• Robert Dwyer

Pastor's Message 5/24

Updated: Jun 3

Today we are liturgically celebrating the Feast of the Ascension. We began our Novena to the Holy Spirit last Thursday, and we continue to ask for a greater openness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our parish, our diocese and our

Church throughout the world. The Pentecost Novena continues through the Saturday Vigil of Pentecost, May 30th. The link on our website to pray the Novena (in imitation of the first novena in the Acts of the Apostles) is: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/novena-to-the-holy-spirit-for-the-seven-gifts-13434.


Last week we returned to our normal schedule of Masses. We only had about 25% of our building’s capacity in attendance at our Masses, about 75 to 100 people in one or other of our four Masses. There is certainly room for more people. We are keeping attendance to about 80 people in the main church, 30 in the balcony and 50 in the parish hall, or a total of 160 in our entire building. Pews are designated with a number for maximum occupancy, and the chairs are well spaced apart in the hall. Our physical distancing worked well, and almost everyone had a mask on. (We have even provided masks for those who don’t bring one with them.) We also had some hand sanitizer available.


You are encouraged to sign up online: (ticketsource.us/preciousblood church). You do not need to get a response. If we reach 160 people signed up, you will not be allowed to sign up. In other words, if you manage to sign up, you can come and do not need to wait for any kind of confirmation.


Between the Masses we will have volunteers sanitize the pews, and door handles. During the Mass, we ask you to wear a mask. For those NOT READY TO ATTEND MASS, Bishop Burbidge is maintaining the dispensation from attending Sunday Mass. To assist you, we will continue to host live-streaming Masses at 11:30 AM in English and 2:00 PM in Spanish. We pray that Phase 1 protocols go well enough so that we can continue to move forward to the next phase.


The Pentecost Vigil on May 30, at 5 PM will be an echo of the Easter Vigil. With four readings from the Old Testament, and the celebration of some Baptisms and Confirmations and First Communions, it will last at least 90 minutes. Please continue to pray for our catechumens and candidates for Full Communion into the Church during this time of the Mystagogia, as they are led into a deeper understanding of the Sacraments. We already

have 100 people signed up for the 5 PM Mass on May 30, so please check online to see if there are still seats available in case you want to come.


We are forming committees for several feast day celebrations: the Corpus Christi procession on June 14, 12:30 PM and the celebration of our parish feast day, the Feast of the Precious

Blood on Saturday evening, July 4, and Sunday, July 5. (We will see what we will be allowed to do once we see what the physical distancing norms will be by then.) Please contact the office if you want to be a part of these special events for our parish.


Graduates will be recognized and blessed at the June 7 (Trinity Sunday) 11:30 AM and 2 PM Mass and if you’d like, you can wear your cap and gown. Please visit the website for scholarship applications and registration for Mass so we can prepare the liturgy for your recognition and blessings accordingly.


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. If you wish, you can always stop by the rectory office Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM, or mail in a contribution. And for those who find it easier to give electronically, they can give through FaithDirect. You can find a link to FaithDirect when you scroll down on our webpage. (www.pbcconline.com) Our income at first had declined to 25% of what it had normally been. Thanks to your generosity, we are now up to about 40% of our usual income.


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 also are receiving donations of non-perishable food or gift cards at 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. As

part of our works of Mercy we are all called to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and give drink to the thirsty. If you need any assistance, let us know.


I’d like to share one anecdote with you. Last week one of our parishioners brought groceries from St. Joseph’s Table to an entire family with covid that was under quarantine. When one of the two young children who was looking out the window saw our parishioner get out of her car with bags of groceries, she said, “Look, Mommy, God brought us food!” And you know, she was right. It reminded me of the quote from Saint Teresa of Avila:


“Christ has no body now but yours.

No hands, no feet on earth but yours.

Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world.

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.

Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”


Our Lord wants to show his love for others through us.


The dates for our First Communions have had to be canceled due to the pandemic. I hope to have the dates when they will be re-scheduled this summer available next week.


Vacation Bible Camp is coming in July. Under the direction of Kelly Bennett the children will be able to participate in: Totally Catholic: Rocky Railway! Through life’s ups and downs, Jesus' Power Pulls Us! See the bulletin for upcoming details and volunteering opportunities: kbennett@pbcconline.com with your interest.


Shalom,

Fr. Kevin

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114 E. Edmondson St.

Culpeper, Virginia 22701

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