• The Bishop's Lenten Appeal

    The BLA is the primary means of support for many ministries, programs, services and charitable works of our diocesan community.

Programs Supported by the Bishop's Lenten Appeal

Learn about the different ways the Bishop's Lenten Appeal supports various diocesan programs and ministries by toggling through the expandable FAQ section below.

Programs and Ministries Supported by the BLA

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Assisting in pastoral action and providing administrative support

As the shepherd of souls for 69 parishes and 5 missions, the Bishop relies on the chancery to assist in pastoral action and provide administrative support. Over 3,000 parish, school and diocesan employees are supported in liturgical issues, parish financial guidance, audits, human resources and employee benefit programs. The Virginia Catholic Conference represents the public policy interests of the two Catholic Bishops in Virginia.

Serving those in need

Catholic Charities has more than 15 programs that serve the poor, imprisoned, the elderly, the hungry and most vulnerable and needy among us. Catholic Charities coordinates Christ House shelter for men, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, adoption services, pregnancy services, prison ministry, family transitional housing, provides financial emergency assistance and more.

The Victims' Assistance Office is staffed by trained, compassionate social workers who are equipped to deal with reports of abuse and offer counseling and other resources to victims of abuse.

Project Rachel offers post-abortion compassionate retreats and support services.

The Tribunal is a healing ministry that examines petitions for annulments.

Evangelizing the faithful and wider community in our diocese

The Office of Communications uses a variety of mediums to promote, educate and evangelize the faithful and wider community in our diocese.

The office coordinates and promotes the initiative “The Light is On,” where parishes stay open late on Wednesday evenings to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent.

They also bring pertinent news stories to the public while forging closer links and greater awareness among members of our diocesan family.

Providing critical support to charity efforts and development in the diocese and parishes

Through your contribution, the diocese is able to purchase land for newly founded parishes for their parish grounds.

Your donation also helps fuel the efforts of the Office of Development in providing critical strategic support and counsel to the diocese, parishes and schools.

The Development team also coordinates the BLA and provides support for the offertory programs for parishes.

The Development Office has a planned giving program that gives parishioners the opportunity to support the Church through wills, annuities and other charitable vehicles.

Amplifying the Message of the Church

Initiatives include strengthening the faith of practicing Catholics, reaching out to less active Catholics to help them grow in their faith, and bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who do not know God. This includes promoting Bishop Loverde’s pastoral letters and regular inspirational radio messages.

The diocese is also committed to ecumenical outreach through support of our Dominican Republic Mission Parishes, The Peace and Justice Commission, INOVA Hospital Ministry and College Campus Ministries.

Supporting the "Domestic Church"

By working directly with families (the "Domestic Church") and through parishes, the Office for Family Life provides programs and resources that instill the Gospel of Christ through healing, formation and support. Gabriel Project provides pregnancy assistance to expectant mothers.

San Damiano Retreat Center

Fostering reflection and spiritual renewal, the diocese offers a peaceful retreat venue, the San Damiano Spiritual Life Center, with opportunities for a wide variety of retreats and days of reflection for groups and individuals.

Supporting the many ethnic communities within our diocese.

The Spanish Apostolate promotes the evangelization, formational and pastoral needs of the Hispanic Catholics in our diocese. Currently 36 parishes offer Spanish Mass.

The Office of Multicultural Ministries supports the many ethnic communities within our diocese.

Fostering priestly and religious vocations by promoting an awareness of God’s call to the priesthood and religious life.

The Office of Vocations promotes an awareness of God’s call to the priesthood. For the 43 seminarians currently discerning the priesthood, the Office of Vocations provides room, board, tuition and health expenses, along with mentoring them in their spiritual, academic and pastoral formation. Additionally, the Office of Vocations fosters priestly and religious vocations through programs that provide one-on-one guidance and vocation awareness events. Funding for the permanent diaconate program and elderly clergy in their retirement is also provided by the BLA.

Providing supportive formation and education for every stage of life

The Office of Youth Ministry serves as a resource for youth ministers in each parish to fully incorporate young people to Christ and his Church. Events that promote Christian fellowship and service, while instilling compassion and spiritual growth among teens, are coordinated through this Office.

The Office of Catholic Schools collaborates with other Diocesan offices in assisting pastors, principals and teachers in administrative responsibilities. The office also provides assistance to school leaders in the spiritual, intellectual and social formation of Catholic School students.

The Office of Catechetics works alongside parishes to assist and guide them in their religious education programs for children, teenagers and adults.