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Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 5 December 2021

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Today's Live-Streamed Mass

Worship Aid for Second Sunday of Advent 

fleur cross logo Our annual celebration of Advent Lessons and Carols will be Sunday, December 12 at 7:30pm. Everyone is welcome! 

fleur cross logo Plan Advent Confessions. Our Parish Advent Penance Service is scheduled for Monday, December 13 at 6:30pm. Join us for a special evening service of reconciliation will be offered with 15 visiting priests.  Opportunities for confessions in the days before Christmas will be limited, so plan to join us December 13. 

fleur cross logo The Springfield Council of the Knights of Columbus is selling Christmas trees in the lower parking lot through December 19.  Please support the charitable work of the Council by purchasing your tree from the Knights. The lot is open from 5pm to 9pm on weekdays and 9am to 9pm on weekends. 

fleur cross logo Based on the guidance of the CDC, we recommend that everyone, including those fully vaccinated, wear a mask in public indoor settings

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 5 December 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

I read this short article from CNA (Hannah Brockhaus) and it seemed to me a very beautiful message for all of us this Advent.

Pope Francis met participants and organizers of a Christmas songwriting contest at the Vatican on November 22.  He told participating young adults and teens to hold onto the hope, beauty, and love present in the season which celebrates Christ’s birth.

“I am happy to meet you, now at the doors of Advent, the period which every year introduces us to Christmas and its Mystery,” the Pope said.

“This year too its lights will be subdued due to the consequences of the pandemic, which still weighs on our time,” he noted. “All the more reason we are called to examine ourselves and not to lose hope.”

“The feast of the Birth of Christ does not clash with the trial we are experiencing, because it is the feast of compassion, of tenderness par excellence. Its beauty is humble and full of human warmth,” Pope Francis told the contestants and its organizers.

He added: “I like to repeat the words of Saint Paul VI: ‘This world in which we live needs beauty in order not to fall into despair.’ What kind of beauty? Not the false one made up of appearance and earthly wealth, which is empty and generates emptiness. No.”

“But that [beauty] of a God who became flesh, that of faces, of stories; that of the creatures who form our common home and who – as St. Francis teaches us – participate in the praise of the Most High,” he said.
Pope Francis said “the beauty of Christmas shines through in the sharing of small gestures of concrete love. It is not alienating, is not superficial, is not evasive; on the contrary, it widens the heart, opens it to give freely – you artists know – opens it to the gift of self, and can also generate cultural, social and educational dynamics...”

Advent always seems so short, almost a pause, between Thanksgiving and all the preparations for Christmas.  You can let it slip past without considering the beauty that Pope Francis talks about, not a sentimental, subjective kind of beauty, but the kind of real truth that is startling if you only take a moment to think about it.  All this was done out of love.  And, more startling, all of this was done out of love for me.  Once realized, we know that we have no option other than to love each other in the same way.  To give without considering the cost, to care.

The proof of this real truth is the way in which our hearts turn to so many in need at this time.  Advent, if you think about it, is the season of giving.  Countless charities reach out to immense need, a need that seems to be growing greater with each day.  We recognize our obligation, we who are so fortunate, to do our part and reveal the beauty of the face of Christ to others.

The Lord be with you,

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 28 November 2021

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Today's Live-Streamed Mass

Worship Aid for Thanksgiving Day
Worship Aid for First Sunday of Advent

fleur cross logo Our second collection next week is for Parish Special Needs. Thank you for your generosity.  And don’t forget the Catholic Charities Christmas Collection is the following weekend, December 12, a great way to remember the poor and those in need at Christmas time. 

fleur cross logo Remember today / tomorrow we will celebrate Evening Prayer (Vespers) here at Saint Bernadette at 4pm, continuing what Bishop Burbidge began last Sunday inaugurating the first jubilee preparation year. All are invited. 

fleur cross logo Wednesday, Dec. 8 is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation.  A Vigil Mass will be offered at 7:30pm on Tuesday evening; Wednesday, Masses will be offered at 7 and 9am, Noon, 6:30pm, and 8pm in Spanish. We invite you to join us! 

fleur cross logo Our annual celebration of Advent Lessons and Carols will be Sunday, December 12 at 7pm. Everyone is welcome! 

fleur cross logo Plan Advent Confessions. Our Parish Advent Penance Service is scheduled for Monday, December 13 at 6:30pm. Join us for a special evening service of reconciliation will be offered with 15 visiting priests.  Opportunities for confessions in the days before Christmas will be limited, so plan to join us December 13. 

fleur cross logo Our Giving Tree Program has moved entirely ONLINE again. Please visit our announcements page to see a list of the organizations and instructions on how to donate. No items will be accepted here at the Church. Plan to make your donation/ gift available by noon on Dec. 9 to ensure delivery by Christmas. 

fleur cross logo The Springfield Council of the Knights of Columbus is selling Christmas trees in the lower parking lot through December 19.  Please support the charitable work of the Council by purchasing your tree from the Knights. The lot is open from 5pm to 9pm on weekdays and 9am to 9pm on weekends. 

fleur cross logo Based on the guidance of the CDC, we recommend that everyone, including those fully vaccinated, wear a mask in public indoor settings

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 28 November 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Last weekend we were able to use our new Gather hymnals for the first time!  It feels good to have them in the pews.  As David said in his introductions at most Masses, how vital and significant it is to have a dignified, noble resource like this to help us improve our worship with song!  We reviewed a lot of hymnals, and found this one to be the best compilation of what is good, old and new, with many familiar liturgical songs as well as a lot of new music that we will learn to deepen our repertoire as a community.  And in the long term it will cost a lot less.

One of the best things about coming out of the worst of the pandemic was that we could sing again.  It is particularly beautiful to hear you sing again.  It will be even better when we don't have masks – but it is, in fact, the masks that are making singing possible.  Singing dramatically multiplies the virus circulation, so we remain careful.

Likewise, it was just really good to hear the choirs again.  But don't forget – YOU are the primary choir.  Our choirs' only purpose is to support you, and inspire you to sing, not to wow or entertain.  They enhance your experience of you singing, as we gather and pray together in song.  Many churches have forgotten this and have gone with more of a show band approach.  Remember, Saint Augustine said those who sing pray twice, not those who listen!

It seems to me that we are close to being back to our attendance levels pre-pandemic, with an obvious increase in just the past few weeks.  I was anxious to learn the results of our October count of Mass attendance.  In October 2021 we averaged about 1,700 people per Sunday, down by about 870, which means in October we were about two-thirds the attendance level in October 2019.  Attendance in November has been noticeably higher – hopefully the availability of vaccines for children and the booster will boost not only immunity, but confidence as well.  I continue to hear from so many people that they feel safe at our parish because we care to be careful, for each other, even though it seems that cases are climbing again in Fairfax County.

Several people have asked me where we are with regard to obligation to attend Mass, as the dispensation was withdrawn a while ago.  There still seems to be some confusion.  As in the time before all of this, anyone who is ill, or homebound, or unable to get to church is not obligated.  It isn't really that the Mass on TV "counts," but it does provide something which is better than nothing.  This inability to come to Mass includes any inability due to anxiety or necessary caution to avoid infection with underlying conditions which could put you at risk.  It was always the case that elderly or people at risk could stay home during the flu season.  Now, however, there is no option just to stay home if you would rather not get out of your pajamas!  As with singing together, the Mass cannot be considered a private devotion that you get in when convenient.  Literally, we must come together to be the Body of Christ, together, in full and visible communion.  Liturgy is not something we experience; it is praise and thanksgiving we do together as a community.

The Lord be with you,

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 21 November 2021

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Today's Live-Streamed Mass
Worship Aid for Feast of Christ the King

fleur cross logo There will be only one Special Mass at 10am on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 25. Again this year, we ask all you attending to bring non-perishable food items to Mass, to be donated to the St. Lucy Project for those in need. We hope you will join us and begin your day with prayer and thanksgiving. Please note, there will be no 9am Mass.

fleur cross logo November 28, is the First Sunday of Advent. Bishop has asked each parish to celebrate Evening Prayer (Vespers) in their own parishes, as a continuation of what Bishop Burbidge began last Sunday inaugurating the jubilee preparation year in each parish. We will celebrate Evening Prayer (Vespers) here at Saint Bernadette at 4pm on November 28. Please plan to join us.

fleur cross logo Our second collection next weekend is for Porto Charities, Special Kids, Special Needs. This special collection is on behalf of intellectually and developmentally challenged youth within the diocese. The mission and work of Porto Charities enhances the lives of these students. Please be generous.

fleur cross logo Our tradition of celebrating the Advent Season with songs, hymns and scripture resumes this year on Sunday, December 12 at 7:30pm. The Saint Bernadette Choirs welcome you to an evening time of peace and expectation. The participatory service lasts a little over an hour and all are most well welcome. 

fleur cross logo The Knights of Columbus will begin their Keep Christ in Christmas Cards sales after all Masses this weekend in the vesibule of the church. Join us in keeping Christ in Christmas.

fleur cross logo The Springfield Council of the Knights of Columbus will be selling Christmas trees in the lower parking lot through December 19th.  Please support the charitable work of the Council by purchasing your tree from the Knights.  The lot is open from 5pm to 9pm on weekdays and 9am to 9pm on weekends.

fleur cross logo Please remember the Catholic Charities Christmas Collection Dec. 12-13 as you plan your holiday giving.  Your help is greatly needed! 

fleur cross logo Based on guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we recommend that everyone, including individuals fully vaccinated, wear a mask in public indoor settings.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 21 November 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

These past couple weeks we have held meetings with parents and candidates for Confirmation in the fall of 2022 and 2023.  It has been an opportunity to speak about what really matters and what we are about.

It is a temptation to treat Catholic faith as just another subject of many, like science or math, but this is really a misunderstanding of faith.  Faith isn't just a bunch of rules and requirements – of course, there are terms to any commitment we make – but rather a much deeper intention to live into a reality.  It is a reality that transforms us, makes us more like Christ, and sends us on mission to go and share the Good News we have heard.  What results is what has been called the new evangelization -- not just a proclamation, but that each of us takes a personal stake in the sharing that God calls us to do.

There has been added an additional nuance to this work of evangelization by Pope Francis.  Not only are we called to proclaim the life of the Spirit in the Church, but we are also called to listen to each other, respecting the Holy Spirit who has come to dwell in all believers.  He uses the word synodality to describe this active listening, especially listening to those who may not agree with us, to discern the ways in which we may have been inadvertently (or intentionally) excluding them from our understanding of church.

Here is what makes this difficult:  Have we developed the contemplative skills which are necessary to be able to discern the presence of God in one another?  I'm not sure, on any levels of church participation and leadership.  How are you as a listener?  Do people even take the time to listen these days?  We are so polarized that, it seems to me, we judge before we listen.  Such a filter on listening does not allow us access to a real encounter to the other person.

Communication is so limited.  With so many more platforms of social media, there is not enough hours in the day to keep up.  As a result, our real connectedness is lost to shallow substitutes and there is less contact.  Is it more valuable to have several really good friends, or thousands of followers? We tweet impersonal messages that are just out there.  News is just a sequence of soundbites that follow one upon the other so that the lasting impression is just a collection of opinions which divide us.  I recently learned of the online culture of "influencers," self-proclaimed experts, who drive popular opinion and make or break the development of thought or overall culture.  Those who want to "keep up" with the never-ending tide of popular culture must resort to categories of "iconic" examples of culture, many of which are not personal experiences.  One of my least favorite popular words today is "iconic."  It simply means popular opinion, which may or may not have anything to do with me.

Do not allow your experience of God also to grow more and more shallow!  If you must, get in the car and go to a place where city lights don't obscure the night sky.  When I was a kid we would lay in the yard at the farm and just look at the Milky Way go from one end of the sky to the other.  And we realized how much even greater God was.

The Lord be with you,

 

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 14 November 2021

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Today's Live-Streamed Mass
Worship Aid for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

fleur cross logo Beautifully handcrafted olive wood religious goods from Bethlehem are for sale after all Masses next weekend under the school canopy. A perfect gift from Bethlehem is the perfect gift for Christmas, you will support our brothers and sisters surviving in the Holy Land! 

fleur cross logo Join us Monday night for our monthly Taizé Prayer Service, November 15th at 8pm. Come pray for Christian unity in our community and in the world. All Christians are warmly invited; invite your friends! 

fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette’s Women’s Group is having a SOUP SUPPER on Monday, Nov. 15. Women of the parish are invited to join us for homemade soups and hear an officer of ECHO talk about the good work they are doing in our community. We will meet at 6:45pm in the School Cafeteria. We look forward to seeing you there! Please RSVP to women@stbernpar.org.

fleur cross logo 
The Knights of Columbus will begin their Keep Christ in Christmas Cards sales after all Masses next weekend in the vesibule of the church. Join us in keeping Christ in Christmas.

fleur cross logo All students preparing for Confirmation in Saint Bernadette School or the parish Religious Education Program must attend the upcoming Confirmation meetings with one parent or guardian: Students for Confirmation in Fall of 2023, Tuesday, November 16, 7-8pm in the Church (we will be socially distanced and masked): current sixth graders at Saint Bernadette School, and CONF 1 in Religious Education.

fleur cross logo Next weekend, the second collection at all Masses will be for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the national anti-poverty program of the U.S. CCHD offers a hand up, not a hand out.  We can do our part to address the reality of poverty here in our midst, and take action to do something about it.Next weekend, the second collection at all Masses will be for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the national anti-poverty program of the U.S. CCHD offers a hand up, not a hand out.  We can do our part to address the reality of poverty here in our midst, and take action to do something about it.

fleur cross logo There will be only one Special Mass at 10am on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 25. Again this year, we ask all you attending to bring non-perishable food items to Mass, to be donated to the St. Lucy Project for those in need. We hope you will join us and begin your day with prayer and thanksgiving. Please note, there will be no 9am Mass.

fleur cross logo Based on guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we recommend that everyone, including individuals fully vaccinated, wear a mask in public indoor settings.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 14 November 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

This week we are reprinting the letter Bishop Burbidge has posted on the diocesan website announcing the beginning of a three-year preparation for our jubilee:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

November 2024 will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Arlington--our Golden Jubilee. Beginning with Advent 2021, the next two years are designated as preparatory years for the Jubilee, followed by the Golden Jubilee year itself. Each year will have a different theme, rooted in the foundational truths of the Catholic Faith, with a steadfast focus on evangelization and works of mercy. I am grateful to the Co-Chairs of the Jubilee Steering Committee, Very Reverend Edward Hathaway, Rector of The Basilica of Saint Mary, and Mr. and Mrs. Dan and Mary Beth Riordan, as well as the priests, women religious, and lay men and women who assisted in planning and creating events and resources to ensure that all the faithful of the Diocese are welcome and able to participate in this joyous multi-year celebration. 

The three themes: Remember, Rejoice and Renew. 

Remember is the theme of the first year. In Christ's words "Do this in remembrance of me," we will emphasize the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Catholic life. With gratitude for the graces we receive from our Eucharistic Lord, we will remember how Our Lord has been at work in the Diocese of Arlington for these 50 years. 

Rejoice is the theme of the second year. As our Blessed Mother said, "My soul rejoices in the Lord," we will emphasize Mary's role as a model disciple who shows us how to receive the Word of God joyfully. We will rejoice over the blessings and vitality of the Diocese of Arlington. 

Renew is the theme of our Golden Jubilee Year. This is a culmination of the previous two years with an emphasis on renewing and strengthening our faith to share it with others through evangelization and spiritual and corporal works of mercy. 

I invite you to visit our Jubilee website, jubilee.arlingtondiocese.org, to see the timeline, which highlights key events in the life of our Diocese and to learn about the many ways you can participate. There will be symposiums, pilgrimages, conferences, prayer opportunities, artistic performances, cultural events and more. Also, I encourage you to stay connected via emai I and diocesan social media, as well as to your parish for updates, news and information. 

We are grateful for the men and women have built the Diocese of Arlington into the faithful, devout and generous one that it is. Reflecting on this, I pray that these coming three years will be a time of transformation and renewal for you and your family. 

Through the intercession of Mary our Mother and Saint Joseph, may Our Lord Jesus bless our preparations for the Golden Jubilee.

Sincerely in Christ,




Streaming Masses and Weekly Announcements for the week of 7 November 2021

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Today's Live-Streamed Mass
Worship Aid for the 32st Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

fleur cross logo Parish Offices will be closed on Thursday, 11 November in observance of Veteran's Day.

fleur cross logo Beautifully handcrafted olive wood religious goods from Bethlehem are for sale after all Masses next weekend under the school canopy. A perfect gift from Bethlehem is the perfect gift for Christmas, you will support our brothers and sisters surviving in the Holy Land! 

fleur cross logo All students preparing for Confirmation in Saint Bernadette School or the parish Religious Education Program must attend the upcoming Confirmation meetings with one parent or guardian: 

              Students for Confirmation in Fall of 2022:
              Tuesday, November 9, 7-8pm in the Church (we will be socially distanced and masked): current seventh graders at Saint Bernadette School, and CONF 2 and HS Conf in Religious Education.

              Students for Confirmation in Fall of 2023:
              Tuesday, November 16, 7-8pm in the Church (we will be socially distanced and masked): current sixth graders at Saint Bernadette School, and CONF 1 in Religious Education.

fleur cross logo The Knights of Columbus in conjunction with Cross Catholic Outreach are asking for your support to fill a Box of Joy with presents like small toys, bar soap, pencils, toothbrush, toothpaste, hard candy, crayons, coloring books or T-shirts for children in need.  Boxes will be distributed after Mass this weekend and collected next week for delivery. Please help us support this worthwhile effort!

fleur cross logo All women of the parish are invited to join the women of Walking With Purpose Bible study for coffee and conversation and viewing the Opening Your Heart video:  God – First Place in All ThingsNo previous experience or attendance is necessary. Join them in the Bradican room either Tuesday morning, November 9th from 9:45-11:15 or Thursday evening, November 11th from 7:30-9pm.  For more information contact StBWWP@gmail.com

fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette’s Women’s Group is having a SOUP SUPPER on Monday, Nov. 15. Women of the parish are invited to join us for homemade soups and hear an officer of ECHO talk about the good work they are doing in our community. We will meet at 6:45pm in the School Cafeteria. We look forward to seeing you there! Please RSVP to women@stbernpar.org.

fleur cross logo Join us Monday night for our monthly Taizé Prayer Service, November 15th at 8pm. Come pray for Christian unity in our community and in the world. All Christians are warmly invited; invite your friends! 

fleur cross logo There will be only one Special Mass at 10am on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 25. Again this year, we ask all you attending to bring non-perishable food items to Mass, to be donated to the St. Lucy Project for those in need. We hope you will join us and begin your day with prayer and thanksgiving. Please note, there will be no 9am Mass.

fleur cross logo Based on guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we recommend that everyone, including individuals fully vaccinated, wear a mask in public indoor settings.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 7 November 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Parish ministry directors met this week and we revised our parish COVID policy.  In keeping with the current CDC guidelines, we ask that everyone, vaccinated or not, wear masks in public indoor settings.  It's working, but it isn't time to relax our responsibility to care for each other.  All are encouraged to be conscious of spacing where possible, and hand sanitizer is to be used during Communion by all Eucharistic Ministers.

School policy is stricter.  It's masks on all the time indoors, three feet spacing.  We've learned that breakfast and snacks need to be eaten at six feet apart or outdoors.  We are still not allowing anyone in the school during school hours other than students, faculty and staff while students are present.

Our general rules for parish activities are a combination of the two.  Where school students are involved, we continue to follow school guidelines.  This is why we've added an additional Mass each week for school students only, as all must be seated with three feet of spacing.  For that reason, we have spaced all candidates and sponsors for Confirmation Monday night in the front sections of the church with three feet in between.  Families who wish to attend will have limited seating and must have tickets to enter.  It will be a full church.  Tickets will be distributed at the rehearsal Sunday afternoon (this weekend).

As much as we would love to be able to gather as a community again and have meals, we've decided that parish activities involving children not eligible for a vaccine will not include food for the time being in indoor settings.  Adult groups who meet and serve food are advised to do so carefully, and be aware of the risk involved.  Once the holidays are past and we review COVID trends we will re-evaluate our policy.

Of course, as has been the case for the past months, if the local guidelines change, we will continue to re-evaluate how they affect our community.  Doctors I've spoken with all agree: nothing has changed since the worst of last year for those who are not vaccinated.  There are fewer known cases only because vaccinated persons are less likely to show symptoms.  We still need to be careful.  The more careful we are, the sooner the world will be past this.

Keep all those to be confirmed Monday night in your prayers.  Confirmation is an incredibly important time not only for those who are finally fully members of the Church, but a time in which we grow as a parish family.  If you know any of the candidates, be sure and congratulate them and welcome them more profoundly into the life of the Church.  It is by the Holy Spirit that each of us has been given special and specific gifts to build up the entire Body, and we can't afford to miss out on any of his gifts.

As I said to the candidates with whom I spoke when we were doing Zoom interviews, the only thing you candidates (and everyone, too) must do is open your hearts wide open desire everything God has in store for you.  That way we consciously receive those gifts, and in our gratitude, know how to use them.

The Lord be with you,

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