Bishop blesses pregnancy and adoption office

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The Catholic Charities' Center for Adoption Services was founded in 1947. Over the years, the office leased space at various locations in Arlington, finally moving to Burke in 1986.

In November, the office moved to new space in Fairfax on Old Lee Highway near Fairfax Circle and has been renamed Pregnancy and Adoption Support. Although they've been providing adoption and pregnancy services at the new location for months, the center celebrated the new space with a blessing by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde and a small reception for about 40 supporters and staff April 11.

Bishop Loverde walked through the office sprinkling holy water. He was assisted by Francis Xavier "FX" Giaccio, an altar server at St. James Church in Falls Church.

In his remarks, the bishop quoted Pope Francis who said, "I see the church as a field hospital after battle."

The bishop called the Charities office a field hospital where those who need healing will find it.

Kim Harrell, program director, said that the new space is at a better location for access by Metro and is easier to find.

She said that she is excited about the new opportunities available at this new location.

"If you are looking to see God's hand, this is the place to go," said Harrell.

Art Bennett, CEO and president of Catholic Charities, said the space is superior to the old Burke location for a variety of reasons, and the lease is less expensive.

"Nicer and cheaper is great," said Bennett.

He called the office "a comfortable place for people to come."

The new office space is a dramatic change from the Burke location. The fourth-floor suite has a roomy waiting area and attractive meeting rooms with panoramic views of Fairfax. It was chosen for just that reason.

"It shows (the clients) that they're getting the best care possible," said Father Robert C. Cilinski, pastor of the Church of the Nativity in Burke, and a member of the Catholic Charities board of directors.

Father Cilinski said the new office space reinforces the dignity of their clients.

The office also will serve clients from Family Services Counseling and the Unaccompanied Minors Programs, which provides care and placement for children who come into the United States from other countries without an adult guardian.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016