Resounding 13-2 Board of Health vote affirms common sense standards. 

This afternoon, by a 13-2 vote, the Virginia State Board of Health approved strong permanent regulations on abortion centers, consistent with temporary emergency regulations currently in place.  Most significantly, the provisions approved by the Board today include important building standards that are part of the temporary regulations but that the Board had previously (in June) declined to make permanent. 

Commenting on the Board’s action, Virginia Catholic Conference Director Jeff Caruso observed, “Today’s debate and resounding vote once again affirms that it is a matter of common sense that the abortion industry be subject to reasonable regulations.  Abortion is not health care because it ends lives rather than healing them, but the abortion industry must meet clear safety standards if it is allowed to operate under the guise of health care.  Today’s vote is a huge step forward.” 

The Board-approved regulations now proceed to review by the executive branch.  After that, they will be open to another comment period before the Board takes a final vote next year. 

The Conference especially thanks all pro-life advocates who attended today’s hearing.  Your responsiveness to messages urging attendance was terrific, and your presence was vital and effective.  

The Virginia Catholic Conference is the public-policy representative of the Commonwealth’s Catholic bishops and their dioceses.

Announcing a Human Concerns Ministry Fair at St. Bridget Church

Subject: Announcing a Human Concerns Ministry Fair

 Dear worker in the vineyard of the Lord,

Human Concerns will be distributing a ministry booklet the weekend of September 15/16. The following weekend of September 22/23 we will be hosting a ministry fair out in front of the church (in event of rain it will be in MPH at the school). This will be an opportunity to show case all of our Human Concerns ministries. 

 In this regard we hope to accomplish three things; first is to show the many good works the parish is involved in; second people get to see where their donations go when they support these ministries with the Human Concerns envelope; third encourage folks to volunteer.  

 We will have pop up canopies with tables set up under them so our various ministries can set up a display (which may simply be a sign with the ministry name and someone to answer questions and you can get more complicated from there).  Additionally, we will have Helium Balloons, Candy, Donuts and coffee and the Knights will host a Voter registration to help encourage parishioners to linger after Mass. Perhaps the parish nurses will host a blood pressure check for the day? 

 To make this work we need to come together to put some effort into it.  We will have speakers to begin each Mass talking about a particular ministry for two minutes. 

 I do not think we need every ministry at every Mass.  Let me know which Mass you would like to be at to have part of a table with a sign saying which ministry you are with and answer questions.  We will have ministry booklets for folks to sign up or you may decide to have a simple sign-up sheet with you on the table.  If you have other volunteers you can be at more Masses or even every Mass if you like.  I want to make this as user friendly as possible.


Mass – 5:30 Sat





Names of volunteers at table          

 Will you be able to help with set up Saturday Sept 22 at noon? _____ Yes    _____ No

 Will you be able to help with take down Sunday Sept 23 at 6:30? _____ Yes    _____ No

 Thanks for your help in making our community rich in faith, hope and charity.

Peace, Paul Amrhein

Director for Human Concerns and Pastoral Care

St. Bridget Church, Richmond, VA

(804) 525.7902


As Election Approaches, Virginia Catholic Conference Offers Special Resource to Help Form Conscience For Political Participation

  Civic Responsibility: A Resource for Catholics in Virginia

 Why does the Catholic Church speak on public policy issues—and more importantly, what does it have to say? Moreover, who should participate in this process?

 As a people of both faith and reason, Catholics are called to bring truth to political life and to practice Christ’s commandment to “love one another.” Exploring the principles that can best guide us in that process is the purpose of a resource released today by the Virginia Catholic Conference.

  “Civic Responsibility: A Resource for Catholics in Virginia,” is a two-sided document drawing excerpts from a two-page summary of the U.S. bishops’ November 2007 statement Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. This resource,in an easy-to-print two-sided format, is now available here on the Virginia Catholic Conference website. It includes seven key themes of Catholic social teaching that serve as a guide as Catholics ponder their role in public policy decisions.

 “Civic Responsibility” is just one of several voter education pieces the Conference will offer this election season. In upcoming weeks, the Conference will release

  • “Know the Positions of the Presidential Candidates,” a side-by-side look at the two major party presidential candidates on 10 issues important to Catholics;
  • a 10-question response chart to the Conference’s survey of Virginia’s two U.S. senatorial candidates; and
  • a pre-election letter issued by Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde and Richmond Bishop Francis DiLorenzo highlighting the importance of many issues, the differences in moral gravity among issues, and the call to participate in the political process throughout the year.

These resources will be available on the Conference website at Stay tuned!

 Jeff Caruso, Virginia Catholic Conference