Pastor's Corner 9/1/19
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We were blessed last week at our opening Mass for the catechetical year to have about 350 people attend at Epiphany School gym. As of my writing this, we still have families registering for CCD (this stands for Confraternity of Christian Doctrine but is often used to refer to our religious education for children) so we should have a final enrollment number in a few weeks.
Last Sunday we provided 25 copies of the new diocesan liturgical norms, and there was so much interest in them that they were all gone by the 8:30 AM Mass. We are providing an additional 25 copies this week for anyone who was not able to get a copy last week.
As was mentioned last week, we have been asked by our bishop not to give out blessings in the Communion line. Please let your children know ahead of time so they won’t be disappointed. As priests we are also being asked to sing (or chant) more of the parts of the Mass, and for the congregation to answer in chant. (This is a work in progress.)
Epiphany Catholic School started its new school year on Monday, August 25. It was a blessing to see 172 children begin their classes. Both of our school buses are full (thank you very much!) and there is a waiting list of six children! We’ll probably have to fundraise for another bus later this year, and also the two buses that are used for sports teams and field trips will need to be replaced some day.
We have started our parish bus ministry for the 5 PM Vigil Mass and the 2 PM Mass on Sunday. We have flyers available to hand out to people to spread the word.
Next Sunday, September 8, we will have our annual Parish Picnic at Epiphany School from 3 PM to 6 PM. We hope you will stop by. Please bring a dish to share and call the office if you would like suggestions or would like to help organize any games or activities.
On Friday, September 20, the town will sponsor the Culpeper Fiesta, near the train station from 6PM - 10PM. We will be hosting two information tables, one in English and one in Spanish. We need at least two parishioners for each table to sign up for each hour to provide information and promote the programs going on in our parish and to invite members of the community to come and visit us. As an added attraction, we our offering free (beautiful, multi-colored!) T-shirts with our parish logo (our stained-glass window) to the volunteers and to the first 20 parishioners who come to the table at 6 PM, the first 20 who come at 7 PM and the first 10 who come at 8 PM. The only condition is that you have to wear the shirt over your clothes during the time you are walking around the Fiesta. It’s an easy way to let people know about our church.
Epiphany school is looking for one more person who is interested in a paid, part-time position as a bus driver. They are also hoping to have a couple of substitutes available for emergencies. The hours would be approximately 6:45 AM to 8 AM, and 2:45 PM to 4 PM. The salary is negotiable, and the applicant must be VIRTUS – compliant (compliant with the diocesan requirements for child safety.) Please contact Mary Leslie at 540-825-9017 for more information.
As I write this, Joshua was able to start walking a few days ago with his dad’s help. Since he had been lying in a hospital bed for the last month, his leg muscles had begun to atrophy. Please continue to keep him and his family in your prayers.
We have received several questions in our question box. I’ll try to answer a couple each week.
One person wrote: “Why do Catholics believe we are the “true religion”? I would answer that we believe that Jesus Christ came to establish his Church, and that he gave authority over it to the first apostles, with Peter as their head. We believe that their successors are the bishops who are with us to this day. We believe that there has been an unbroken chain of succession from the apostles to our modern-day bishops, and that, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the fullness of Christ’s revelation has been preserved and transmitted in this body of believers which is the Catholic Church.
Another person asked: “If all the readings talk about us being Jewish, how did we become Catholic?” We believe that God reveals himself partially in creation and nature, and that everyone benefits from that, but that he also began to reveal himself in a more particular way with Abraham, and this continued through the Chosen People, the Jews. We believe that Jesus Christ came to bring that revelation to its fulfillment, and that, in a certain way, we belong to the faith that began with Abraham and was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Church is now the People of God.
We’ll continue with more questions next week.