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Welcome to our Cluster Parishes of Portsmouth & Chesapeake website. Please feel free to explore and learn more about each of our four parishes and our wide range of ministries. Our Cluster provides a welcoming Christ-centered environment for everyone who desires to follow the teaching of Jesus Christ by offering the Sacraments and Scriptures under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We want to welcome you not only to our website but also to our churches.

We want you to know we are here to support you and your loved ones through our prayer and action.

Bishop’s Statement on ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge”

Over the last few weeks, in an attempt to raise awareness about the debilitating disease of ALS, people around our Diocese and throughout the country have participated in the “Ice Bucket Challenge.”  This challenge invites people to make donations to a charity of their choice to support further research to treat and cure ALS.  The ALS Association is the largest organization researching this disease.

Catholics may not be aware that the ALS Association uses embryonic stem cell research to research the cause, treatment and possible cure of the disease. Because it involves the destruction of human life, embryonic stem cell research is contrary to the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, which upholds the dignity of human life at every stage of development.  Catholics and Catholic organizations cannot morally contribute to this kind of research.

However, the Diocese does support research to treat and find a cure for this debilitating disease. As Catholics we insist that this research must recognize the sanctity of all human life. We ask that Catholics participating in the “Ice Bucket Challenge” donate their financial contributions to pro-life research groups, such as the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City, Iowa, which uses adult stem cell research. This method of research is morally acceptable, because it does not involve the destruction of human life.

Memorial Day Mass

Cemetery, Memorial Day photoApproximately 150 people attended the Memorial Day Mass at All Saints Catholic Cemetery which was celebrated by Father Rossi. The Chamber Singers from Western Branch High School, under the direction of Nick Nespoli, provided music. The cemetery was established in 1884. Among the 1,700 persons interred at All Saints, there are veterans of the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the War in Vietnam. There are two recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor buried at the cemetery.

Jennifer Glymph Sings National Anthem

Jennifer Glymph, Pastoral Musician for Resurrection and St. Mary, sang the National Anthem at the Norfolk Admirals’ playoff game versus the Manchester Monarchs on Wednesday, April 30th at 7:15 pm at Norfolk Scope.

Upcoming Canonizations

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The canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II April 27 will mark a historic moment for the Catholic Church. To explore the meaning of the lives of these modern-day spiritual heroes, the U.S. Bishops Office for Media Relations asked several persons to reflect on their contributions. Writers include scholars and theologians – Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish – and media personnel involved in coverage of the much traveled John Paul II. Resources to learn more about the lives of these two extraordinary leaders of the Church may be found here.

 

Cluster Youth Attend Diocesan Youth Conference

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Ten youth from the Cluster Parishes joined over 700 youth from all over the Diocese of Richmond March 14th-16th at the Hyatt Downtown Richmond for the Annual Diocesan Youth Conference.  Youth had the opportunity to learn more about their Catholic faith, celebrate Mass, Adoration, and Reconciliation.  Thank you, parishioners, for your support of Youth Ministry in the Cluster Parishes.

Check out the official DYC Video below:

Blessing of Marriages

The Annual Blessing of Marriages was held on Friday, February 7th at St. Mary.  32 couples came to St. Mary to have their marriages blessed by Father David Cupps, Pastor of the Cluster Parishes of Portsmouth & Chesapeake.  Among the couples, Eddie and Mary Vincek held the title of longest-married at 67 years.  Tommy and Maria Craig were the newlyweds of the bunch at 9 months married.  An elegant reception followed in the St. Mary social hall and included hors d’oeuvres, anniversary punch, and music by the Governor’s School Violinists.  Attendees provided pictures of their wedding day to share with their fellow couples and reminisced about their time together living the vocation of marriage.  Fr. David Cupps said to the couples, “Thank you for being role models in our parishes by living out your vocations, you are an inspiration for many others.”

Bishop Releases Pastoral Plan for Diocese

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Diocesan Plan for Evangelization is Released

Coinciding with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Most Reverend Francis X. DiLorenzo releases the pastoral plan for the Diocese of Richmond entitled “Encounter the Joy of the Gospel and Set the World Ablaze” for implementation in all parishes.  To read this plan, click here.

Ten Minute Bible Study

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Ascension Press and The Great Adventure Bible Study Series present Ten Minute Bible Studies.  Take ten minutes per day to immerse yourself in scripture and learn more about God’s great plan of salvation through Christ.  Click here to sign up for the free program.

Evangelii Gaudium, Apostolic Exhortation of the Holy Father Francis

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Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel, is available for all ordained, religious, and lay faithful to read.  The document may be downloaded as a PDF for free from the Vatican’s website here.

Cluster Parish Mission

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Thank you to all who participated in our Cluster Parish Mission.  If you missed a night, the talks from nights 2-4 are below.  They will be here for about a month, but will permanently be available on our Cluster Parishes YouTube channel.

Topics for Each Evening Were:

Sunday:  “Intimacy with God/Self” (No video available)

Monday:  “Living the Reign of God Today”

Tuesday:  “Reconciliation”

Wednesday:  “Discipleship”

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Guidelines for Submission to the Cluster Website
All persons requesting to have information posted on the Cluster Parishes website should submit content to Shaylyn Baker for approval via email . Vatican, USCCB, Diocesan, VA Catholic Conference, or Cluster/Parish specific items will be considered. The information should be formatted for web - brief with a simple font. If images are to be used, they must be hosted on a website with links to the images provided in the body of the email. In addition, indicate on which page of the website you would like the information published, e.g. Front Page, Liturgical Ministries, etc.