"Follow Me" | A Social Justice Blog

Black History Month 2022 - A March on the Dream

The Social Justice Committee invites you to reflect on the history of voting rights in our nation. Parishioners gathered in prayer, song, and conversation about this shared history that upholds the dignity of all people.

Click here to view the event flyer. If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering with a future Black Catholic History Month (November) and Black History Month (February) event, contact the coordinator, Lydia Clegg. You may also email Social Justice Co-Chair, Channing Pejic.

Click here or the image below to view the recording of this powerful conversation.











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A Reflection on Psalm 139
by Christina Marie Silvers

February 9, 2022

From one of my favorite psalms, Psalm 139, we read:

You formed my inmost being;

you knit me in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, because I am wonderfully made;

wonderful are your works!

My very self you know.

Our loving God willed each of us into existence and He cares about every detail, knitting us in our mothers’ wombs.  Even after we are born, He still cares about the details and nothing is too unimportant or trivial to bring to Him in prayer. I often marvel at this. Some days, I am so caught up in the quotidian- work, emails, laundry, ordering diapers, meal-planning- that I forget that my God wants to know all about it and for me to seek Him in the everyday. And when we give him the day’s first moments, He gives us more of the steadying and strengthening love of Himself.

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Christina Marie Silvers and her husband Justin met each other through serving in ministry at the parish. They are active parishioners, currently serving in liturgical ministries, Finance Council, and in the Social Justice Ministries. They have a passion for upholding the dignity of life and have lived out this calling serving with the Respect Life Ministry.

Christina invites you to pray with her and her family through the monthly Rosary for Life and to become more involved with the helping the parish help build up the Culture of Life. To learn more about the ministry, contact Justin and Christina.




When I Stand Before God at the End of My Life...
by Pamela Quinn

January 6, 2021 

"My husband Kenneth and I and our five children have been parishioners at St. Matthew's for over 20 years. 

We live in Northern Virginia, but chose St. Matthews as our parish because of the beauty of the Cathedral, the solemnity of its Masses and music, and most importantly, its strong commitment to community and outreach to those less fortunate.
When we first joined, I was a busy mom with a full-time career in the Federal Government and my husband traveled the world as an international lawyer.  Although we attended Mass regularly, we were not involved in any of the Cathedral’s many ministries.  Kenneth was the first to get involved by serving as a Minister of Hospitality.  Later he joined the Stewardship Committee effort where parishioners would offer lay witnesses to their experiences with the various ministries offered at the Cathedral.

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Pamela Quinn has been a parishioner at St.  Matthews since 1993.  She began serving on the homeless outreach program in 1998, and has been Chair of the Christmas Adopt-A-Family Program for the past 10 years.  She and her husband have five children.  One of their daughters had a lovely wedding at the Cathedral celebrated by Msgr. Jameson.  She shares these thoughts with you hoping you too will become active in the many outreach programs offered by St. Matthews.


Pamela invites you to join St. Matthew's Adopt-a-Family Program, please contact Norma Canedo and Fr. John Benson, or 202-347-3215. To learn more about the Christmas Program contact Pam Quinn. Visit the Adopt-a-Family page for more information.



In Loving Memory of Our Friend James Walsh
Parishioners share their memories of Jim and how he impacted their lives... 

January 6, 2021 

On December 7, 2020, James Walsh, long-time parishioner and active member of the parish community, passed away.

It is with heavy hearts that we share this news and pray that his family, friends, and our entire parish community find comfort in our memories of praying with and serving alongside him. Many recall volunteering with him as ushers, welcoming visitors and parishioners on Sundays, while others will forever remember Jim for his service to the poor. Jim’s most outstanding characteristics of kindness and charity were admired by many who had the honor to serve with him on Monday mornings at St. Matthew’s Homeless Ministry. His kind demeanor in welcoming volunteers onboard to serve our unhoused and struggling brothers and sisters inspired many to remember to see Christ in their neighbor.


Why are You Passionate about Creation Care?
by Simone Seym

November 13, 2020 

"When I was five years old, I remember sitting on a bench behind the house towards the garden

and being in awe with the beauty of the firmament, the stars, the moon, the universe. In the Book of Genesis, my most beloved reading is in the Easter Vigil, God “saw how good it was”. The seven-day creation account in Gn 1:1-2:3 speaks of a God whose mere word creates a beautiful universe in which we human beings are an integral and important part. Pope Francis, in his second Encyclical Laudato Si’- On Care for our Common Home (2015) invites and encourages and urges us to an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet and accompanies us on the path to an ecological conversion.      

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Dr. Simone Seym, St. Matthew’s Co-Coordinator of the Creation Care Team, has been a Cathedral parishioner since 2011, and also serves as a Lector and an EMHC. Simone joined the Creation Care Team in Fall 2019 and serves as Co-Chair since March 2020. In 2020 she also became a certified Laudato Si’Animator (LSA) with the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) and successfully completed the Laudato Si' and Integral Ecology online course with the Franciscan General Office for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC) in Rome. 

Simone invites you to join St. Matthew's Creation Care Team, to encourage a deeper awareness of our duties to God’s creation and to take action at the individual, state, national and global level with a focus on prayer, ecological conversion, energy efficiency, conservation, and advocacy efforts.To learn more, visit the Creation Care page. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact our Co-Chairs of the Care for Creation Team, Simone Seym and Phil Downey. You may also contact Fr. John Benson or Norma Canedo.



Called to Serve
by Norma Cindy Canedo

April 29, 2020 

"When I look back on my plans after graduating college,

I always laugh to myself thinking that the Lord had a different path in mind for me; one that I am most grateful for and recognize as an answer to my prayers. I could share many insights as to what I have learned, experienced, and witnessed at St. Matthew’s all these years, spanning from being a child-parishioner to a young adult parishioner and parish staff member.

Three of the greatest gifts that have come from working with the Social Justice & Community Service Ministries are the embodiment of examples of faith, dignity, and love of neighbor. One is having been able to meet and form relationships with the individuals and families we serve through our ministries. In them you encounter the great dignity of their humanity and many exemplary models of a strong faith and trust in the Lord. Likewise, one will see this in the “servers”, the volunteers, those who may be doing well, or maybe not so well, but regardless of their personal situation are still thinking about the welfare of their neighbor.   

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St. Matthew's Coordinator for Social Justice & Community Services, Norma Canedo, has been a Cathedral parishioner since young childhood, celebrating her sacraments here and even attending her sister's (small) Cathedral wedding during the pandemic! Norma joined the Cathedral parish staff in 2011 where she continues to distinguish herself with a heart for the poor and a willingness to work hard to serve them. Norma shares this reflection on her years of serving our parish community, and inviting others to do the same. Norma invites you:

If you are interested in volunteering in the Sidewalk Ministry, we are looking for lunch donors and for servers. Monetary donations are also greatly appreciated for the Homeless Ministry as we will continue distributing clothing, underwear, socks, and toiletries along with the donated lunches. You may also support our Emergency Assistance Program, which helps parish families in need with their outstanding bills. To learn more, contact Norma Canedo, Coordinator for Social Justice. You may also contact Fr. John Benson.