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Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 16 June - 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's Live-Streamed


Worship Aid for 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

fleur cross logo HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Fathers will be remembered at all Masses for nine days starting Sunday, June 16th.

fleur cross logo Girl Scout Troop 645 is collecting donations to assemble first aid kits, which will be distributed to ECHO for those in need. Items may be given in the vestibule of the church after Mass June 22-23 and 29-30: Band-aids of various sizes, antiseptic wipes/towelettes, small hand sanitizer bottles, gloves, ace bandages, scissors, medical tape, gauze pads, tweezers, ice pack/hot pack, small travel tissues, freezer bags. The following items may be dropped off at the office: Neosporin/broad spectrum antibiotic cream, hydrocortisone cream, and Benadryl.

fleur cross logo Registration for the 2024-2025 Religious Education Program year is now open! Registration is online only on the parish website. Registration will close on July 31.

fleur cross logo All are warmly invited to Taizé Prayer on Monday, June 17 at 8 pm. Come pray for unity in our community and the world.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time - June 16

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

I was listening to a radio show this week, and they were talking about trauma and how today, we seem to be self-identifying more with negative events in our lives than with what is positive. There certainly is enough negativity around to distract us.

A lot of what they were saying had to do with pharmaceutical companies and doctors who have over-prescribed medications on which many people have formed dependencies. Anxiety over apparent emerging diagnoses leads people to define themselves according to their symptoms.

One doctor said that even the way we raise our kids today is more likely to cause them to be anxious and hyper-sensitive about feelings one would have naturally when confronted with the scary reality of the world or the inhumanity of humans.

My parents would just say, “Toughen up,” but I think a deeper message is needed. We need to be constantly reminded -- and remind each other encouragingly -- that there is a spiritual side to these feelings and that we need always to remember that God is still in charge. Helping each other to build hope is a vital remedy.

All of this is not our puzzle to solve, our victory to win. Yes, we encounter evil every day in ways that might be subtle or, as in the case of so many world events today, seriously overwhelming. We need to remember that God has already won.

We need to make sure we are on his winning side and encourage others with the Good News that God has won. I think this is one of the things that helped the early Christian community face the danger and risk of being Christian. They knew the most important thing and fixed their minds on it: God sent his own only Son to offer himself to death in our place (so much love) so that we might be with him. Where he goes, we simply must follow.

That requires us to go outside of ourselves and really connect with others. Get involved in the lives of others. This past week, on the feast of Saint Barnabas, my reflection was about this. Those early Apostles going out and preaching the Good News did involve a lot of preaching, but it also included their living in peoples’ homes, eating their food, and really sharing space together. People didn’t have suites with private baths that you could stay in, you sat around the fire, shared everything. It wasn’t just a homily: people knew firsthand that those early saints lived what they preached, sharing all of life.

In the Church’s interreligious teaching, we have distinctions in different kinds of dialogue. The dialogue of action (working for the good of others), the dialogue of theological exchange (talking about faith), the dialogue of religious experience (prayer), and the dialogue of life. The last is the most effective way to communicate who you are, by giving witness simply by being a person of hope, a person of positivity, and faith in God, who has already won.

One of my favorite scriptures is from Matthew, an intimate moment when Jesus spoke to his friends:

“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”

 

The Lord be with you,

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 10th Sunday n Ordinary Time - June 9

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Congratulations are due!

This week, I want to start by congratulating our graduating class of 2024 and thanking again our teachers and staff for a very good school year! I am grateful for the many sacrifices that our teachers and staff make working in a Catholic school, the unknown challenges and struggles, and the late hours. It is not an easy job, and our parish owes you a profound debt of thanks for making this important parish obligation possible.

Last Tuesday, we had our traditional end-of-the-year celebrations. In the morning, we had our Pass it On Ceremony where, in the context of a Liturgy of the Word, some 8th graders pass the light of candles to 7th graders. Then, all the 7th and 8th graders are lined up along all of the aisles in the church, and 8th graders pass a leadership medallion to the 7th grade. Afterward, there is the Walk of Honor as the 8th graders pass through all the hallways of the school, and students are outside their classrooms to cheer them on. Then the graduates go to their cars which have been festively decorated, and there is a parade as 8th graders and their families leave the campus to go home and prepare for the Graduation Mass.

Later in the day, we celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for the Graduates, and students received awards and recognition, finally with the presentation of Certificates of Graduation.

Because of the timing of getting this bulletin to the printer, photos from these events have not been submitted, so we will do a nice spread of photos in next week’s bulletin, June 16.

Parish Life Center Update

We come to the end of the year and look back at all the goodness and service that took place. One of the greatest accomplishments of all was our Capital Campaign, for which we came just short of hitting our goal of $3M ($232K), and we have secured all funds needed for the budgeted goal from last year. (The Campaign is no longer actively soliciting contributions, but if anyone would like to contribute to this project, of course, we would not refuse!) We passed the county zoning board and received approval last fall. We are ready to begin construction documents as soon as the diocese gives us the green light and a schedule. I realize that we haven’t talked about the new building lately, and I wanted to make sure you know we are still full-speed ahead on this as soon as we get the approval to go. It is the classic story of hurry up and wait.

For all the new families in the parish, this Parish Life Center will be a new building with meeting spaces, including a large parish hall and other spaces that can be configured. It will be located on the grass in front of the current parish center. You can see the architect’s renderings on the wall of the church vestibule on the left as you enter from the street.

Welcome to Linda Patterson, our new parish business manager! Her message:
I am grateful to be a part of such a thriving ministry here at Saint Bernadette’s. From the very beginning, I was greeted with warmth, smiles, and God’s love. I am here to help support the ministries of the parish and look forward to the ways we can share God’s wondrous love. You will find me upstairs in the office. Feel free to stop by any time. I have been married for 32 years to James and we have two adult children, Hannah and Joshua, a funny dog named Reedy, and live on the west end of Alexandria.

 

The Lord be with you,

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 9 June - 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's Live-Streamed


Worship Aid for 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time

fleur cross logo Mass cards for the Father’s Day Novena of Masses are available in the vestibule or parish office. Our Fathers will be remembered at all Masses for nine days starting Sunday, June 16th. Please return your envelopes by Friday, June 14th.

fleur cross logo Girl Scout Troop 645 is collecting donations to assemble first aid kits, which will be distributed to ECHO for those in need. Items may be given in the vestibule of the church after Mass June 22-23 and 29-30: Band-aids of various sizes, antiseptic wipes/towelettes, small hand sanitizer bottles, gloves, ace bandages, scissors, medical tape, gauze pads, tweezers, ice pack/hot pack, small travel tissues, freezer bags. The following items may be dropped off at the office: Neosporin/broad spectrum antibiotic cream, hydrocortisone cream, and Benadryl.

fleur cross logo Registration for the 2024-2025 Religious Education Program year is now open! Registration is online only on the parish website. Registration will close on July 31.

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 2 June - Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ

Today's Live-Streamed Mass

Worship Aid for Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

fleur cross logo This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Please join us after the Sunday 5:30 pm Mass for a procession and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette and other area houses of worship have partnered with Together We Rise Against Hunger to purchase, pack, and distribute over 200,000 meals from June 5th to 8th! Please click here for more information on how you can donate or volunteer.

fleur cross logo Concerts at St. Bernadette presents the Capital Wind Symphony on Friday, June 7, at 7:30 pm in a free performance of great symphonic band music. One of the premiere musical organizations of our region, and under the direction of newly appointed Musical and Artistic Director, Dr. William L. Lake, Jr., the CWS presents a compelling spring program in collaboration with Saint Bernadette’s Director of Music Ministries, David Mathers, performing on the church’s 26-Rank pipe organ. Cutting-edge contemporary masterpieces feature alongside beloved staples of the concert band repertoire that the whole family will love. A free-will donation will be accepted, and a reception will follow the performance. For more information: dmathers@stbernpar.org

fleur cross logo Mass cards for the Father’s Day Novena of Masses are available in the vestibule or parish office. Our Fathers will be remembered at all Masses for nine days starting Sunday, June 16th. Please return your envelopes by Friday, June 14th.

fleur cross logo LAST CHANCE TO SIGN UP! Bishop Burbidge invites you to the Diocesan Jubilee Fest at Warren County Fairgrounds in Front Royal on Saturday, June 8. Join thousands of faithful from across northern Virginia to celebrate the diocese's 50th anniversary. This is a free event for all ages, but registration is required to receive a complimentary meal. Visit the Arlington Diocese website to RSVP.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ - June 2

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

With eighth grade graduation on Tuesday and this being the last full week for all our children, teachers, and staff, I simply want to express my profound gratitude for all the work of this past year! Thank you students, for your hard work; parents, for your prayers and support of our school and your kindness to our teachers; teachers, for your dedication and good work for our kids. It has been a good year, filled with growth and excellence. It certainly seems to have flown by.

Be sure to thank our teachers and staff, if you should see them around this summer. They are the unsung heroes who put in countless hours each week and then take it home with them, too. I am always amazed at how they give of themselves for the sake of our children -- it’s not for the money! They provide a safe context for our Christian faith “in the world, but not of the world” and help everyone at school stay on track.

My gratitude also goes to Dr. Burgess, who has led our school in a very effective, professional, and compassionate way this year. We are so grateful to you for sharing your gifts with us!

We ran out of room for photos in the bulletin this week and next week will probably be filled with graduation and end of the year photos, so I wanted to give some space here to our 1st place school band concert and our wonderful cast for “Taming of the Shrew,” both very enjoyable and memorable events as the year comes to a close.

Students: don’t forget what you have learned, and be sure to thank your parents and teachers for their loving dedication. See you over the summer!

 

The Lord be with you,

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity -May 26

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Today I want to start with a special word of thanks to our Director of Religious Education, Lynn Jones. As I write this, we have just completed our Saturday morning Mass and breakfast for our kids in our SPRED program, Special Program for Religious Education for our children who have special needs to follow the reception of sacraments and come to know Jesus in a loving community. Lynn and her Saturday catechists are truly a gift to our parish, as seen in this special ministry.

More than any Director I’ve worked with, Lynn seeks to provide a full range of religious formation for our parish. From our special kids, to all our students in our annual program, to family faith formation at home, to parents’ classes, to welcoming new members into the Church, Lynn is a tireless (and I mean that literally) minister of the Gospel and Church Tradition. We thank her for her ongoing efforts to always making our programs more accessible and more effective. If ever you can, please support her in her programs -- RE doesn’t happen by itself but is heavily dependent on faithful parishioners who can help accomplish this most important parish responsibility during the year to empower all our members through knowledge of God and how we might better serve him!

* * *

If you didn’t make it to our concert last week, you really missed something. Our quarterly Concerts at Saint Bernadette series always offers something amazing, but this last concert was very special.

Solomia Gorokhivska, who just happens to teach our strings program in our school and who has performed at the Kennedy Center with Gerdan, the group who came last week,, led an evening of real beauty and cultural relevance. Solomia and her husband, Andrei Pidkivka, who has won a Grammy with his mastery of many ethnic flutes, and amazing guitarist Jan Knutson, presented an evening of many of the traditional selections from Ukrainian culture, some very old, some new. Rarely have I witnessed such freely shared genius on their range of instruments and styles of music. Solomia also has a beautiful voice, which added Ukrainian lyrics to the beautiful sound. I will ask that the program for the concert be posted to the website so you can read about their amazing stories and accomplishments.

As beautiful as it was, the music was intertwined with stories of the way things are today in Ukraine, the ongoing terror and suffering and outlook of their country. The haunting melodies were even more haunting for this, the bright and joyful waltzes and folk songs were so contradictory in sound that they perfectly communicated the hope of this people in the midst of such darkness.

My greatest takeaway from the evening, even greater than a newly-found appreciation of the Ukrainian songbook, was that it took place right there in our church. So much has been written of the inculturation of the liturgy, finding the integrity and relevance of world cultures and bringing them in to the prayer of the Mass. Here was this beautiful music, in our church, in the presence of the Lord. The pulling together of the story of Ukraine, the music of the people, the presence of the Lord made the experience, for me, a prayer. I discovered first-hand one of those principles you learn about but seldom encounter. The people, the music, the place -- all are sacred and the Lord takes delight in his people.

Hopefully they will come back for another concert so more of us can discover a unique culture every bit as old, if not older, than the country that seeks to destroy it.

Solomia and company have CDs for sale, and as one of our teachers, she can always help us know how to best help the people of Ukraine. It seems that news cycles are always taking us to lower and lower levels of our worst selves in government and society, and the Ukraine story is lucky to get a couple of column inches in the paper, or a few minutes in digital media. Let’s not forget, and renew our commitment to do what we can to preserve such a beautiful culture and people. Thanks to David Mathers and Dr. Maritza Sadowsky, our school music teacher, for their work in making this concert happen!

 

The Lord be with you,

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 26 May- Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Today's Live-Streamed Mass

Worship Aid for Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity 

fleur cross logo Parish offices are closed on Monday, May 27th, in observance of Memorial Day.

fleur cross logo Next weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Please join us after Sunday at 5:30 pm Mass for a procession and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette and other area houses of worship have partnered with Together We Rise Against Hunger to purchase, pack, and distribute over 200,000 meals from June 5th to 8th! Please click here for more information on how you can donate or volunteer.

fleur cross logo Concerts at St. Bernadette presents the Capital Wind Symphony on Friday, June 7, at 7:30pm in a free performance of great symphonic band music. One of the premiere musical organizations of our region, and under the direction of newly appointed Musical and Artistic Director, Dr. William L. Lake, Jr., the CWS presents a compelling spring program in collaboration with Saint Bernadette’s Director of Music Ministries, David Mathers, performing on the church’s 26-Rank pipe organ. Cutting-edge contemporary masterpieces feature alongside beloved staples of the concert band repertoire that the whole family will love. A free-will donation will be accepted, and a reception will follow the performance. For more information: dmathers@stbernpar.org

fleur cross logo SIGN UP TODAY! Bishop Burbidge invites you to the Diocesan Jubilee Fest at Warren County Fairgrounds in Front Royal on Saturday, June 8. Join thousands of faithful from across northern Virginia to celebrate the diocese's 50th anniversary. This is a free event for all ages, but registration is required to receive a complimentary meal. Visit the Arlington Diocese website to RSVP.

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 19 May- Pentecost Sunday

Today's Live-Streamed Mass

Worship Aid for Pentecost Sunday 

fleur cross logo Parish offices are closed on Monday, May 27th, in observance of Memorial Day.

fleur cross logo The St. Lucy Spring Food Drive is this weekend. Please drop your blue bags of food at the truck outside after Mass today.

fleur cross logo All are warmly invited to Taizé Prayer on Monday at 8 pm. Come pray for Christian unity in our community and the world.

fleur cross logo Scout Troop 995 will hold its spring car wash fundraiser in the lot on Saturday, May 25 from 9am-1pm. Donations are greatly appreciated.

fleur cross logo We will conclude this beautiful season of Easter with Pentecost Vespers Sunday at 6:15 pm. Please join us.

fleur cross logo We are almost to goal – 96% for our parish participation in the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal. If you have not yet contributed, please try to finish this week. You may make a gift at: www.arlingtondiocese.org/BLA 

fleur cross logo Bishop Burbidge invites you to the Diocesan Jubilee Fest at Warren County Fairgrounds in Front Royal on June 8th. Join thousands of faithful from across northern Virginia to celebrate the diocese's 50th anniversary. This is a free event for all ages, but registration is required to receive a complimentary meal. Visit the Arlington Diocese website to RSVP.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ Pentecost Sunday-May 19

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Today we rejoice in the Holy Spirit. He fills the Church; he permeates us. There is not a single aspect of our identity or our life that is not touched by him.

He is the often overlooked Person of the Trinity. We can kind of picture the Old White-Haired Guy, like our grandfathers, in imagining the Father. The Son, of course, is simple to imagine because he became a human being and had a human appearance. I once had a friend who started his Pentecost homily declaring that he had the most precious relic of all -- a feather of the Holy Spirit! It was one of those jokes that went over like a lead balloon, either because people think the Holy Spirit is actually a bird or no one was listening. That is a possibility because he was not known for his great homilies.

The Holy Spirit is the super glue. He is the bond of love that is shared by the Father and the Son, the love that binds all his people as one. He is Unity; he is fullness.

The Father forms his perfect likeness by speaking the perfect Word of self-revelation, because God is love and has as one of his attributes all-sharing. What he shares is his Son (these are Jesus’ words, not ours), so perfect a likeness that to see him is to see the Father. The Father gives all he has to the Son, and the Son, in return, offers himself in the obedience of becoming one of us so that all that God makes in his creation to be united with him will be redeemed from sin and death and return to him.

So the Father sends the Son on this “downward” trajectory (if you want to think of heaven or the heavenly state as up). The Son empties himself freely, setting aside his glory as God and becomes one of us, the same clay from which he formed us. He entered into our limitation, our powerlessness, our uncertainty and pain. Ultimately, he gave his life, freely, for us and entered into our being dead, where he went to the depths of suffering and abandonment.

Bishop Barron uses this beautiful image to illustrate what the Holy Spirit does: the bond of the Holy Spirit is unbreakable, and the Son goes about continuing the work of salvation even in death, ultimately reversing the trajectory, returning to earthly life thanks to the unbreakable bond of love that is the Holy Spirit. Make no mistake, this wasn’t some kind of performance of God to impress us. Jesus went to the furthest, deepest, darkest, most hopeless experiences of human life so that all those who are running from God the Father, experiencing that same trajectory downward, will, no matter how far they are lost, will always run into the arms of the Son. God is at the beginning, God is in our deepest being lost. The Holy Spirit is the advocate and guide who calls us to life with Jesus so he can gather us up and take us back to the Father.

This might seem unlikely to some, but add to this story the fact that it is all done in the eternal moment (no past, no future), the NOW of God who is Begetting, Being Begotten and Loving in the life of the Blessed Trinity, who is both “I AM who am” and LOVE itself. Love, like being, isn’t something that God does; it is who he is.

It is this Holy Spirit poured out upon the Church of the Apostles at Pentecost and now in the Church’s new Pentecost today for a particular purpose. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to share this Holy Spirit with the world and share in the work of Jesus bringing back all of his creation to his beloved Father. It is how we participate in the life of the Trinity now.

Let us pray.

Holy Spirit, God, Spirit of Jesus and bond of love of the blessed Trinity, overflow in our world with your love and your truth. Help us resolve our divisions, both within churches and among churches. Help us to find your presence in all people, especially those who seek you.

Give us the consolation of your presence and constant support. Help us to know what to say and when to say it. You are the breath which carries the Word of creation to be spoken, help us to know you more each day.

Bless our efforts to form as one community the Body of Christ at Saint Bernadette, seeking to know one truth and live one life permeated by you. Help us to bring about a new pentecost in our broken world. We need you. Amen.

The Lord be with you,

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