Catholic business leaders thank bishop

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A few years back, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde gave a speech to the Catholic Business Network of Northern Virginia that inspired Lucia Jason to make a change. "He stood here and said, 'God gave you all gifts. Focus in on what your gift is, and use it to the benefit of others,'" she said.

Jason, a realtor with Re/Max, thought about her gifts and put them to use revamping CBN's essay writing contest into the Y.E.S. Awards , an educational scholarship program honoring high school seniors from diocesan Catholic schools for their commitment to service.

"(Bishop Loverde) is a tremendous inspiration. When he shares the word, he does so with such passion and such conviction. It's just overflowing with devotion to Our Lord, and you can't help but be a better person," she said.

The CBN luncheon April 18 honored Bishop Loverde for his commitment to their organization through his 17 years as bishop. They also recognized Sister Bernadette McManigal, diocesan superintendent of schools, for her eight years of service to the diocese.

Before lunch, Bishop Loverde celebrated Mass for CBN members at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington. He wore the ring and pectoral cross of the late Msgr. Justin D. McClunn. When CBN-NOVA was founded in 1991, it was called the Justin D. McClunn Society. Its members were primarily medical and legal professionals dedicated to providing pro bono services to the poor.

Over the years, Bishop Loverde has strengthened CBN, attending several events a year, according to Rich Fanelli, president of CBN-NOVA. "He's always talking about how important this group is in spreading the message of our faith, (and) he's always had such good words of wisdom to impart on us at our events."

The bishop also has personally affected the group's members. Realtor Dan McKim remembers Bishop Loverde on the day he handed McKim his high school diploma from Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington.

At the close of the lunch, Bishop Loverde commended the organization for its work. "You (bring) Christ-rooted morality into the marketplace so that people are treated with dignity and have opportunities to work," he said. "Be open to the Holy Spirit so that He will let you be that light in the dark."

Di Mauro can be reached at or on Twitter @zoeydimauro.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016