Pastor's Corner 1/19
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We have finished with the Christmas season, and these Sundays before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent are called Ordinary Time. Though the word “ordinary” sounds unremarkable, that’s only because since the Resurrection of Christ and the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we are living in a time of grace. During this time we reflect on the Paschal Mystery, the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The March for Life this year will be held on Friday, January 24. We are chartering two buses for this occasion. I would like to encourage all of you to consider going. We will leave at 9 AM and hope to return by 6 PM. This is a practical way to show our support for recognizing the dignity and beauty of every human being from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death and every moment in between, since we are made in the image and likeness of God.
Another way we show our respect for the dignity of every human being is with the local Heat Shelter. The week that our parish sponsors is from January 19 to 24. Please check the bulletin for information to sign up as a volunteer. You can go to the shelter (located in the basement of St. Luke’s Lutheran church) to get your ingredients to bring home to cook a dish to bring during our week.
In case you didn’t hear the announcement last Sunday, Fr. Michael Dobbins, the pastor of St. John Bosco parish in Woodstock, has been diagnosed with cancer and has begun to receive treatment. Fr. Augustine has been asked to help out at the parish for the foreseeable future. He has moved there to be able to help out full time.
Given the reduced help, we will have suspended the 7 PM Mass on Fridays. Saturdays are busy days. We have either a Baptism class in English or Spanish, or Baptisms in English or Spanish; we often have a wedding or a Quinceañera Mass (when a young girl turns 15); Confessions; and the 5 PM Vigil Mass. We sometimes have a funeral Mass and burial; we also sometimes have retreats for candidates for Confirmation or First Reconciliation or First Communion or for the RCIA or for the RCIC; Saturdays are also when we schedule First Reconciliation for young children or a separate day for older children. Saturdays are when we schedule our three dates for First Communion and when the Diocese schedules our Confirmation each year. The Hispanic Prayer Group meets on Saturday evenings and often asks me to give them a talk. In addition to this I often teach a Scripture class on Saturdays in northern Virginia. For all of these reasons, I have taken the difficult decision to suspend the 8:30 AM Mass on Saturdays.
We continue to fundraise for our third parish/school activity bus. It cost approximately $50,000 and can hold 14 children. I’m glad that all three of our buses are full and are being put to good use picking children up in the morning and dropping them off at home in the afternoon. So far, we have raised $8016, so we have $41,984, left to raise. Thank you for your support for our school, and this future generation for the world and the Church which our school educates.