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Streaming Mass and Announcements for the Week of 29 August 2021

RESERVATIONS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED
Please see the COVID Response and Guide on the left for NEW COVID Protocols issued by the Bishop are effective Friday, 28 May 2021


STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Today's Live-Streamed Mass 
Worship Aid for the 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time


fleur cross logo Religious Education Registration is open
on the parish website. Please tell your friends! We need everyone to be registered ASAP to help us plan for the fall. Classes begin Sunday, 19 September. Registration closes 31 August.

fleur cross logo It’s time to start thinking about RCIA. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults begins September 13 and we welcome all who are interested in learning more about our Catholic Faith. If you or someone you know are seeking answers and might be thinking about joining the Catholic Church, call and register for the process in the parish office.
 
fleur cross logo All our Saint 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 We will formally take up a second collection the weekend of 26 September to provide support to those impacted by the earthquake in Haiti on 14 August. If you would like to provide financial assistance in advance of the collection, please make checks payable to The Catholic Diocese of Arlington, with Haiti Earthquake Disaster in the memo line. Checks can be mailed directly to the following address: Catholic Diocese of Arlington, PO Box 1960, Merrifield, VA 22116-1960

fleur cross logo Based on updated guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week, we recommend that everyone, including individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19, wear a mask in public indoor settings.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 29 August 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

 
One of the things I am really excited about now in my ecumenical and interreligious work is the possibility of starting a new relationship with Native American Tribes, both with those who were baptized Christians as well as those who still embrace their native spirituality. The ground of dialogue is holy ground, and we have a lot of work to do in the area of expressing our respect and seeking reconciliation for the way the native peoples of this land we now occupy were treated.
 
There has been a lot in the news lately of the destruction of tribes and culture in the effort of turning the native peoples of North America into Europeans.  Indian boarding schools were established by the government to "civilize" and assimilate Native American children, many of being Church institutions.  Abuse and violence was common, families were literally torn apart, and children found themselves in a vacuum between their culture which they were taught was pagan (separating them from their tribes) and a new Euro-American culture which didn't really accept them, either.  Suicide was common.  Tribes were reduced, relocated, then lost their substitute lands and relocated to less and less valuable land.  It is a very dark chapter in our history.
 
I remember seeing the property title to our farm when my parents paid it off.  We were the fourth owners of the land in eastern Kansas.  The first owner was listed as the Confederated Tribes, the second, the U.S. Government.  Kansas became a state in 1861.  There was a family that purchased our 80 acres in 1862, and we bought it in 1974.  Suddenly this story was literally too close to home.  Our church was in a small town called Wea, in a county named Miami, whose county seat was Paola.  Nearby towns were named Osawatomie and Pottawatomie.  These are all names of tribes which, with the Shawnee and Peoria peoples, comprised the Consolidated Tribes.
 
I dug a little deeper. I discovered our farm was one mile west of what is now known as the Trail of Death which began in Indiana and ended in eastern Kansas.  A treaty signed in 1836 forced Indian tribes in the eastern United States to move west of the Mississippi River.  Some tribes refused to leave their lands and were forcibly removed and marched to eastern Kansas where they were given land.  Many died along the way and were buried on the trail. It was here that St. Rose Philippine Duchesne ministered to the native peoples.  Her shrine is about 50 miles south of our farm.  The Indian tribes were relocated again, finally, to Oklahoma in 1868.
 
These stories, sadly, are repeated in nearly every part of our country and, probably, the world.  I think of my own people who came from Ireland, driven away, and wish today I knew how to speak Irish.
 
I'm wondering: Would anyone in the parish like to become part of a conversation with some of the local Indian Nations in Virginia?  I'd love a conversation about what that might look like with the Pamunkey, Chickahominy, Mattaponi or Rappahannock tribes.
 
The Lord be with you.

 

 

Streaming Masses and Weekly Announcements for the week of 22 August 2021

RESERVATIONS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED
Please see the COVID Response and Guide on the left for NEW COVID Protocols issued by the Bishop are effective Friday, 28 May 2021


STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Today's Live-Streamed Mass 
Worship Aid for the 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time


fleur cross logo Religious Education Registration is open
on the parish website. Please tell your friends! We need everyone to be registered ASAP to help us plan for the fall. Classes begin Sunday, 19 September. Registration closes 31 August.

fleur cross logo It’s time to start thinking about RCIA. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults begins September 11 and we welcome all who are interested in learning more about our Catholic Faith. If you or someone you know are seeking answers and might be thinking about joining the Catholic Church, call and register for the process in the parish office.
 
fleur cross logo All our Saint 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 Today's second collection will support the annual Mission Cooperative Plan Appeal for our diocese.  This year our parish mission organization are our diocesan-sponsored parishes in the diocese of San Juan de la Maguana, St. Francis in Bánica and St. John the Baptist in Pedro Santana. Thank you for your generosity.

fleur cross logo Based on updated guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week, we recommend that everyone, including individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19, wear a mask in public indoor settings.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 22 August 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Hopefully we will be able to participate in welcoming Afghan Refugees as they come, and not politicize this responsibility like has happened with so many other moral issues.  In recent years the State Department program has been suppressed so we haven't seen many placements in northern Virginia, but this will likely change. In the meantime, we must pray for both American soldiers and personnel as well as the people in Afghanistan who have an uncertain future ahead.

I would like to quell some rumors that are already circulating, and explain how Catholic Charities' Refugee Resettlement Program works.

The Catholic Church does not bring Refugees into the country.  The U.S. State Department does, and Catholic Charities is one agency who helps place them after they have completed a lengthy screening process by the State Department, Homeland Security, the DOD and the FBI, a process that sometimes takes years.  Catholic Charities gives food, shelter and other essential services to assist Refugees in their transition, as we have done for 100 years.

These Refugees, applicants for a Special Immigration Visa (SIV) are now targets because of their service to our country.  Afghans and Iraqis who have found a home in our diocese in the past have had an average history of working with our military or government for 5-10 years in their home countries.  Because they were embedded with our military they are now targets and have fled to our country with their families to seek refuge. Many come with shrapnel in their bodies which they sustained protecting our soldiers and contractors.

None of the families who have come here live on the street.  Refugees have jobs, learn English, pay taxes, take classes and build careers, working toward advanced degrees, becoming citizens, purchasing homes and starting businesses.  Refugees do not add to homelessness.

Further information and stories may be found with Catholic Charities/Catholic Diocese of Arlington, as well as the State Refugee Coordinator and the Virginia Office of Newcomer Services.  More information about the screening process may be found at https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/us-government-rush-evacuate-afghan-allies-allocate-special-visas.

Pope Francis:  “We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation today: to discard whatever proves troublesome” (Speech to U.S. Congress, 9/24/15).
Stay tuned, hopefully we can get involved in a significant way in helping these sisters and brothers.

The Lord be with you.

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 15 August 2021

RESERVATIONS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED
Please see the COVID Response and Guide on the left for NEW COVID Protocols issued by the Bishop are effective Friday, 28 May 2021


STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Today's Live-Streamed Mass 
Worship Aid for Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

fleur cross logo We have learned that work will begin on the choir platform in the church on Monday morning.  The workers will begin their day at 6am and take a break at 8:45 for 9am Mass, resuming work after Mass has ended.  To accomplish the work, we will need to move the 7am Mass to the chapel for about a month.  The construction schedule will be complicated when considering weddings and funerals, so we need to give them as much time as we can.  We also ask that those who pray the rosary after weekday Masses move to the chapel at the end of Mass.

fleur cross logo Religious Education Registration for School Year 2021-22 is now open on the parish website. Please tell your friends! We need everyone to be registered ASAP to help us plan for the fall. Classes begin 19 September. 

fleur cross logo All our Saint 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 Next weekend's second collection, August 21-22, will support the annual Mission Cooperative Plan Appeal for our diocese.  This year our parish mission organization are our diocesan-sponsored parishes in the diocese of San Juan de la Maguana, St. Francis in Bánica and St. John the Baptist in Pedro Santana. Thank you for your generosity.

fleur cross logo 
It’s time to start thinking about RCIA. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults begins September 11 and we welcome all who are interested in learning more about our Catholic Faith. If you or someone you know are seeking answers and might be thinking about joining the Catholic Church, call and register for the process in the parish office. 

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 15 August 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

As much as parish ministries are tied to the school calendar year, you can always expect activity in the parish to come back to life once people have taken care of their summer responsibilities and recreation.  We are still waiting to see what this looks like, exactly, how much of our plans will be able to take place in person.

One thing is certain: for ministries to be successful, many people are required to come together to make it happen.  Students in our school would not succeed without the support and dedication of parents but even then the efforts of many parishioners are also required, people who (during normal times) come to the school and volunteer in so many ways.  Masses could not be celebrated with such solemnity and beauty without lectors,
eucharistic ministers and music ministers who come together and serve.  Faith formation for our children, youth and adults is a task that is vital to our families and parish family, and the future of our Church.  The ministry is not optional.  But we always struggle with how to pull it off.  People in this area especially, I have found, are often too busy for even the most fundamental needs of parish life.

Youth ministry is going to be especially challenging as this year begins.  Our new director of youth ministry suddenly decided she wanted to stay closer to home and went back to her teaching job from last year.  Applicants are few and we are back to square one.  And yet this most important ministry, which includes middle-school and high-school programs, as well as the Confirmation team program, must proceed.

Two of the reasons youth ministry is so difficult is that is not a priority of the youth, who have too many other programmed activities, and it is largely not supported by parents.  This support includes both the encouragement and insistence that their teens be involved in the life of the Church, as well as their presence in helping events and activities happen.  If we don't live as the Church, we will not remain in the Church.  How many, many families do you know who have daughters and sons no longer practicing faith and live with regret.  It doesn't have to be this way, but families must get involved, together.

Our calendar may not proceed as planned for now, but we still have a couple of ideas and events coming up and I am making this appeal. We want to make Sunday nights special for families with youth.  You, young people in the parish, are invited to serve the Mass as lectors, choir members, ushers and servers.  You, families with youth, are invited in a special way to come together at this Mass.  Mass eventually will be followed with a meal together, and a program for youth.  This will begin on Sunday evening, September 12, when we hope you can come—the youth to one program, and parents to a meeting so we can get organized and do something special for them.  Anyone who would like to get involved is welcome, once you have completed the necessary background checks and Virtus compliance for youth safety.  As ever, if you would like to be a core team member, please call us.

Our next steps will depend on your response.  We can make this happen.

The Lord be with you.

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 8 August 2021

RESERVATIONS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED
Please see the COVID Response and Guide on the left for NEW COVID Protocols issued by the Bishop are effective Friday, 28 May 2021


STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Today's Live-Streamed Mass 
Worship Aid for Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 

fleur cross logo We have learned that work will begin on the choir platform in the church on Monday morning.  The workers will begin their day at 6am and take a break at 8:45 for 9am Mass, resuming work after Mass has ended.  To accomplish the work, we will need to move the 7am Mass to the chapel for about a month.  The construction schedule will be complicated when considering weddings and funerals, so we need to give them as much time as we can.  We also ask that those who pray the rosary after weekday Masses move to the chapel at the end of Mass.

fleur cross logo Religious Education Registration for School Year 2021-22 is now open on the parish website. Please tell your friends! We’d like to have everyone register by mid-July to help us plan for the fall. Tuition prices will increase on July 17. 

fleur cross logo It’s time to start thinking about RCIA. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults begins September 11 and we welcome all who are interested in learning more about our Catholic Faith. If you or someone you know are seeking answers and might be thinking about joining the Catholic Church, call and register for the process in the parish office. 

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 8 August 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

One of the things I missed most during pandemic and one of the things I most appreciate about the Mass now is your beautiful singing.  I remember being in the pew and singing at Mass or concelebrating with a lot of priests at ordinations and the Chrism Mass, and sometimes it isn't such a great experience, depending on who is sitting next to you.  If only you could sit up in front with me and hear how such a mix of your voices comes together to make such a beautiful sound.

We are singing quite a bit more than before pandemic:  don't stop!  Maybe this is another example of how we have emerged from difficulty with a deeper appreciation of the richness of life and faith.  Beauty born out of the silence, coming together as one voice, the voice of Jesus, embracing community emerging from so much solitude.  It is just good to be together and see the joy as we can greet each other and see smiles again.

Congregational singing was a big part of the renewal of the liturgy in Vatican II, to be able to sing as the people of God, the Body of Christ, in our own words.  Prior to the Council singing was limited pretty much to the choir, if there even was one.  Most parishes didn't.  Musical texts tended to be antiphons and psalms in Latin and some scriptural texts from the New Testament.  There had been some exploration in Europe of the incorporation of hymns into the Mass during the several decades before the Council, but hymnody is something that really has only developed in the last century, many songs coming from the Protestant traditions.  Since the Council, the Catholic Church has given the greatest leadership in liturgical music, creating and publishing a wide repertoire of music.  Because of this we can draw from traditional as well as new selections, and try to incorporate as many expressions as we can to shape our community prayer.

Even though I served as a cantor for many years, there was a time even after ordination when I thought that the purpose of liturgical music was just to give all of you something to do while I did what I needed to do.  "What's with singing all of the verses?"  Somebody just asked me this the other day.  With our full, active and conscious participation as the goal, music is not only a beautiful contribution to the Mass, it is authentic prayer.  Our music director, David Mathers, selects music not only for its appropriateness for a particular day or season and its musical integrity, but also its prayerfulness.  Always read music with comprehension:  if it moves your heart to speak to God in an authentic way, it has done its job.

You may have noticed that we still don't have English hymnals in the pews.  They have been ordered - and we have chosen our new hymnal very carefully with all these values in mind.  It includes what we think represents music and texts of beauty, range of tradition, and cultural diversity.  They should come in October.

The Lord be with you.

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 1 August 2021

RESERVATIONS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED
Please see the COVID Response and Guide on the left for NEW COVID Protocols issued by the Bishop are effective Friday, 28 May 2021


STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Today's Live-Streamed Mass 
Worship Aid for Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 

fleur cross logo Religious Education Registration for School Year 2021-22 is now open on the parish website. Please tell your friends! We’d like to have everyone register by mid-July to help us plan for the fall. Tuition prices will increase on July 17. 

fleur cross logo It’s time to start thinking about RCIA. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults begins September 11 and we welcome all who are interested in learning more about our Catholic Faith. If you or someone you know are seeking answers and might be thinking about joining the Catholic Church, call and register for the process in the parish office. 

fleur cross logo Sunday, August 1 at 7:30pm, Saint Bernadette will host a free concert called "Nostalgic Travelings" featuring Soprano Ashlyn Rock and Pianist Andrew Miller. The thrilling program features songs by Ottorino Respighi, Franz Liszt, and Sergei Rachmaninov, and the famously difficult piano suite "Gaspard de la Nuit" by Maurice Ravel. Please plan to join us.

fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette is looking to establish a team of 3-5 volunteers to assist with setting up packing venues in NoVa for the Rise Against Hunger Program. The team’s commitment would be 2-5hrs, one or two Saturdays a quarter. There is a certain degree of physical activity associated with the setup, i.e. moving tables and bagged product. The ability to work a pallet jack, a sense of logistics and organization would be helpful but not necessary, training will be made available in August. Please contact Rick Caporali, rcaporali@stbernpar.org or 703-451-8576. See today's bulletin for more information.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 1 August 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
As we approach the start of the school year in a few weeks I find it unreal that we are facing the same questions we faced a year ago.  This past week one school district, then another, then another decided to be safe and mandate the use of masks for everyone in their schools, students and teachers, and observe three feet distancing.  There is no way to know how many of those over 12 are or are not vaccinated, at risk or not.  It seems less serious this year, but is it?
 
What has changed in the situation for those under 12 for whom there is no vaccine yet?  Literally, nothing, except that the new virus variant causes a viral load in those infected that is far higher than anything we had at this time last year.  Now is not the time to let down our defenses.
 
I just wish to reaffirm our commitment in the parish and school to be vigilant and follow the best guidance that our experts can provide.  And to not stop praying that everyone stays safe and this thing doesn't get out of control again.
 
We finally got our permit from the county to begin work on the choir platform in the church.  It will be good to see some progress!  This is a project which was to start the Monday after Easter Sunday and be finished by the 4th of July... hopefully it will be finished in time for our 40th anniversary of the dedication of the church on October 14.  We are planning a celebration so mark your calendars.  At any rate, in the meantime we ask your patience during construction.  See page 13.
 
Speaking of the dedication anniversary, we have several surprises which we hope you will find meaningful.  One of those is that we will upgrade the dedication candles on the walls of the church.  When a church is dedicated, the new altar is anointed with sacred chrism, as well as the walls of the church.  Dedication candles are placed on the walls to remember this anointing.  Traditionally, these candles are lit each year on the anniversary and major feasts of the Church.  
 
When our church was dedicated in 1981, the altar would not have been anointed because it had been used already by Saint John Paul II when he celebrated Mass on the National Mall in 1979.  You can see a photo of the Pope at our altar on the wall at the southern end of the church vestibule.  That makes our altar a sacred relic.
 
Because of the enormity of our church space and the size of our candles, they seem insignificant, not really strong symbols.  For our 40th anniversary we are commissioning 12 larger candles, some of which will be able to be carried in processions when desired.  Each candle will be memorialized modestly with a family name for the first 12 families who respond.  The donation for the memorial is $3,000.  If you are interested, I can share with you a picture of a similar candle.
 

The Lord be with you.