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Franciscan Monastery Garden

Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild Open House

Beekeeping, garden tours, and a volunteer-run vegetable garden that produces local, fresh food for parish food pantries and food non-profits in our community. Learn more about what we do and how you (or your parish group) can volunteer. The Open House is Saturday, May 5 from 10am-12pm (1400 Quincy St. NE, Washington, DC 20017). Meet at the greenhouse behind the gift shop. All are welcome. Visit www.fmgg.


DC Padres Are Back!

The DC Padres, a baseball team consisting entirely of Catholic priests and seminarians, will play their first game of the 2018 season on Sunday, April 29 against St. Mary’s Ryken at Blue Crabs Stadium in Waldorf, MD. The Padres games begin shortly after the 2pm Blue Crabs/Baysox. Tickets are $4 each with printed flyer found (see, the DC Padres Facebook page, or the DC Padres website ( Tell your friends!


Retreat Center



Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala

Spend an evening discovering the Mary Magdalene you never knew! Our special guest speaker will be Jennifer Ristine, a     Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi. Jennifer has been   serving at the  recently excavated site of ancient Magdala in the Holy Land since 2014. Through archaeological discoveries,     historical texts, scriptural sources, and a survey of traditions, she offers a mosaic-like representation of the figure and importance of Mary     Magdalene. Suggested donation for this event is $25 per person. Advance registration is appreciated. 


Marriage Workshop: Healing Your Love

Tools for Overcoming Obstacles in Marriage

May 19-20, 2018

A Christ-Centered Marriage Renewal Workshop for couples looking to reconnect, repair, and re-energize their marriage. Adapted for the Catholic couple, this workshop is based on the international best-selling books Hold Me Tight: 7 Conversations for a Lifetime of Love and Created for Connection by Dr. Sue Johnson.  The workshop will offer married couples instruction and guidance through healing conversations that can move them toward forgiveness and re-bonding. This is a two-day workshop, but couples will not stay overnight. The registration fee includes the workshop fee, all materials, expert guided assistance during the workshop from therapists and facilitators, plus breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages throughout the weekend. Cost to attend: $475 per couple; Early-Bird rate: $400 per couple        registered before April 16th.


Book Now! Plan your Vacation with Christ!

You don’t have to travel far to get away! Plan a get-away with Christ--in Bethesda! Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center offers silent weekend retreats based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola throughout the year. Here are some          upcoming weekends:

Spiritual Exercises for Women

Jun 1-3, 2018 / 3-day retreat / $225 per person

Jun 28-Jul 1, 2018 / 4-day retreat / $300 per person

July 19-26, 2018 / 6-day retreat / $600 per person


Spiritual Exercises for Men

August 17-19 / 3-day retreat in Lent / $225 per person


Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center offers silent retreats based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Located at 7007 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20817. Visit our website or call 301-365-0612.


Human Trafficking

Letter from His Eminence Cardinal Wuerl on the Issue of Human Trafficking. Please, click the link to read it.

pdf Human Trafficking (102 KB)

February 2018 issue of GEMS

February 1, 2018

Feast of St. Brigid of Ireland


Dear Colleagues and Friends,


Attached is the February 2018 issue of GEMS.

As many of us are in the midst of winter, this issue – and the following two – look ahead to spring time.

How can parish gardening be a formative experience – affecting our spirituality, our care for the Earth?


All the past issues of GEMS are archived at

As you plan for Lent, you might want to have another look at:

·       #37 – Stations of the Cross

·       #60 – Device Sunday


If you are planning Stations of the Cross, you might find this resource helpful:



Some adult faith formation resources you might want to use during the coming Lenten season:

·       The Best Is Yet To Be: A Retreat for Older Adults:

·       Radiate Christ: A Lenten Retreat Kit:

·       The Creed:




Janet Schaeffler, OP


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Saint John Paul II National Shrine Events


The Shrine invites you to join our new apostolate, “Tea &  Rosary for Mothers.”  These mornings take place once a month from 9:45am to 12:00pm and include a short presentation, lively discussions over breakfast, and meditating upon the mysteries of the Rosary. Babysitting and activities for young children (ages 2-12) are offered throughout the    morning so moms can enjoy the conversation and have an opportunity to go to confession. Everyone is welcome to stay for Mass at 12:00pm. For more information and to RSVP, visit: May Mary keep you  under her mantle until we see you at our next gathering!  For information, please contact Patricia Moes at(202) 635-5465 or



January 2018 issue of GEMS

Often adults express their feeling that they don’t know enough about their faith.   They are hesitant to talk about their faith; they shy away from participating in adult faith formation because they fear not knowing as much as the others; they are insecure in their ability to share faith and pass on faith to others.


 How might we:

·       respect the experiences – the God experiences – already in their lives?

·       respectfully provide opportunities for them to reflect on how much they already “know,” how much they have already experienced?

·       empower them to share their faith experiences with others?

·       nudge them to continuing growth?


All the past issues of GEMS are archived at


You might want to go back to GEMS #36 for an idea for the new year – for yourself and/or the people to whom you minister.



Some adult faith formation resources you might want to use in the coming year:

·       The Best Is Yet To Be: A Retreat for Older Adults:

·       Radiate Christ: A Lenten Retreat Kit:

·       The Creed:


National Geographic Exhibit

National Geographic Exhibit on the Restoration of Jesus' Tomb

Journey to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Tomb of Christ in an immersive exhibit at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC. “The Edicule” documents the  historic 2016 restoration of the Tomb of Jesus. Visitors will be able to walk through a 3-D digital rendering of the rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Tomb, including a view of the newly-revealed cave walls that have not been seen in centuries. Learn more about this extraordinary exhibit plus talks and other special events at




Sunday Game Plan Videos

Below are links to 5 videos – the first is from our new series, Sunday Game Plan, then the latest from Fr. Bill Byrne’s 5 Things, a new video contest for middle and high school students, a video about one of our priests on the way to Sainthood, and lastly a message from Bishop Dorsonville about the V (5th) Encuentro.


Please take some time to watch and share these videos.  I am finding many people throughout our archdiocese who still do not know about our YouTube channel, WashArchdiocese, so if you would, please share these videos and our channel with your friends and family.  And if you are not subscribed, please click this link to easily subscribe today!


*NEW SERIES!* Sunday Game Plan | 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time:


The 5 Delightful Mysteries of the Rosary:


Love Saves Lives | Pro-Life Video Contest:


Venerable Aloysius Schwartz Mass:


V Encuentro | Obispo Mario Dorsonville:

WashArchdiocese YouTube Channel

Below are links to 5 videos – the latest from Fr. Bill Byrne’s 5 Things, our Principal of the Year, the latest Parish Encounter video (Holy Name with Fr. Bill Carloni), the Solar Eclipse with Fr. Peter Giovanoni and lastly, the first in our new music video series.


Please take some time to watch and share these videos.


Please, check our YouTube channel, WashArchdiocese, for more...


5 Myths about the Priesthood | 5 Things with Fr. Bill Byrne:


Distinguished Principal of the Year:


Holy Name of Jesus Parish | #ADWparish Encounters:


Solar Eclipse 2017 with Astronomer Priest:


Play Before the Lord: Music Video Series (Filmed at Immaculate Conception Church, NW DC):

VERY powerful and not a single word spoken

Make a Difference for Christians in Syria

The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, DC is part of the Franciscan Custody (province) that has served the people and shrines in the Holy Land for 800 years. Please keep the Franciscan friars and parishioners in Syria in your prayers as they struggle to keep our Catholic faith alive in the midst of the war that has engulfed this second cradle of Christianity, the place of St. Paul’s conversion. Learn more at or call 202-526-6800, x895.


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