"Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and sin that clings to us, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector of our faith."- Hebrews 12:1-2

"O Creator of the universe, fill my thought with the loving knowledge of You, that I may bring Your light to others." - Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas


"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free."- John 8:32

This website is designed to share research and insights from teaching the faithful for almost nine years as a Catholic priest in parishes of Northern Virginia. The various topics are from subjects that the author has taught or written about for parishes in the Arlington Diocese, including Holy Spirit parish in Annandale, St. Raymond parish in Fairfax Station, St. Rita parish in Alexandria, and St. James parish in Falls Church. They range from the general classes taught for the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) to Bible studies, other adult education series, and articles written for parish bulletins. The RCIA class outlines are meant to give a general summary of the Catholic Faith and spiritual life, while the other articles and outlines are focused on more specific topics that the author has given presentations or written articles about in his ministry as a parish priest. The articles and outlines are not meant to be scholarly so much as pastoral, helpful to people who simply want to know more about the riches of the Catholic faith, whether currently Catholic, inquiring about the faith, or simply interested in the wisdom of our Church, which is both ancient and ever new. Comments, correction, and suggestions are welcome and can be sent to frhorkan@gmail.com. I hope to continue adding material to the website and thus continue contributing to the understanding of our faith by the people of God and by all people of good will.


"Gladly would he learn and gladly teach."- Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Prologue

Father Edward Horkan was born and raised in Northern Virginia by William Horkan, a very intelligent attorney and devout Catholic, and Lilla Horkan, a joyous Southern woman who was an active member of the Presbyterian Church (USA.) Edward Horkan was baptized at St. Philip Catholic Church in Falls Church, VA in 1968 and raised from the age of 5 in McLean, VA. He attended St. Luke grade school in McLean and Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington, VA, graduating from there in 1986. Edward Horkan then attended the University of Virginia as an undergraduate from 1986-1990, earning a B.A. in Economics with a minor in English Language and Literature. He then attended the University of Virginia Law School from 1990-1993, working over the summers with Professor Douglas Leslie in labor law and the law firm of Groom & Nordberg in tax and employment benefits law. After graduating and taking the bar exam, Edward Horkan worked for Groom & Nordberg from 1993-1997 in Washington, D.C., working mostly in employment benefits law and international, transactional, and insurance tax law. During that time, Edward Horkan was living in Falls Church and a parishioner of St. Luke parish in McLean.

Starting in 1995, Edward Horkan started discerning a calling to the priesthood. And, after speaking with his pastor Fr. Martin McGuill, the Arlington Diocese Vocations Director Fr. James Gould, a seminary professor Fr. Michael Beers, and others, he decided that he wished to enter seminary in preparation for the diocesan priesthood in the Arlington Diocese, which covers roughly the northern third of Virginia. And so he applied for seminary studies; and he was accepted as a seminarian by Bishop John Keating of the Arlington Diocese and by Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD. Edward Horkan did pre-theology studies at Mount St. Mary Seminary from 1997-1998. Bishop Keating then decided that he would continue studies at the North American College in Rome. And so, Edward Horkan continued seminary formation at the North American College from 1998-2001, taking classes at the University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome, which as the name implies is run by the Domincan order. Over the summers, Edward Horkan also worked at Immaculate Conception parish in Bichester, Great Britain and St. Mark parish in Vienna, VA.

In June of 2001, Edward Horkan earned an S.T.B. from the Angelicum. He was ordained a deacon at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington by Bishop Paul Loverde on June 2, 2001. And he served at St. Michael parish in Annandale, VA from 2001–2002. Deacon Horkan then returned to Rome in 2002 to complete priestly studies and formation. He earned an M.A. in Spiritual Theology from the Angelicum in 2003, with the thesis being written on St. Gregory the Great and his theology of human infirmities. Bishop Loverde ordained Edward Horkan a priest on June 7, 2003. Father Horkan has served as a priest and parochial vicar in Holy Spirit parish in Annandale, VA from 2003–2007, St. Raymond of Penafort parish in Fairfax Station, VA from 2007–2008, St. Rita parish in Alexandria, VA from 2008–2010, and at St. James parish in Falls Church from 2010 until 2016. Fr. Horkan was pastor of Our Lady of the Valley Church in Luray, Virginia from 2016 to 2019. He then studied canon law at Catholic University of America from 2019 to 2021, receiving a J.C.L. in October of 2021. Fr. Horkan is currently vice chancellor for the Diocese of Arlington and a defender of the bond for the diocesan tribunal, while staying at Saint Raymond Church in Springfield.