Living Advent appreciates St. Mark Catholic Church hosting our 2015 event, "Finding Joy in Advent."
Living Advent Honorary Board Members
Reverend Francis J. Peffley
Father Francis J. Peffley graduated from Christendom College in Front Royal with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Theology. Father Peffley received his priestly formation and his Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degrees at Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Pennsylvania. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Arlington on May 19, 1990. Father Peffley served as founding pastor of Holy Trinity parish in Gainesville from 2001 to 2011. He currently serves as parochial vicar at Saint John the Apostle in Leesburg. Father Peffley enjoys juggling fire torches and machetes. We extend special thanks to Father Peffley for his original support in our first Living Advent seminar, "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord," November 1997.
Reverend Christopher T. Vaccaro
One of seven children, Father Vaccaro was ordained to the priesthood for the Arlington Diocese in 2008. He currently serves as chaplain for Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. His support provides encouragement to the Living Advent Team as we offer events of information and inspiration to women throughout the diocese. We'd like to extend a special thank you to Father Vaccaro for all his support.
Robin Maas, Ph.D.
Dr. Robin Maas is the former Academic Dean and Professor of Spirituality at the John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family in Washington. She is the founder and recently-retired Director of the Women’s Apostolate to Youth. Dr. Maas serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Angelus Academy, and is the author of numerous articles and five books, including The Church Bible Study Handbook and Crucified Love. She is a contributing author to the journals Anthropotes and Theology Today, and writes for other publications, such as Magnificat, Spiritual Life, The Catholic Faith and Living Light. Dr Maas spoke at our origiinal Living Advent seminar. She and her husband Jack have been married more than 50 years.
Mary Rice Hasson is a wife and mother of seven and a frequent speaker on family and cultural issues. Mrs. Hasson has been interviewed by a wide range of media outlets including CNN, EWTN, the BBC, the Associated Press (AP) and local radio and print publications. Mrs. Hasson writes for the Catholic News Agency, several Catholic parenting websites, the international human rights website MercatorNet.com, and is an editor of Promise and Challenge: Catholic Women Reflect on Feminism, Complementarity, and the Church, Our Sunday Visitor, 2015. She is a Fellow in the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Catholic Studies program in Washington, D.C., and co-authored Catholic Education: Homeward Bound, a leading book on Catholic homeschooling. Mary and her husband Kevin Seamus Hasson were speakers at Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord in 1997. You can read Mary's blog at wordsfromcana.com.
Alexandra "Sandy" Greeley
Alexandra "Sandy" Greeley is a food writer/editor, cookbook author and restaurant critic. Sandy Greeley lives in Northern Virginia, where she cooks, eats, dreams about food from other cultures, and writes about food from every angle and from every culture. She worked as the food editor of the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong for one year and for Vegetarian Times magazine for 3 years, and has 33 published cookbooks to her credit. She was the co-leader of Washington, DC, Slow Food’s chapter for 11 years and is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier’s Washington chapter. She is currently editing a cookbook and teaching Cooking with our Saints class at St. Veronica Catholic Church in Chantilly.
As a young child, I loved Christmas. The weeks preceding it were filled with decorating angels, animals, and manger scenes. I remember twinkling lights, and fragrant trees, baking cookies, waiting for Santa, putting up our family’s crèche, and presents. I am grateful for those memories, but I am far more dazzled by the riches of the Advent and Christmas seasons. The liturgical and cultural treasures of our Catholic faith are extensive and enriching, and they are for all. They are anchored in Scripture and the Mass and spill over into music, art, crafts, food, and festivals. When embraced they can transform our lives. The saints of Advent and Christmas are living examples of that transformation. I am pleased to be part of the Living Advent team which is bringing you Finding Joy in Advent . It is my hope that you live Advent and celebrate the birth of the Christ child with those you love as never before.
Colleen is the author of Celebrating Advent and Christmas with Children. It is available on amazon.com. Pictures of all the recipes can be found on her blog, foodsandfestivitiesofthechristianyear.blogspot.com
Mary Chris Beardsley
Growing up in a navy family, my brothers, sister and I spent Christmas Day on the beaches of sunny San Diego, CA or Honolulu, HI. Here in Virginia with my husband and three children, Christmas Day is usually spent inside playing board games. Even though the daily temperature of my Decembers growing up and now are very different, the Advent traditions remain the same. That's the beauty of Advent traditions. No matter where you live, lighting a candle of the Advent Wreath, opening up the Advent Calendar, or the empty cradle in the Nativity Set remind us that we are preparing our hearts for the arrival of Christ. I love carrying on the traditions from my childhood with my own children, and I have enjoyed getting to know the Saints of Advent and adding them to our family culture.
Mary Chris lives in South Riding, VA and attends Corpus Christi Catholic Church with her husband Jim and her three children. She tries to stay active in the parish by teaching CCD, helping with Youth Group and leading Bible Studies for women.
Living Advent Team Members
Advent is a wonderful, blessed, and, let’s be honest, stressful time of preparation in all of our lives. The weeks before Christmas have to be some of the most hectic of the year! The Living Advent event is an evening to get ready to enter the most wonderful, blessed and peaceful time of the year. It is just what I need to focus my energy on what is truly important: preparing for and celebrating the birth of Our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. I am excited for you to join me at Saint Veronica Catholic Church to hear Fr Leo's wisdom!
As an adult convert to the Catholic Faith, I knew very little about Catholic culture and how to celebrate the Liturgical Feasts and Seasons with my family. Through my friendships with Catholic women, I learned about the wonderful richness of Advent and Christmas traditions. I began to see the importance of prayerfully awaiting His Coming, not only in history and at the end of time, be in our pilgrimage here on earth. These beautiful celebrations enrich our lives as Catholics, and bring us all closer to Christ and His Church.
Thank you, St. Mark's
These Honorary Board Members support and guide our mission to bring the best of Catholic culture and traditions to the families of the Arlington Diocese.
We are a group of women who desire to share our love for the seasons of Advent and Christmas with the families of the Arlington Diocese. We organized an Advent seminar called “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” in November of 1997 at Holy Family Parish and "Living Advent" in 2012 at St. Veronica's parish. Vendors sold seasonal books and gifts, and beautiful displays of Advent foods and crafts filled the classrooms. They were inspiring days which drew from the centuries-old riches of Catholic liturgy, celebrations, and cultures. In 2013 we offered a book, Celebrating Advent and Christmas with Children, by Colleen Rooney; and in 2014 we presented "An Evening with Fr. Leo Patalinghug." Finding Joy in Advent is the theme of our 2015 offering.
As Catholics we should tap into the treasury of the Liturgical year. When my children were young, a friend suggested that a group of us organize a seminar to help people like me prepare for Advent, so I jumped at the chance. I learned so much from the workshops and was inspired to introduce different traditions into my family’s Advent preparations. We are so blessed to have such a rich tradition to enliven our faith.
Evelyn "Timmie" Birge Vitz
Evelyn "Timmie" Birge Vitz was born and raised in Indianapolis. She received her BA from Smith College and her PhD from Yale University in French literature. She teaches at New York University, where she is Professor of French and Affiliated Professor of Comparative Literature, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Religious Studies. Mrs. Vitz is the author of the classic cookbook, A Continual Feast. She and her husband Paul, a well known Catholic psychologist and author, recently moved to Arlington where he teaches at the Institute for Psychological Sciences. The Vitzes are both converts to the Catholic faith. They have six children, one of whom was ordained in May in the Archdiocese of Washington DC, and many grandchildren.
Ruth Tucker is a Catholic homeschooling mother of 7 children, ages 6 to 24, who enjoys celebrating the Liturgical year by cooking traditional feast day meals and especially desserts. She also enjoys canning, gardening, keeping bees and raising chickens on our half acre homestead. She has a cottage industry business where she makes heirloom rosaries, chaplets and religious jewelry. Ruth's website is thetuckerbunch.typepad.com.
Elizabeth "Liz" Schiavone
Elizabeth "Liz" Schiavone is very active in the Diocese of Arlington, VA. She and her husband Angelo are the parents of five grown children which include two sets of twins and have three grandchildren. Liz is the president of the Arlington Diocese Council of Catholic Women. She attended Florida State University and the University of Alabama, where she graduated in 1979 as a retail management and marketing research major. Liz was raised Presbyerian but converted to Catholicism in 1993. She says the example of others led her deeper and deeper into the Faith, until whe wanted nothing more than to live it herself. "We are called to serve," she said. "We are called to try to get to heaven and try to get each other into heaven."
Fran Van de Voorde
As the youngest daughter of 14 children, I grew up experiencing many of the traditions of the liturgical year within my family. As a military wife and mother I was inspired and encouraged by the example of other Catholic women, who also lived and passed on the faith to their families. Now that my children are older and our family is expanding to include grandchildren, I find it even more urgent that we share the same faith filled traditions with young people and their families.
God blessed me when I was a young mother by placing faith-filled women in my life to mentor me. It was a privilege to be included in the very first Advent Seminar in 1997.I know first hand what an incredible resource this seminar can be to any family that wants to learn to live family life following the liturgical calendar of the Church.
Kathy is wife to John and mother of eight. She resides with her family Madison, VA where they attend Our Lady of the Blue Ridge Catholic Church. Kathy serves her parish community as head of the hospitality ministry, teaching middle school CCD, participating in the women’s ministry, and volunteering with the parish youth. She has taken her love for God and others and her love for hospitality with her into small business. mymaryandmartha.com/KATHYCHADA/
Elizabeth Foss is a cancer survivor and homeschooling mother of nine and grandmother. She is a featured columnist for the Arlington Catholic Herald, who has contributed to The Catholic Exchange and The Washington Post. Author of the book, Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home and co-author of Small Steps for Catholic Moms with Danielle Bean, she is an oft-requested speaker on family life, parenting, and home education. A contributor to Catholic Digest, you can find her on the award-winning blog, elizabethfoss.com.
Reverend Edward C. Hathaway
After serving as pastor of Saint John the Beloved Parish in McLean, Saint John the Baptist in Front Royal, and Saint Veronica in Chantilly, Fr. Hathaway is pastor of St. Mary’s in Old Alexandria. "If God is the true, good and beautiful, beauty is a way of evangelizing,” said Father Hathaway. “Even if you don’t always agree on what is true, people are attracted by what is beautiful; it moves the soul,” he said. “Art can teach and inspire.”
Reverend Andrew Fisher
Fr. Andrew Fisher is a priest of the diocese of Arlington. He attended Mount Saint Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he played baseball. He later entered the seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1998. He has served in a number of parishes throughout the diocese. For six years, he was Director of Liturgy at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. He is the chaplain for Catholic Athletes for Christ, a frequent speaker at the Institute for Catholic Culture, and pastor of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Annandale.
Jennifer Gregory Miller
Jennifer Gregory Miller is a wife, homeschooling mother and blogger. She promotes the food of the Liturgical Year in her online blogs and forums. Jennifer conceived and developed the Liturgical Year section for www.CatholicCulture.org. Check out Jennifer's blog Family in Feast and Feria.