“I want to look more deeply at each person as a piece of the mosaic of beauty God created – and focus -- so that my words and actions will reflect my faith in each encounter.” – Kim Viti Fiorentino, Chancellor and General Counsel for the Archdiocese of Washington

Thelma Adams, the president of the Sisters in the Spirit in the Archdiocese of Washington, receives the group’s 2019 Steadfast Witness Award from Washington Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville at the Nov. 9 Black Catholic History Month Mass at Holy Family Church in Hillcrest Heights, Maryland

“Attend daily and Sunday Mass; to hear His word;  strive to live His word; and keep my focus on the source and summit – the Eucharist.  Living Christ blocks out all the everyday ‘mess.” – Thelma Adams, president of Sisters in the Spirit, Archdiocese of Washington

Carolyn Ng (courtesy photo)

“By listening to the Word of God, receiving the sacraments, obeying the commandments, staying close to the Church and becoming a missionary disciple… As a Chinese American Catholic, may I walk in the footsteps of St. Paul who encounters Christ and becomes an ambassador for Him.” – Carolyn Ng, coordinator for catechesis and faith formation at the Our Lady of China Pastoral Mission that worships at St. Mary of Mother God Church in Washington’s Chinatown neighborhood. That faith community also worships at St. Mary’s Church in Rockville.

Lila Ridgell Hofmeister, principal of St. Michael School in Ridge, Maryland (courtesy photo)

“My entire life is about my relationship with God. I exist because of Him. My five children were born through my faith in the power of God and His blessings. My husband and I were told we could never have children. My school is open because of Him. Our faith that we (at our school) will annually raise the money to sustain us each year comes from God. The privilege to share this love of Jesus with children and their families is my most important mission. It has been a great honor to hold this position as a Catholic school principal and to construct a safe, loving, academic, faith filled environment in which children, staff members, and community members practice their faith and live a life modeled by Jesus. 

“When all that you are is based on the acceptance of Gods invitation to be one in His body, to be God’s servant, answering the call to share His love with others, it is the most glorious thing. This one aspect makes me feel invincible! I am invincible through Christ. 

“Although prayer is an ever-present part of my daily life, I have conversations with Jesus. I try not to be bossy and tell Him the way I want things, but that is a challenge of the heart or mouth. I hope in 2020 to commit some new prayers to memory. I wear out the old reliable prayers but seek to increase my knowledge. Like so many other people I have a worn and battered prayer book, and there is a prayer in it for everything. Realizing God knows what is in our hearts, my desire is to learn pray in the most beautifully empowered way possible.” – Lila Ridgell Hofmeister, principal St. Michael School, Ridge, and member of the Archdiocese of Washington’s Board of Education

Helen Taney (courtesy photo)

“I hope with God’s help to be increasingly aware of the presence of Jesus and extend His love to all those I encounter every day starting with family, friends and those people I continue to serve in my parish and in my years as a member of IVC (Ignatian Volunteer Corps). They have taught, inspired and challenged me on my journey to deepen my faith. That journey still has a long distance to go.” – Helen Taney, retired nurse and former professor of nursing at Georgetown University

Sandra Coles-Bell, the program director of the Archdiocese of Washington’s Office of Cultural Diversity and Outreach, speaks at an Aug. 23, 2019 commemoration at Sotterley plantation in Southern Maryland. Coles-Bell can trace her ancestry back to persons who were enslaved at Sotterley. (CS photo/Andrew Biraj)

“I believe that I will get 20/20 vision when I get to the ‘other side’ or when I am a participant in the ‘New Jerusalem,’ but until that time, I plan to sharpen my focus on God by continuing items that I found to truly become my ‘peas and carrots’ for sharper, clearer vision.  

“In the past year, I bolstered my attendance at Mass by going to daily Mass.  It’s become the best way to start my day.  I thank God for a restful night’s sleep in comfortable surroundings, and I pray for those who did not have the same kind of restful night.  I pray that whatever the circumstances – that it will be removed or relieved soon.  I pray for the day ahead that the work I will undertake be pleasing to God and lastly, my Communion is always offered for those who have asked for prayer and those who have no one to pray for them.

“This one activity, done daily, has become a culmination of my faith and how I am called to live it daily.  It requires the Gospel and the Eucharist to focus me – my peas and carrots. When I consider that I don’t like getting up early to go anywhere, but yet now, I am often compelled to go to the earliest Mass that I can find – (that) is only God’s working in me.  For that, I am most grateful.” – Sandra Coles-Bell, program director, Archdiocese of Washington’s Office of Cultural Diversity and Outreach

Gerald Smith Jr., the principal at St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C., walks with students at that school in a photo from June 2019. (CS photo/Andrew Biraj)

“This year I'm looking forward to a lot of self-reflection and discernment of my life as it aligns to the plan God has set out for me.  My main goal for this year is to stay in tune with God’s Word and life path for me and leaning on him to assist me in knowing that my path has been ordered.  This will be maintained through increased faith through the practice of prayer.” – Gerald Smith Jr., principal, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.