Pastor's Letter June 21 (12th Sunday of Ordinary Time)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We still have a lot of seats available at our Sunday Masses (including the Saturday Vigil Mass at 5 PM). Since we don’t want to discourage anyone who is healthy from returning to Mass, we are discontinuing the process of signing up online. There are still many places to sit in the balcony and in the Parish Hall and maintain the physical distancing. Of course, please use your best judgment if you have a compromised immune system as you decide when to return to Sunday Mass.
We had a great farewell for Fr. Augustine last Saturday, June 13, after the 5 PM Mass. While maintaining physical distancing, about 100 people were able to attend his last Sunday Mass as Parochial Vicar, and many people were able to join us outside to share refreshments. Special thanks to Barbara Noonan, Joan Soutter, Betty Powers, Eileen Peet, the Falgiano family, the Rossetti Family, and Regina Coleman. Fr. Augustine was sent off with good memories with two autographed picture frames of parishioners from the music ministry and many cards wishing him the best at his new assignment at St. John Bosco in Woodstock. Please continue to pray for Fr. Dobbins’ (who will be Fr. Augustine’s new pastor) health.
Thank you to all who contributed to the planning and carrying out of the Eucharistic Procession last Sunday. We were blessed with beautiful weather this year and many generous hands helping to organize the procession: special thanks go to those who carried the canopy protecting the Blessed Sacrament: John Priebe, Marc Garcia, Nat Medina, and Rene Castro. Thanks also to Dora Castro and her children who carried the banner, served as lector and altar servers and helped along the way; to the Hercules children, Alan and Aileen, who led the way with flower petals for Jesus’ path; and to Deacon Ramon, and acolyte Michael Watts who reverently and beautifully helped as I carried the monstrance and blessed our parishioners and all of our parish (Culpeper County); to the ladies (and their families) who set out beautiful altar stations around our church block: Perla Castillo, Esly Hernandez, Thelma Gonzalez and Nereida Mota; and to Robert Dwyer who managed the video feed to share with those who were following along from home. We are so blessed that about 65 parishioners made up the procession and lifted their voices to praise God between each station.
The Precious Blood feast day celebration will be on the weekend of July 4 and 5. The month of July is dedicated to the Precious Blood. The feast of the Precious Blood of our Lord was instituted in 1849 by Pius IX, but the devotion is as old as Christianity. The early Fathers say that the Church was born from the pierced side of Christ, and that the sacraments were brought forth through his Blood.
One way we will celebrate this feast day will be with an ice-cream social after all the Masses. Sprinkles, syrup toppings and three different flavors will be provided by the parish. Everyone is welcome to visit the upper parking lot under the tents after ALL the Masses for enjoyment and fellowship with physical distancing.
Our parish food pantry, “St. Joseph’s Table”, continues at our Old Rectory and is open from 10 AM to 12 PM on Saturdays and 4 to 6 PM on Wednesdays. If you would like to volunteer to help out, please contact the rectory. We need bilingual speakers to help our visitors. We also need to build up our inventory of donations of non -perishable food (and some perishable food) or gift cards. Donations can be made in the rectory office from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. St. Joseph’s Table helps all members of our parish, both English and Spanish speaking. If you need any assistance, let us know.
The dates for our re-scheduled First Communions will be: Saturdays, July 11, 18 and (with a bilingual Mass) July 25. The rehearsals for each Mass will be the Friday night before at 7:00PM: July 10, 17, 24. Please contact the CCD Office with your preferred date. We need to spread the children out equally among the three dates, and the number of guests might be limited to maintain physical distancing.
Vacation Bible Camp is coming in July. Under the direction of Kelly Bennett, the children will be able to participate in a program called, Totally Catholic: Rocky Railway! Through life’s ups and downs, Jesus' Power Pulls Us! See the bulletin for upcoming details and for volunteering opportunities contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are grateful to our parishioners who are able to continue to support the parish during this time as we still have all of our payroll expenses. Thanks to your generosity, we are up to about 40% of our usual income. If you can help us get closer to reaching our budget, it would help us very much.
Today is Father’s Day. We ask our Lord to bless all those men who are called to be images of the paternal love of God the Father in our world today. Let us continue to pray for our Lord’s protection and help during this pandemic and for peace and justice and the overcoming of all forms of hatred, including racial hatred, during the social unrest we have been going through in our country.