On the evening of September 16, 2023, almost 700 people from Manassas and the surrounding areas gathered at the Hylton Performing Arts Center for a Night of Gratitude and Celebration for the miracles God is working in their lives and community.

Relive the night with the following links:

Eight years ago, on September 29th, the Feast of the Archangels, the BVM Trust Foundation successfully purchased and closed the Amethyst Health Center, an abortion clinic that had operated in Manassas for 25 years.  Six years ago, on December 6th, the Mother of Mercy Free Clinic, operated by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, opened its doors to serve the poor in Prince William County in that very same location.  Since then, the clinic has expanded from 10 volunteers open 4 hours a week, to in excess of 200 volunteers, open 80 hours a week in two (2) locations, serving thousands of patients in Manassas and Woodbridge.

Billed as “Behold, I Make All Things New”, the evening was hosted by the BVM Trust Foundation, to thank all the prayer warriors, all the donor members and all the clinic volunteers who have continued to support and serve this incredible and on-going work of mercy.

There was a Founder’s reception at the beginning of the evening, attended by the donors who first raised the funds to purchase the abortion clinic, dignitaries from the diocese and the board of Catholic Charities, as well as clinic volunteers and friends from the community.  After some good cheer and fellowship, the attendees were called to the theater to enjoy the proceedings.  Greeting them was a letter from Bishop Michael Burbidge who was unable to attend in person, expressing his heartfelt thanks for and enduring support of the BVM Foundation, its members and all the clinic volunteers who make Christ present to the poor in Prince William County via the work of the Mother of Mercy Free Clinic.

After some brief remarks by Chairman of the BVM Board Sean Garvey, Fr. Bob Cilinski, Pastor of Nativity parish and Parochial Vicar of Charitable Works for the Diocese of Arlington, opened the evening with a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving.  This was followed by a short video presentation recounting the story of how these “twin miracles” came about.

Following the film, Art Bennett, former CEO of Catholic Charities, was honored with BVM’s inaugural “St Michael the Archangel Courage Award” for his pivotal role in making the free clinic a reality.

Alexandra Luevano, the first and current director of the Mother of Mercy Free Clinics, was also so honored, receiving the first “St. Raphael the Archangel Healing Award”, for her loving leadership in guiding the clinics in their initial and ever-expanding mission.  The awards were presented by Jim Koehr, Treasurer of BVM, as well as Sean Garvey and Father Cilinski.

Then for the entertainment of all, the crowd was treated to a comedy show by the inimitable Jeremy McLellan, a rising star in the comedy world and Teaching Fellow at Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire Institute.

For most attendees, the highlight of the evening was the film, which reminded everyone about the long road they’d travelled, and the astounding miracles they’ve witnessed and that continue to unfold right here in their backyard, through simple, small, individual acts of generosity.  “God is never outdone in generosity” said Garvey, “and tonight was a wonderful chance to remember that.  We too quickly forget it was a boy’s lunch that Christ used to feed the multitude, so no gift of ours is too small for Him to use.

BVM Trust Foundation exists solely to support missions like the Mother of Mercy Free Clinics, and they are hoping to get to 1,000 active members by the end of 2023.  As of August 2023, BVM had directed $1.33 million dollars in facility and direct donation support to the Mother of Mercy Free Clinics.

To learn more about the BVM Trust Foundation and the work at Mother of Mercy Free Clinics, visit https://bvmtrustfoundation.org/.

Please click on the Become a Member button and join us in the Lord’s Vineyard.

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