The mission of the Church is the salvation of souls and each of us has a responsibility to participate in that mission for our own sake and that of all in the community. God calls us into life with him not as individuals, but as the Body of Christ, each member with a different role and function working together.
Worship, obviously, is primary to this mission, as we always look for ways to perfect our communal prayer with more beautiful and authentic liturgy. Our diversity is not for its own sake, but that our expression of the Body of Christ might find it’s fullest beauty in praying, serving and giving. What we have is to be shared so that all might come to full stature.
Education is also primary, so that we might learn more about this call that God has given us. We seek to learn about our own spiritual gifts so that our service might be relevant and life-giving. Pope Francis uses the beautiful image of a seminary: what a seminary is for clergy, the parish is for lay people, to form and commission our members to go out and proclaim the Gospel to those in the peripheries of our world, to those who are most in need. For this, we need meeting spaces.
We quickly understand when renovations are necessary if spaces are too small for what we need, or if current facilities do not support the needs of the parish as they change over time. For example, in 1960 they didn’t need offices for Assistant Principal, Registrar, Curriculum Coordinator and Counselor—because these jobs didn’t exist. It is clear that we needed to expand our school offices, and we have.
In looking to the future we need to anticipate growth. Population is not in decline. We are centrally located at an important crossroads in the Northern Virginia/DC region. The renewal that we do now will accommodate needs in ten years, but if we wait for ten years it will cost ten times as much.
PHYSICALRENEWAL ⋄ AFFECTING ⋄ SPIRITUALRENEWAL
Here at Saint Bernadette Church and School our vision, first and foremost, translates into renewing and revitalizing the spiritual life of all parishioners. A study last year showed that only about 26% of our members come to Mass regularly. At the present, the Holy Spirit seems to be active in bringing people back, awakening faith and inspiring participation in parish groups.
We have a big job before us, and we need spaces in which to do it. Physical renewal and expansion will support that spiritual renewal, by updating our facilities for use by today’s and future generations. We can already see concrete evidence with the renovations recently completed for our school and the positive impact they have had on students, teachers and staff, and parents.
The Church is much more than just the buildings. But people must have a space to gather in to pray, to meet, to find fellow- ship and build community.
These web pages describes proposed physical changes which we need and we think we can afford for our campus. After careful review, and prayerful consideration of Fr. Don’s financial request, please be generous.