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Announcements ~ 1 September 2019

fleur cross logo Next weekend is the Called and Gifted Workshop, Saturday, September 7, 2019. Just when you thought you there wasn't a program that could help you know your path by God's plan, this Workshop comes along! For more information please see page 13 in this bulletin or visit our parish website announcement page for online registration.
 
fleur cross logo Religious Education Class begin next week: Enrollment is NOW!  Registration forms are available in the Church Vestibule and Parish Office. For more information, please visit our website: stbernpar.org. Calling all Catechists! Please respond to the call to share your faith with our children and the youth of the parish.
 
fleur cross logo All our St. Bernadette choirs are welcoming new members. We have choirs for singers of all ages,  including three adult choirs in English and Spanish, Children’s Choir for 1st through 6th grade and, starting this fall, the re-launch of our Youth Choir for 7th through 12th grade. For more information see stbernpar.org/praying/music-ministry or contact Director of Music Ministries David Mathers at 703-451-8575 x112 or dmathers@stbernpar.org
 
fleur cross logo Think about RCIA. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults begins this September and we welcome all who are interested in learning more about our Catholic Faith, and considering becoming Catholic. If you or someone you know are seeking answers, call and register for the process in the parish office. 
 
fleur cross logo Our Confirmation preparation process starts a year earlier this year in 6th Grade. If you have sixth or seventh graders, you should have received a letter from us. Sixth graders who begin preparation this year will be confirmed the start of their 8th grade year (Fall 2021). Seventh graders who begin the process this year and will be confirmed their at the end of the 8th grade year (Spring 2021). Information sessions will be scheduled at the beginning of the school year.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 1 September 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
This Sunday is September 1, the day that Pope Francis has declared "World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation."  Churches across the world will pray that we might take better care of God's wonderful gift intended for us and our future generations to live full and happy lives in harmony with him and our world.  Here is as much of his 2018 message as I can reprint here:
 
Dear brothers and sisters,
 
On this Day of Prayer, I wish first to thank the Lord for the gift of our common home and for all those men and women of good will committed to protecting it. I am likewise grateful for the many projects aimed at promoting the study and the safeguarding of ecosystems, for the efforts being made to develop more sustainable agriculture and more responsible nutrition, and for the various educational, spiritual and liturgical initiatives that involve Christians throughout the world in the care of creation.
 
It must be acknowledged that we have not succeeded in responsibly protecting creation. The environmental situation, both on the global level and in many specific places, cannot be considered satisfactory. Rightly, there is a growing sense of the need for a renewed and sound relationship between humanity and creation, and the conviction that only an authentic and integral vision of humanity will permit us to take better care of our planet for the benefit of present and future generations. For “there is no ecology without an adequate anthropology” (Laudato Si’, 118).
 
On this World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which the Catholic Church for several years now has celebrated in union with our Orthodox brothers and sisters and with participation of other Churches and Christian communities, I would like to draw attention to the question of water. It is a very simple and precious element, yet access to it is, sadly, for many people difficult if not impossible. Nonetheless, “access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world owes a great social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity” (ibid., 30).
 
Water invites us to reflect on our origins. The human body is mostly composed of water, and many civilizations throughout history arose near great rivers that marked their identity. In an evocative image, the beginning of the book of Genesis states that, in the beginning, the spirit of the Creator “swept over the face of the waters (1:2)”.
 
For us Christians, water represents an essential element of purification and of life. We think immediately of baptism, the sacrament of our rebirth. Water made holy by the Spirit is the matter by which God has given us life and renewed us; it is the blessed source of undying life. For Christians of different confessions, baptism also represents the real and irreplaceable point of departure for experiencing an ever more authentic fraternity on the way to full unity. Jesus, in the course of his mission, promised a water capable of quenching human thirst for ever (cf. Jn 4:14). He prophesied, “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink (Jn 7:37). To drink from Jesus means to encounter him personally as the Lord, drawing from his words the meaning of life. To give to drink, in the global village, does not only entail personal gestures of charity, but also concrete choices and a constant commitment to ensure to all the primary good of water.
 
Constant care for this inestimable treasure represents today an ineluctable duty and a genuine challenge. There is need for an effective cooperation between men and women of good will in assisting the ongoing work of the Creator. Sadly, all too many efforts fail due to the lack of effective regulation and means of control, particularly with regard to the protection of marine areas beyond national confines (cf. Laudato Si’, 174).
 
Let us pray that waters may not be a sign of separation between peoples, but of encounter for the human community. Let us pray that those who risk their lives at sea in search of a better future may be kept safe. Let us ask the Lord and all those engaged in the noble service of politics that the more sensitive questions of our day, such as those linked to movements of migration, climate change and the right of everyone to enjoy primary goods, may be faced with generous and farsighted responsibility and in a spirit of cooperation, especially among those countries most able to help.
 
Finally, let us be concerned for the younger generation and pray for them, that they may grow in knowledge and respect for our common home and in the desire to care for the essential good of water, for the benefit of all. It is my prayerful hope that Christian communities may contribute more and more concretely helping everyone to enjoy this indispensable resource, in respectful care for the gifts received from the Creator, and in particular rivers, seas and oceans.
 
God bless you.

 

Announcements ~ 25 August 2019

fleur cross logo Religious Education Class Enrollment is NOW!  Registration forms are available in the Church Vestibule and Parish Office. For more information, please visit our website: stbernpar.org. Calling all Catechists! Please respond to the call to share your faith with our children and the youth of the parish.
 
fleur cross logo All our St. Bernadette choirs are welcoming new members. We have choirs for singers of all ages,  including three adult choirs in English and Spanish, Children’s Choir for 1st through 6th grade and, starting this fall, the re-launch of our Youth Choir for 7th through 12th grade. For more information see stbernpar.org/praying/music-ministry or contact Director of Music Ministries David Mathers at 703-451-8575 x112 or dmathers@stbernpar.org
 
fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette is hosting a Called and Gifted Workshop on Saturday, September 7, 2019. Just when you thought you there wasn't a program that could help you know your path by God's plan, this Workshop comes along! For more information please see page 9 in this bulletin or visit our parish website announcement page for online registration.
 
fleur cross logo Think about RCIA. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults begins this September and we welcome all who are interested in learning more about our Catholic Faith, and considering becoming Catholic. If you or someone you know are seeking answers, call and register for the process in the parish office.  For an overview, please see last week's bulletin on our parish website.
 
fleur cross logo Our Confirmation preparation process starts a year earlier this year in 6th Grade. If you have sixth or seventh graders, you should have received a letter from us. Sixth graders who begin preparation this year will be confirmed the start of their 8th grade year (Fall 2021). Seventh graders who begin the process this year and will be confirmed their at the end of the 8th grade year (Spring 2021). Information sessions will be scheduled at the beginning of the school year.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 25 August 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

We've been talking about how September will be a big month and it is already here...  Of course, it is the beginning of our programming year for education and ministries, and this week many of these programs are underway.  Please watch carefully and be in touch with the parish to make sure you have all the details for Faith Formation classes and other offerings that the parish has in store.

Please remember, the 6:30am Mass moves this week from Mondays and Thursdays to Mondays and Wednesdays.

Two sessions of religious education on Sunday afternoons and two sessions on Monday afternoon/evening are offered to the children of the parish.  The Family Faith Formation has fewer meetings, because religious education is done largely at home.  For more details on the program, please consult with the Faith Formation office.  Adult faith formation is offered through established Bible Studies (four each week) and the RCIA program on Thursday evenings.  We will be announcing soon the addition of an adult ALPHA series which will meet on Tuesday nights, probably in the cafeteria.  (The youth ALPHA series will be on Wednesday evenings, and will be held in a location depending on the response of attendees.)

Generally, here is the structure for September:

Labor Day weekend, offices are closed on Monday.  Classes will begin the weekend/week following.
Sunday, September 8.  Knights of Columbus Pancake Breakfast after morning Masses

September 14-15.  Parish Life weekend.  We're going to do it differently this year.  We are not going to publish the expensive catalogue of ministries with the annual theme and annual parish report in printed form, nor are we going to do a commitment card asking people to make commitments of time (praying), talent (serving) and treasure (giving).  Updated information about each of the ministries will be easily found on our parish website. 

Of course, we hope people will exercise these opportunities for holiness and community, but we will not be collecting cards and tabulating results.  Last year, of the around 4,000 cards we sent, we received responses from about 225.  Instead, we will have one tent at each of the exits of the church staffed with some representatives from various ministries who will be able to answer questions you may have.  Simply stop by the tent. 

You are all invited and encouraged to consider getting involved in parish ministries in some way, and signing up on lists for any ministry at the tent.  The ministry leaders will follow up with phone calls.  If you discover a ministry which might be needed by the parish community and think there would be sufficient support from members of the parish, Please let me know.  We are interested in deepening the life of the community and building our programs into the future.

September 21-22.  Commitment Sunday.  This is the official public kick-off for the parish Capital Campaign for the community of Saint Bernadette.  We've spoken and written a lot about this campaign and there are images and information in the vestibule of the church for months, now.  We discovered we didn't get off on the right foot—we weren't allowed to speak of it until we met our Bishop's Lenten Appeal goal last spring and then felt rushed to get the information, the brochures, the pledge cards in your hands.  As a result, we had only half the team we had hoped for to make advance calls for pledges and gifts, and many people didn't even respond to those calls.

We are hitting the reset button and I will be speaking at all Masses Parish Life Sunday weekend to ask for your support.  Our goal is so achievable, and the results will transform the possibilities for parish life now and for future generations.  We will simply distribute a commitment card and ask you to respond with a heart-felt dedication to support our family community.  For the many who have not given, we must give from the much we have received.  For those who have less, we ask you to do what you can.  For those who have already given, maybe you have discovered that a bit more could be added. 

We will have commitment cards available as well on Commitment Sunday Weekend in case you didn't take one home or forgot to bring it back.  Your gift is a visible witness to build a community that has strong ties with God and each other.  As I said once before, everyone who has a family knows they must provide a place for them to live, to grow, to succeed.  As the father of this family, I'm asking you to take part.

God bless you.

Announcements ~ 18 August 2019

fleur cross logo The Saint Bernadette Women's Group is forming!  Come with a friend to the next gathering, Bunco on August 20 at 7pm in the Bradican Room.
 
fleur cross logo Religious Education Class Enrollment is NOW!  Registration forms are available in the Church Vestibule and Parish Office. For more information, please visit our website: www.stbernpar.org. Calling all Catechists! Please respond to the call to share your faith with our children and the youth of the parish.
 
fleur cross logo All our St. Bernadette choirs are welcoming new members. We have choirs for singers of all ages,  including three adult choirs in English and Spanish, Children’s Choir for 1st through 6th grade and, starting this fall, the re-launch of our Youth Choir for 7th through 12th grade. For more information see stbernpar.org/praying/music-ministry or contact Director of Music Ministries David Mathers at 703-451-8575 x112 or dmathers@stbernpar.org
 
fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette is hosting a Called and Gifted Workshop on Saturday, September 7, 2019. Just when you thought you there wasn't a program that could help you know your path by God's plan, this Workshop comes along! For more information please see page 9 in this bulletin or visit our parish website announcement page for online registration.
 
fleur cross logo Think about RCIA. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults begins this September and we welcome all who are interested in learning more about our Catholic Faith, and considering becoming Catholic. If you or someone you know are seeking answers, call and register for the process in the parish office.  For an overview, please see last week's bulletin on our parish website.
 
fleur cross logo Our Confirmation preparation process starts a year earlier this year in 6th Grade. If you have sixth or seventh graders, you should have received a letter from us. Sixth graders who begin preparation this year will be confirmed the start of their 8th grade year (Fall 2021). Seventh graders who begin the process this year and will be confirmed their at the end of the 8th grade year (Spring 2021). Information sessions will be scheduled at the beginning of the school year.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 18 August 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Please take the time to read Martha Drennan's excellent reflection on the difficulty finding  not only catechists but students for religious education this year.  We are two weeks out and only 200 students, half the number of the last couple of years, 13% of children in registered families.  The reality is, we won't have time to get volunteers VIRTUS compliant with background checks and, depending on the number of students and catechists, may have to cut classes.  This is, however, the principal mission of the parish:  to educate.

I think Martha is right in saying that the problem is that we don't know what we don't know.  My generation was the first to not have a rigorous knowledge of our faith.  We live in such a poverty and we don't even know it.  When I was a missionary in the Dominican Republic with about 30 villages that I would visit monthly, the lifeblood of the villages was the training that I would give the catechists.  I could only be there once a month, but they did all the work of preparing people for baptisms, sacraments, and provided a weekly prayer gathering for the local community.  Without catechists, there is no community.

To say things are fine as they are, without picking up and using—or even being aware of—the absolute riches that God has placed in our laps, would be the same as promoting poverty and disease.  We must educate ourselves, we must then educate our children.  It is something that all the Church must do to be effective and pleasing to God.

I want to shift gears a bit here, and share with you some experiences I have had this summer.  It seemed to begin around the time of my mom's death back in May.  I had had a rough go for the past three years here at Saint Bernadette, I have this vision for community and nobody was buying it.  I guess I just expected people to get excited.  Some did, but it was only a ripple.  You see, I think the Tradition of the Church is the greatest gift we have to enrich and fulfill our lives.  But that Tradition is something that you have to live.  The Church isn't a museum you go to visit and look at stuff once in a while.  We can't learn our faith from a book, we have to immerse ourselves in it.  The vast and inspiring spaces are useless if there are not voices singing in them, if there aren't prayers going up.  And the communities that we form, which are our real architecture and expression, do not come into being if we do not give ourselves to that which is greater:  God among us, the Kingdom among us.

I've been trying to preach us into being a community and I realized that I didn't even feel like I belonged to it.  I have battled with some depression these three years, I have gained weight (I'm finally losing it now!), as people don't show up, programs fail, and I have been just trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Then when my mom died, we had an experience to share, something that everyone has or will go through.  I shared about it a lot.  An outpouring of love and support from you, you became a part of the fabric of my life.  Now you are dwellers in my life, and part of my life is now within you.  I celebrated my anniversary four days later, another sharing of life which brought more community to life than I could ever have hoped to preach out of you.  The clouds started to evaporate, the sun to shine.  Not to mention Pollado Bailable.

I don't know what people think Church is for.  Some people might say it's there to get me into heaven.  Others that we owe God and have an obligation to show up and go through the motions.  Maybe arrive late and leave early, it doesn't matter as long as we appeared.  Maybe people find mutual support and fraternity.  When I was in college it was a chance to meet friends and then go out to brunch.

But the powerful truth is that Church is the product of something.  It is not the thing that produces us.  Our shared life experiences enlace us into something greater.  Our shared faith gives us an identity as a people—the People of God, as the Second Vatican Council says.  Our hopes come together, we enter into ritual Mystery in the story of Jesus throughout the year.  We start to look alike.  This is one of the most beautiful miracles of God, that he takes our diversity in all its origins and races and we start to look alike.  And Community is born.

We plant the seeds of that Community simply by sharing ourselves in some small way and it grows day by day.  You can't give what you don't have, but we can always give ourselves, and teach each other: community is formed.  I realize we really have to step up offering adult education, maybe beginning with the documents of Vatican II.  But we have to get to know each other first, maybe just over a donut on Sunday morning.  We must not give in to the tendency of our world to fear.  The only product of fear is isolation, alienation, and resignation.  Let us give each other another chance, and trust that we will be joyfully surprised.

God bless you.

Announcements ~ 11 August 2019

Celebrate with us this Holy Day of Obligation, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Vigil Mass, Wednesday, August 14 at 7:30pm. Holy Day Masses throughout the day Wednesday, August 15 at 6:30am, 9am, Noon, 7:30pm (Bilingual).
 
Please consider our Catholic School. We invite you to visit our website, stbernpar.org/parishschool, if you would like to see what we can do for your child. You are welcome to call our Saint Bernadette School office at 703-451-8696 to learn more, or to arrange for a tour. Registration is still open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.
 
The Saint Bernadette Women's Group is forming!  Come with a friend to the next gathering, Bunco on August 20 at 7pm in the Bradican Room.
 
Saint Bernadette is hosting a Called and Gifted Workshop on Saturday, September 7, 2019. Just when you thought you there wasn't a program that could help you know your path by God's plan, this Workshop comes along! For more information please see page 9 in this bulletin or visit our parish website announcement page for online registration.
 
Think about RCIA. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults begins this September and we welcome all who are interested in learning more about our Catholic Faith, and considering becoming Catholic. If you or someone you know are seeking answers, call and register for the process in the parish office.  For an overview, please see last week's bulletin on our parish website.
 
A letter was sent to every registered family in the parish who has a sixth or seventh grader explaining the change to our current Confirmation preparation process. If your family did not receive a letter, please contact our Faith Formation office. Sixth graders who begin the new process this year will be confirmed the beginning of their 8th grade year (Fall of 2021). Seventh graders who begin the Confirmation process this year and will be confirmed their at the end of the 8th grade year (Spring of 2021). Information sessions will be scheduled at the beginning of the school year.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 11 August 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Coming to the close of the summer season, there are a lot of details to cover for your consideration.  Once August starts, it is practically over.  Whoosh.

You’ll notice again this week all the pleading for volunteers for parish programs.  Today I must add a note of urgency.  As you know, all volunteers in parishes must clear a background check and attend a VIRTUS class.  In the past the diocese would allow people to volunteer at the last minute and then give a waiver allowing the volunteer to begin ministry even though the required paperwork was not complete.

This is no longer the case; there will be no waivers given this year.  So if you plan to serve in the parish in any ministry that involves children or youth, your application needs to go in now.  Actually, it needed to go in yesterday.  It is quite possible that we will have students enrolled in religious education classes and no one to teach them for the first month. 

The required classes for VIRTUS fill up, too.  Our class at Saint Bernadette is full.  The only nearby regional classes remaining are August 17 at both Saint Ann/Arlington and Our Lady of the Angels/Woodbridge, and August 18 at Saint Francis/Triangle.   Please take the time to consider how you might be involved in parish life this year, and factor in that we are up against deadlines for beginning ministries.

~  ~  ~  ~

We will have a change in the Mass schedule during the week at the end of August.  Please make a note if you are a daily Mass goer:  School Mass is moving to Wednesdays at 9am instead of Thursdays.  As Wednesday was my day off during the week, I will now move my day off to Thursdays and the 6:30am Mass on Thursdays will likewise move to Wednesdays.  Starting the week of August 26 we will celebrate 6:30am daily Mass on Mondays and Wednesdays.

~  ~  ~  ~

It has been a busy summer, as well.  Our summer projects didn't go exactly as we had hoped, but they will be complete.  Our new cleaning company in the school has the place sparkling.  Literally.  I have never seen such a clean building.  The usual repairs and replacements have happened with any building that gets such heavy and constant use.  One very satisfying project is the conversion of what we called the "Lab Learner" room into the new school Library.  It is in the room adjacent to the music room on the second floor on the front of the gym.  These rooms used to serve as the choir loft when the gym was being used as the church for Mass. 

We carefully soundproofed this room from the music room next door (as we had soundproofed the wall between the classrooms and the gymnasium last year), and have added a drop ceiling with excellent lighting.  The former library at the far end of the middle school wing will now be home base for the Spanish program.  Both will become very useful for hosting larger groups of adults.  I am hoping they become home for our new Alpha program and the faith groups that form.

Another project that is more visible is the sidewalk connecting the church to the back parking lot by a series of ADA ramps.  PLEASE NOTE:  even though the cement will be poured by this weekend, the metal railing fabricator will not have the railings necessary for the ADA compliance in place for a couple of weeks.  There will be railings on all the ramps when it is finished.  If you need handicap accessibility, please continue to use the ramp in front of the church for a little while longer.

~  ~  ~  ~

Finally today we had a fruitful meeting with the diocese and a company that will refit our stained glass art in the church.  We still don't have a price... but I'm guessing we will pay what it costs.  The windows themselves will be re-set in a lighter, less massive aluminum frame which will allow the lighting units behind to be slipped out the side when they need to be replaced.  The Saint Joseph window apparently was restored, the other not so completely, so we are going to see what it costs to give new leading to the Our Lady of Lourdes window.  Then it will be in place, and done.  It is the first priority.  I also began discussion about finishing the choir area with a real structure for tiered seating, raising the choir up so that they can sing over the congregation and not into them.  Finally, the sanctuary and ambo might be made ADA compliant—you never know when you might have a lector, Eucharistic minister, or priest—only limited by a wheelchair.  The altar needs to move forward closer to the people.  Of course, we don't have money for any of this, but we can dream and be ready when the time finally comes.

~  ~  ~  ~

I hope you make the most of these last days of summer.  Don't forget to check out the Tibetan Performing Arts program we are hosting on the 25th!

God bless you.
 

Announcements ~ 4 August 2019

fleur cross logo Celebrate with us this Holy Day of Obligation, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Vigil Mass, Wednesday, August 14 at 7:30pm. Holy Day Masses throughout the day Wednesday, August 15 at 6:30am, 9am, Noon, 7:30pm (Bilingual).
 
fleur cross logov Please consider our Catholic School. We invite you to visit our website, stbernpar.org/parishschool, if you would like to see what we can do for your child. You are welcome to call our Saint Bernadette School office at 703-451-8696 to learn more, or to arrange for a tour. Registration is still open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.
 
fleur cross logo The Saint Bernadette Women's Group is forming!  Come with a friend to the next gathering, Bunco on August 20 at 7pm in the Bradican Room.
 
fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette is hosting a Called and Gifted Workshop on Saturday, September 7, 2019. Just when you thought you there wasn't a program that could help you know your path by God's plan, this Workshop comes along! For more information please see page 11 in this bulletin or visit our parish website announcement page for online registration.
 
fleur cross logo It’s time to be thinking about RCIA. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults begins this September and we welcome all who are interested in learning more about our Catholic Faith, and considering becoming Catholic. If you or someone you know are seeking answers, call and register for the process in the parish office.
 
fleur cross logo A letter was sent to every registered family in the parish who has a sixth or seventh grader explaining the change to our current Confirmation preparation process. If your family did not receive a letter, please contact our Faith Formation office. Sixth graders who begin the new process this year will be confirmed the beginning of their 8th grade year (Fall of 2021). Seventh graders who begin the Confirmation process this year and will be confirmed their at the end of the 8th grade year (Spring of 2021). Information sessions will be scheduled at the beginning of the school year.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 4 August 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Sometimes you can be surprised by how much you don't know! Or that you've been wrong for 25 years. I discovered this week that some customs which have been in effect in every parish and with every pastor I have ever served aren't, actually, according to the law of the Church.

For all these years I have been under the impression that in order to receive a sacrament or a sponsor certificate you would have to be a registered parishioner. It turns out "registration" is not found in Canon Law. The authority of a pastor extends juridically for those who live within the borders of a parish, and if people wish to register from outside the borders, the parish is able to serve them as well.

All these years we have been forcing people to register if they come to the office asking for these things. What has resulted is a very inflated picture of the actual active members of the parish. I'm guessing the real parish is probably half as large. So many people register to be Godparents or to receive sacraments and we never hear from them again.

So here is how it works now. If you are seeking a Sponsor certificate, we can provide it for anyone, whether registered here or anywhere, or not. It is basically a statement that you fill out, under oath, that you are a practicing Catholic, fully initiated in the Church (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist), that you are at least 16 years of age, if married that you were married in a Catholic wedding, and that you will support the person you are sponsoring as a good example and spiritual guide. The testimony is yours before God, and Ivonne or Kendra will witness your signature and and seal the certificate as a legal document.

It is a little more complicated for sacraments. For example, if you seek baptism for your child, you do not need to register here, or anywhere. If you are registered here or live within our parish boundaries, there is no question. If you are registered in another parish, we need a letter of permission from the pastor of that parish. If you are not registered anywhere, you will need to obtain a letter of permission from the pastor of the parish in whose boundaries your residence lies.

As I said in my memo to the parish staff, on one hand it seems like we are giving up. On the other hand, it just seems like we are being honest. To register just to get what you want doesn't really make you a member in the active sense of a practicing, active member serving God and the Church. Also, it is not up to the parish to prove somehow the intentions of the person seeking the certificate to support another person in the faith; it is the integrity of their word, which we only witness and seal.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A special thanks to all those who worked so intensely to produce our summer show, Kiss Me Kate. I had the privilege to attend all five shows this year and don't think I have ever had the chance to watch young actors grow so quickly in the craft of singing and dancing, in their confidence and in the way they opened up to the audience. I can see why such a dedicated staff of producers, director, conductor, costume makers and choreographer come back each year as volunteers to make this happen! Many of them were in the cast many years ago and realize how much this changed them and helped them to grow, and they are paying it back. So, thanks. A special thanks to Bill and Anna Molino, who help put it together!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Watch the next few bulletins for information about new groups and programs in the parish. Saint Bernadette Women's Group is forming. They are planning a Bunco night on August 20 at 7pm in the Bradican Room—all women are invited to bring a friend! We are also calling on young adults in the parish to start a Young Adults' Group. After a year of no available space for new programs, we think we have figured out a way to introduce the Alpha Series to anyone interested, both an Alpha Series for adults as well as for youth. If you are curious, look at alphausa.org/ catholic. You may have noticed we have added classes in Faith Formation for youth in high school who may be looking for more of a classroom approach to learning the Faith.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to a very special Buddhist event which is coming here August 24-25. We are honored to host the Capital Area Tibetan Association's visit by the 7th Yongzi Ling Rinpoche, who was recognized by the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of his Senior Tutor. He has traveled all over the world to teach Buddhists and will be here teaching the Buddhist community in the gym in the mornings. We are all invited to a vegetarian lunch on Sunday, August 25 at noon, an interreligious prayer/dialogue from 2:30-4pm, followed by a presentation of Tibetan Culture at 4:30pm. Please see p. 10 for details.

God bless you.

 

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