter Sullivan. Sullivan was one of the most liberal Bishops in the country (apparently his hero was Rembert Weakland), and brought alot of terrible things to our diocese. Out of charity, I won’t go into specifics, but I attribute in part the fact that I left the Church for about seven years to Bishop Sullivan and the people that he hired.

Well, in 2004, which was the year that I “converted back” to Catholicism, we finally received a new Bishop! His name is Francis Xavier DiLorenzo and he was from the Diocese of Honolulu. He seems to be a wonderful administrator and really cracked down on alot of the abuses in the Diocese. For instance, he immediately fired a woman who worked for the Diocese who was going around pushing for women’s ordination- DiLorenzo had a meeting with her in which he told her, “you’re not a Catholic…you’re a Protestant.” Moreover, he “fired” a pastor of this one parish who had engaged in dire Liturgical abuses, such as saying Holy Mass in a Superman costume and riding a motorcylce into the church on Palm Sunday (Jesus told his apostles, “go fetch me a donkey,” not “go fetch me some hot wheels.”) Moreover, unlike his predecessor, Bishop diLorenzo is very attached and active with the Richmond Cathedral.

One of the things that DiLorenzo did was tour the Diocese and “move around” pastors who weren’t very good for their particular parish. I heard that he moved around some 80 priests within the Diocese! For instance, my particular pastor was a bit “full of himself” because he was practically worshiped by his congregation. Therefore, he was able to get away with lots of liturgical abuses. Needless to say, my family’s parish used to be TERRIBLE- very liberal. But in 2005, diLorenzo decided to move my old pastor to a place in Richmond and then imported Fr. Abe, from a parish in Shenandoah.

Needless to say, Fr. Abe is an extremely holy man. He has introduced wonderful music to our parish, has increased Eucharistic Adoration to every week, and has incense in every liturgy! Also, he is a very intellectual man and constantly gives talks on apologetics and the teachings of the Holy Father. He has done wonders to my parish, which just goes to show that no matter how bad a parish is, it isn’t beyond hope!

In Richmond itself, there is an amazing church called St. Benedicts. It has Eucharistic Adoration every week, has a beautiful edifice, daily mass at 5:30 PM every day, and uses the Latin Plainchant in its mass. Its pastor, Fr. Kauffman is absolutely wonderful and a very traditional man.

The Diocese’s vocational director is also an amazing man, too! He is very “in touch” with young people, but at the same time extremely wise and conservative.

In fact, I believe the diocese has 12 new seminarians this year, which is wonderful!

There are several contemplative monasteries throughout the diocese, including my beloved Bethlehem Poor Clare Monastery in Barhamsville, Virginia. Fr. Russell Smith, the Diocesan Theologian, says mass there every morning. Also in the Diocese are Benedictine monks, Trapestine nuns, and Sisters of the Visitation.

I’ll end this discourse by talking about the Diocese of Richmond’s very on Saint-to-be, Frank Parater! Frank Parater was a very holy seminarian who died in Rome in 1929, and his famous for his beautiful “Act of Oblation.” He was also one of the first Catholic Eagle Scouts in America. Fr. Scott Duarte, also of the Diocese of Richmond, is the postulator of his cause. Believe me, Frank Parater’s intercession WORKS! I will definitely start another thread devoted simply to Frank.

So, has anyone else had experience with the Diocese of Richmond? And, do any of you who are part of the Diocese agree that it is getting REALLY GOOD? I’d love your input!


#2

It sounds like God has answered your prayers!


#3

I’m pretty sure my area (tidewater) falls under Richmond, but since we’re military, we fall under the military archdiocese – I could be wrong…

Anyway, the “outside” (meaning non-military) churches I’ve been to around here are FREAKY new age wacky weird “no need to kneel, you’re worthy!!” touchy-feel-good places…St Kateri is one, St Joan of Arc is another…I took my parents b/c we had missed early mass at base (new baby…threw us all off!) and we were all…uhh…very uncomfortable in this “art museum” – we couldn’t even find the stations of the cross on the walls – they were this freaky art that you couldn’t even tell what they were – were it not for the location (up on the walls, spaced evenly, and the number of them) I would have thought they were art pieces from a local art school or something. The church was very…protestant, for lack of a better explanation. Needless to say, we’ve stuck with our military church since then…lol.


#4

As someone who moved to Va Beach as a fresh-out-of-RCIA Catholic, and was SHOCKED :eek: when we went looking for a home parish… I’m soooo happy for you! We left VA in 2000 - glad to know that maybe that one parish where they used Ritz crackers as hosts is back on track…


#5

Leaner, when you have to use “outside” churches, I might suggest coming up to Williamsburg to go to St. Bede’s (TERRIBLE architecture, but good pastor) and even better yet, you could go out to Barhamsville and attend mass at the Poor Clare monastery. Also, there is a N.O. Latin Mass place called “St. Elizabeth Ann Seton” up in New Kent County, if you can take the hike.

Yeah, everyone…I’m sorry that the Hampton Roads part of ther Diocese is in such bad shape still. :frowning:

At least it’s good that they didn’t split off into a separate Diocese of Hampton Roads as they had proposed when all the liberals learned that we were getting DiLorenzo as our new Bishop.

Well, have confidence that our Diocese is specifially under the direction of the Servant of God Frank Parater in Heaven! We’ve got him praying for all of us! :slight_smile:


#6

Heh heh chiara…I might just be up there tomorrow (I need some moose munch from harry and david at the prime outlets…as well as a gift from brooks brothers…) but alas, we will need to be home for naps; perhaps next time we’re up there…where exactly is St Bedes? I think I may have passed it, b/c it sounds awfully familiar…is it near fords colony?


#7

Star of the Sea parish in Virginia Beach is a weird one. The naval base at Little Creek has a good, solid priest however.


#8

I am from Richmond and I know this is bad, but I was not a big fan of Bishop Sullivan either. My parents go to ST Joseph’s an indult TLM in Richmond. There is another church right across the street from them that I went to as a child, but it’s one of those weird things too. They don’t use an entrance hymn instead they bang a gong until the priest takes his place. They also do not kneel during the concecration. On the other hand St Joseph’s is fabulous. They have wonderful music, a children’s choir that does Gregorian chant(thank God they are passing this gift on to the children), a high Mass every Sunday as well as a low Mass and a wonderful pastor, FR Adrian. I have not been to St Benedict’s but some of my extended family does go there. Richmond is wonderful and I can’t wait til my husband retires from the military so we can go back for good. Hopefully in 4 years you’ll find me every Sunday at St Joseph’s!!


#9

Oh, St. Joseph’s is a good one! It’s right near this neat little Catholic Bookstore off of the Chippenham Parkway.

Also, there is this COOL Catholic Bookstore on Sheppard St, right near Carytown. It’s funny, because the sign for the store has a “Jesus fish” and it says “Christian Bookstore” on it, but you go in and it has totally P.O.D. stuff, like statues, chapel veils, medals…it’s AWESOME! :thumbsup:


#10

[quote=Chiara]I’d just like to give a brief tribute to my home Diocese, the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia.

But in 2005, diLorenzo decided to move my old pastor to a place in Richmond and then imported Fr. Abe, from a parish in Shenandoah.
Needless to say, Fr. Abe is an extremely holy man. He has introduced wonderful music to our parish, has increased Eucharistic Adoration to every week, and has incense in every liturgy! Also, he is a very intellectual man and constantly gives talks on apologetics and the teachings of the Holy Father. He has done wonders to my parish, which just goes to show that no matter how bad a parish is, it isn’t beyond hope!

So, has anyone else had experience with the Diocese of Richmond? And, do any of you who are part of the Diocese agree that it is getting REALLY GOOD? I’d love your input!
[/quote]

My family was, until recently, members of the Diocese of Richmond. We are now members of the Arlington Diocese.

We hailed from Lynchburg. There are two parishes there, Holy Cross, and St. Thomas More. If you don’t like to kneel, then St. Thomas More is for you. They just built a new church, with no kneelers. And if you want Priestesses, you will feel very much at home there, as I personally know a few parishoners who have desired that more than anything else. If you decide to kneel, be prepared for the glares you will receive (a friend told me of that sad experience)
Personally, I couldn’t bear to set foot in that parish after the one time experience with the “permanent” metal folding chairs for Mass.

Holy Cross is around 125 years old, and is a nice parish with a decent priest. At least he didn’t do any really funky things I’ve seen in the more liberal parishes. They do have many “liberal” parishoners, but many “conservatives” as well. They seemed to balance each other out.
I did (and still do) have reservations about the children’s religious education, and serious reservations about the RCIA after my husband went through it.

I know the parish that Fr. Abe came from - St. Francis in Staunton. It was because of him that they were one of the few parishes in the Richmond diocese that had Perpetual Adoration. At one point we thought of moving there.
I do hope they received a priest who will continue Fr. Abe’s good works.

I do agree that many good changes are in the works. I know many who cheered when the woman was fired, (as well as many who cried). The Bishop has a great deal of work ahead.

I hope all would keep him in their prayers. 25 years of lax and liberalistic leadership takes a lot of work to overcome.
It will take many good faithful priests, and the retirement of those who don’t like being asked to follow Christ’s Church.

MC


#11

[quote=Chiara]Oh, St. Joseph’s is a good one! It’s right near this neat little Catholic Bookstore off of the Chippenham Parkway.

Also, there is this COOL Catholic Bookstore on Sheppard St, right near Carytown. It’s funny, because the sign for the store has a “Jesus fish” and it says “Christian Bookstore” on it, but you go in and it has totally P.O.D. stuff, like statues, chapel veils, medals…it’s AWESOME! :thumbsup:
[/quote]

The Ave Maria right? I go there every time I go to Richmond. I live in the Bible Belt so there are no Catholic stores within an hour of my house so I love going to them when I’m in Richmond. I didn’t know abou the one in Carytown though. Is it the one on a side street? If so, I think I have been there. I’m not sure. I’ll have to check iy out next time I’m there. Since I live 2 mountain ranges away, it will have to be after the spring thaw! Thanks for the info.


#12

My family is planning to move to the Richmond area and I was somewhat apprehensive about the catholic culture. I am glad to hear that things have changed.Are the Richmond churches close enough to Chesterfield or will we find catholic churches there?


#13

I’m also in this diocese, and when I first moved here from Arlington five years ago it was quite a shock! I came from a parish where there were no kneelers, so that wasn’t so bad, but at this one the floors were cement under the pews. Seems they did everythign possible to prevent people from kneeling, but I kneeled anyway :stuck_out_tongue: .

I tried the two other parishes, and both seemed far more liberal than the one I was at (nametags and wandering around at one, raisin nut bread at the other :frowning: ).

I have lately been noticing a change in my parish, but I thought it was more that I was becoming more orthodox and we had a new pastor. It’s nice to know it’ll soon be the same for the others. I’ll remember to give special thanks tonight for our new bishop! :smiley:


#14

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