Pastor's Corner - 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am writing this early, on Friday, November 6, since I will be on retreat the week of November 9 to 13, and the bulletin needs to go to press before I return. At this point the results of the recent election are not clear. There have also been some civil disturbances in certain parts of our country (with rioters smashing the glass doors of a Catholic church in Portland, OR). Please continue to pray for peace in our country and in our world, and that our Lord will bring good out of any evil situation. We remember as Catholics that there is no salvation in any political party or candidate, but only in Jesus Christ.
To highlight that, we will celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, next Sunday, which will bring our liturgical year to a close. Advent begins on November 29 this year.
There are a number of activities and events in the upcoming weeks to help you prepare to celebrate Advent:
- Christmas Poinsettia sale (order forms are in the vestibule) to benefit WorkCamp 2021;
- The Knights of Columbus Christmas Card sale to benefit their yearly scholarship;
- A reprise of our Vacation Bible School: the Rocky Railroad Christmas Special, on Friday, December 4th from 5 – 9 PM. (This fundraiser is in support of our Youth Ministry Program and a suggested donation is $20 per child with a maximum of $50 per family.) Registration is open right now on our website with the online form.
- A Festival of Lights: a Nativity display drive-through at Epiphany School on Saturday, December 5; donations are needed;
- The bulletin for more details.
For families in need of help providing gifts for their children at Christmas, we will be hosting the Angel Tree program again this year with applications available in the Rectory Office; the deadline to turn applications in is November 16th.
This weekend various Advent items are being sold: candles, wreaths, calendars and more. Raffle tickets for Our Lady of Guadalupe posters are also available. The drawing will be on December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Please note that our bilingual Thanksgiving Day, Mass will be Thursday, November 26, at 9 AM.
We will also be participating in the annual Culpeper Heat Shelter this year the week of January 24 through January 30, 2021. Our Church and over 25 other churches and organizations in the Culpeper area support the Culpeper Winter Heat Shelter. This winter is difficult because the Covid pandemic shut down the Shelter’s sleeping facility. An increased number of homeless people are being housed at local motels without food. The Shelter, with God’s help, will feed the homeless through the winter with area churches providing dinners. Neil Dodson and Belinda Ferrari are our coordinators.
We will conduct a food drive to provide the homeless breakfast and lunch snacks to supplement the dinner. Donation bags will be distributed on December 5 and 6. The donations are to be returned on December 13.
I am sure you have been concerned about the divisions in our country, and even the hatred and violence that have been increasing in many parts. I think that the pandemic restrictions have exacerbated the situation. As we wait out the election results, I fear that the tensions and vitriol will only increase. Although we may disagree, even within our parish, over many things, I hope we can all agree on one thing: our country and our culture need prayers. As your pastor, I would like to ask you to set aside some time each week for prayer that you would not usually do – whatever prayer appeals to you. It would be good if you could set aside 15 minutes or 30 minutes or even an hour. I also believe that there are certain spirits that only go out by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). Therefore, I would also like to ask you – if your health permits – to choose at least one meal a week (from now until the crisis we are going through has passed) and fast from that meal. The three traditional acts of piety are: prayer, fasting and almsgiving, so I would also ask you to consider giving some alms to the poor.
We need to ask our Lord to give us light in the present darkness, and to bring good out of evil, as only he can do.
We are grateful to our parishioners who are able to continue to support the parish during this time as we still have our payroll expenses. We would like to encourage you to sign up for FaithDirect, by going to: https:// membership.faithdirect.net/enroll/va226 Thank you for your continued generosity.