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Streaming Masses and Announcement for the week of 11 July 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 Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 

fleur cross logo Religious Education Registration for School Year 2021-22 is now open on the parish website. The initial registration period runs from June 1 to July 16 with a special Early Bird tuition rate: $75 for one child, $125 for two children, and $150 for three or more children. 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 Taizé Returns - Mark your calendars and plan to join us on the third Mondays of each month at 8pm for beautiful, simple sung prayer in the tradition of the Taizé community.  Intended to be an ecumenical gathering, we invite all Christians in the area to join us and pray for unity. Our first night back will be held Monday, July 19. 

 

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 11 July 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Every few years I write a bulletin article about the importance of funerals and the teachings of the Church with regard to funeral arrangements.  People find it useful, as it is a topic that sometimes comes up at a moment when those who must make arrangements don’t feel clear headed about how to proceed.
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If someone you know is dying, it is important to contact a priest right away who can come to give the Anointing of the Sick—ideally, at a time when the person who is dying is still able to participate in the prayers (including the sacrament of Reconciliation) and can still receive Holy Communion.  Holy Communion is actually the sacrament of the dying, it is called Viaticum, or Food for the journey.

Hopefully by this point we have already begun making  plans.  Parents should talk to their children about what they want to happen.  Too often the children are no longer practicing Catholicism and really don’t know what is customary.  It is good to have these conversations, not only to teach them what you hope for, but also to free them from all the last minute anxiety.  Many times children will decide that a Funeral Mass isn’t necessary because they would feel too awkward attending.  

Funerals are very important.  We gather with the Communion of Saints for the person who is transitioning from this life to beyond;  we actively recall the salvation that is given to us through Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross and apply that with our praise and thanksgiving for the intention of our beloved dead.  It is precisely this prayer to apply the grace and mercy of Jesus’ offering of himself for the intention of the deceased that has completely dropped out of wider Christian culture.  Our prayers and acts of reparation can help others who may be in purgatory now and unable to help themselves.  I hope that when I’m gone there is still someone who will offer a Mass intention for me every now and then, I probably will need it!

It is normative for us to celebrate the Funeral with the body present.  If the choice is to cremate, it is preferred that cremation take place after the Funeral Mass.  Cremation has been allowed since the 60s but is still not preferred.  In the past, cremation was done by “pagans” to say that they had no hope in an afterlife; believers would never cremate.  We has largely lost this distinction.  The remains (“cremains”) must be interred in a place of honor, in the ground or in a niche at a colum-barium, a place where people can still go to pray for them.  They may not be carried around, or scattered, or divided, or made into jewelry or anything else.  We must respect the dignity of the Deceased.

The Catholic tradition is a three-part Rite of Christian Burial: the Vigil, the Mass of Christian Burial, and the Interment.  You are welcome to pick up a packet which includes the customs of Saint Bernadette, with readings and musical options which you may find helpful. If anyone would like to meet to work on planning in advance, we are happy to speak with you.  Hope this helps, if you have any other questions, please call.

The Lord be with you.

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the Week of 4 July 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 (System is Temporarily Down due to Power Outage)
Worship Aid for Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 

fleur cross logo Religious Education Registration for School Year 2021-22 is now open on the parish website. The initial registration period runs from June 1 to July 16 with a special Early Bird tuition rate: $75 for one child, $125 for two children, and $150 for three or more children. 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 Taizé Returns - Mark your calendars and plan to join us on the third Mondays of each month at 8pm for beautiful, simple sung prayer in the tradition of the Taizé community.  Intended to be an ecumenical gathering, we invite all Christians in the area to join us and pray for unity. Our first night back will be held Monday, July 19. 

fleur cross logo Planning for Fourth of July!  Our offices will be closed on Monday, 5 July in observance of the holiday. Please note only one Mass will be celebrated at 9am. There will be no 7am Mass on Monday, 5 July. May God bless our country and help us appreciate the value of freedom and those who have given so much to make it a reality.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 4 July 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

One of my priest professors in the seminary said something which I have often repeated because it startled me when I first heard it.  He said, "Something isn't true because the Church says it is; the Church says something is true because it is."  Having grown up in a largely unquestioning environment, I realized that not even the Church can own truth.  Truth is true, and we come to it.  It's effect is to unite us around a common understanding that shapes us, we don't shape truth.

Looking around, there is little evidence of this in our daily experiences.  We live in a world where apparently you can have your truth and I can have mine.  They might entirely contradict, it doesn't matter.
But it does, and here's why.  Truth is true and cannot contradict itself.

This past week we celebrated the feast of St. Irenaeus, martyr bishop of Lyons, France in the second century.  He was fighting Gnosticism, which was a system of thought which included a god called a demiurge who had dominion over the world, and Jesus Christ was the messenger from the supreme God who came to give special knowledge to a special few.  It wasn't a hierarchy of truths because the special people wouldn't share it.  It belonged to them.

I can see where this could have happened.  It was a thing primarily among Jews and Christians and it sort of allows you to still have both, what was known before (in Judaism) which was true, and the fullness revealed in Christ.  Rather than coming together to the fullness of truth, however, Gnostics claimed if for their own.

Gnostic-like thinking is common today, as we see so clearly in things political, issues of social morality and interpretation of reality.  We forget that the interpretation of reality isn't the sane as reality, and all of us can be wrong.

Out of a genuine and deep concern for others we must remember that the discovery of truth is not to be a victory for some and a defeat for others.  Everyone must share in the victory; it can't be claimed by one who judges the other.  Otherwise truth will continue to be rejected by those in error because they will regard it as inseparable from defeat.

Rather, truth becomes the foundation of a dialogue which brings us closer to each other.  Interpretations are discussed by people who all still admit that something can be learned from the other.  Knowing the truth forms in us a gratitude and humility by beholding it.

The Lord be with you.

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 27 June 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 Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
 

fleur cross logo Religious Education Registration for School Year 2021-22 is now open on the parish website. The initial registration period runs from June 1 to July 16 with a special Early Bird tuition rate: $75 for one child, $125 for two children, and $150 for three or more children. 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 Taizé Returns - Mark your calendars and plan to join us on the third Mondays of each month at 8pm for beautiful, simple sung prayer in the tradition of the Taizé community.  Intended to be an ecumenical gathering, we invite all Christians in the area to join us and pray for unity. Our first night back will be held Monday, July 19. 

fleur cross logo Our second collection this weekend is for Peter’s Pence, a worldwide collection that supports the charitable works of Pope Francis. Join with Pope Francis and be a witness of charity to our suffering brothers and sisters. Please be generous.. For more information, visit usccb.org/peters-pence.

fleur cross logo Planning for Fourth of July!  Our offices will be closed on Monday, 5 July in observance of the holiday. Please note only one Mass will be celebrated at 9am. There will be no 7am Mass on Monday, 5 July. May God bless our country and help us appreciate the value of freedom and those who have given so much to make it a reality.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 27 June 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

This week we come to the end of our fiscal year 2020-2021.  Nice to have it in the rear-view mirror!  We usually publish the financials in the fall and will have the hard numbers for you later, but we are able to see the general overview of this past year, with its stillness and volatility.  

Considering the uncertainties and risks of this year, and the very limited guidelines of in-person participation at liturgies, I have to say we have done well, and we are very grateful to all of you who have continued to be so faithful in supporting our parish community.  Thank you.

Overall, collections were down last year by 8%, about $240,000, and at the year-end summary this is basically our shortfall, parish and school.  This is a significant number, especially as our offertory has been flat pretty much since before I came here five years ago.  We will probably have to schedule an offertory enhancement program this fall to try to dig back out of the lingering effects of a global pandemic.

One of the things that many people don't realize is that the tuition our families pay doesn't benefit the parish as a contribution.  In fact, tuition only covers about 85% of the cost of educating our children.  That is why we consider our school one of the primary ministries of our parish life and seek to make Catholic education as available as we can to people in various economic situations.  Catholic schools need to survive and thrive.  For that reason you see the monthly tuition assistance envelopes and the occasional fun-run or day of giving when we reach out to the wider parish to help our school.  If it hadn't been for the federal PPP loan, CARES Grants and the USDA free breakfast and lunch programs in the school, our financial situation would look a lot different.

We finalized the budget for 2021-2022 this week and I have to say we are still proceeding with a higher-than-normal level of uncertainty.  We don't know what the school situation looks like for next year, although we plan to have all students in school.  If restrictions are lowered, we can fully enroll our preschool and fully open our extended day programs which will help balance the budget in the school (at present we have a reduced registration in both programs determined by the guidelines set by VA Department of Social Services).

Many have said that, at this new beginning following pandemic, that we, as a parish are poised for amazing spiritual and community growth.  I hope you can feel the excitement and hope that we feel.  Many of our parish/school team members are transitioning right how.  We welcome our new Director of Youth Ministry this week, Sara Giffin, and next week our new Principal, Darcie Girmus, will be here.  Later in July our new school Registrar will also be joining us.  It is a time of real team building focusing on the holy unity that is God's will for all his people, as well as for our parish and school family.

Wishing you safety in travels, rest and renewal in your leisure, accomplishment in your work, and confidence in the absolute love of God. 

The Lord be with you.

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 20 June 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 Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary TIme
 

fleur cross logo  Religious Education Registration for School Year 2021-22 is now open on the parish website. The initial registration period runs from June 1 to July 16 with a special Early Bird tuition rate: $75 for one child, $125 for two children, and $150 for three or more children. 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  Today is World Refugee Day.  For resources from the USCCB please visit https://justiceforimmigrants.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/WRD-2021-Toolkit1.pdfToday is World Refugee Day.  For resources from the USCCB please visit https://justiceforimmigrants.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/WRD-2021-Toolkit1.pdf

God of our Wandering Ancestors,Long have we known yhat your heart is with the refugee:  you were born into time in a family of refugees, fleeing violence in their homeland,who then gathered up their hungry child and fled into alien country.  Their cry, your cry, resounds through the ages:  “Will you let me in?”

Give us hearts that break open when our brothers and sisters turn to us with that same cry.Then surely all these things will follow:Ears will no longer turn deaf to their voices.Eyes will see a moment for grace instead of a threat.  Tongues will not be silenced but will instead advocate.  And hands will reach out—working for peace in their homeland,working for justice in the lands where they seek safe haven.  Lord, protect all refugees in their travels.  May they find a friend in me and so make me worthy  f the refuge I have found in you. Amen.

provided by Catholic Relief Services

 

 

 

 

 

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 20 June 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

You know the old saying – if you see one mouse you probably have four or five – so this is probably worth the mention.  Several of our parishioners have contacted me about their unease attending Mass with so many children under 12 (obviously unvaccinated) who are now here without masks.  I can only ask parents to please honor the mask guidelines which are still in place for unvaccinated persons so that those with concerns might be cared for and feel welcome.  This is why I ask all our eucharistic ministers to still wear a mask, so that no one might feel uneasy about coming forward to receive Holy Communion.

As I write this today (Monday), we have just listened at Mass to the gospel where Jesus instructs his disciples to turn the other cheek, to give more than what is demanded, to go the extra mile if one is expected.  It speaks to a radical hospitality that goes beyond the usual understanding that I believe most people have of being hospitable.  It is well beyond welcoming or being a pleasant host or offering a snack.  We read this in the rule of St. Benedict:

        “All guests are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say    “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (RB 53:1)
        “By a bow of the head or by a complete prostration of the body, Christ is to be adored because he is indeed welcomed in them.” (RB 53:7)
        “Great care and concern are to be shown in receiving poor people and pilgrims, because in them more particularly Christ is received; our very awe of the rich guarantees them special respect.” (RB 53:15)

While Benedictine hospitality calls us to welcome all people as Christ, and to remember that what we do for others we do for Christ, it also calls us to put on the heart of Christ as we receive others.

In the gospels, we hear of Jesus reaching out to the people who are most on the margins: the poor, the sick, the stranger, the outcast, the widow, the sinful. In each of the stories, we hear of Jesus taking notice, reaching out, healing, and comforting. 

Consider the implications this demands of us as a parish:  what are we doing about the radical inhospitality of our modern culture that seeks to use economic status, race and ethnicity to exclude so many?  To put on the heart of Christ... What are the implications of this rule for our response to so many who are persecuted, displaced, wandering for a new life?  How are we as a parish to respond?

Speaking of welcoming, it is time to begin our planning for RCIA and welcoming new members to the Church.  Intentionally invite someone you know who may be seeking to consider joining us, and consider being a part of our RCIA team who will walk with them shoulder to shoulder in their journey of faith.  Anyone interested in joining the Church or our team, please call.

The Lord be with you.

Streaming Masses and Announcements ~ 13 June 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 Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary TIme

fleur cross logo  The Second Collection next weekend is for ECHO - Ecumenical Community Helping Others - gives food and finacial assistance to people with short-term emergencies, and provides clothes and household items to people with low incomes. Thank you for your generosity.

fleur cross logo  Next Sunday begins our Father's Day Novena of Masses offered for all your intentions placed in front of the altar throughout the Novena. Father's Day Cards and extra novena envelopes are still available in the vestibule of the Church and in the Parish Office.

fleur cross logo  
Registration for Religious Education is NOW OPEN on the parish website. The normal registration period runs from June 1 to July 16. Please tell your friends! We’d like to have everyone register by mid-July so we can plan for the fall. We are planning for all grades to have in-person classes with a catechist every other week using a traditional textbook alternating with a textbook lesson completed at home the following week.


fleur cross logo  Give the gift of life! Donate blood! Mark your calendar for Saturday,  June 19, 2021 from 8:30am to 2:30pm to donate. 

fleur cross logo   Our high school WorkCamp crew is raffling off a corn hole set, which they built, to raise funds for the upcoming workcamp projects. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase following all Masses this weekend. Additional donations are welcome. Thank you for your support!

 

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 13 June 2021

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
These past couple of weeks we have been pretty overwhelmed with emotional events for the life of any parish, not to mention that we once again had to adapt as quickly as we could to the suddenly-changed pandemic restrictions.  I think it is a good thing to acknowledge these events as much as we are able, thank God for them, and look into the days to come.
 
First, Fr. Peter left.  It has been a strange year for him, as much as for all of us.  He arrived in the middle of lockdown, and left on the weekend that the restrictions were lifted.  I realize that most of you didn't have much of a chance to say hello, not to mention goodbye.  As all of us have kept pretty much to ourselves this past year out of care for each other, it is good to acknowledge his presence as well as the loss of contact we might have had with him.
 
I am so grateful that we have been able to gather and celebrate the end of our school year and the class of 2021 as much as we have been able.  Of course, although restrictions were lifted in the church, they remained in place in the school so we needed to navigate our celebrations still within social distancing, masks and crowd limits of 250.  (I am hoping that these words recede from everyday use in the days ahead!)  
 
Despite the limits, our PTO stars put together a retirement celebration for our principal, Barbara Dalmut, that was truly amazing.  I have never seen anything so beautiful and magical.  The photos in this bulletin of "Light the Night" don't begin to capture the planning and execution and sheer celebration of this community gathering.  Barbara and her family were celebrated and cherished as is only fitting for our principal who has been our leader and my colleague and friend for these past 4+ years.  We set out on a path to restore excellence to our school and unite our parish and school in ways that people didn't even know were possible.  Our parish owes Barbara a debt of gratitude and her leadership will be reflected in the bright future of our parish community.  Word is she is going to jump full-speed into our parish women's group.  Stay tuned for her next chapter.
 
Despite pandemic, cicadas and even a church electrical fire we finally celebrated our graduation Mass and commencement Saturday night last weekend.  As the kids came forward to receive their certificates of advancement one by one I was conscious of the fact that I hadn't seen their faces all year and tried to remember what they looked like.  The new students?  I had no idea.  What a strange year.  But we celebrated their accomplishments.  Congratulations to our graduates!  Now that school is out and we can follow church guidelines, stop me after Mass and let's get acquainted.   Please know that you are warmly welcomed to be a part of our youth program and get active in the parish!
 
It is a time of real blessing.  I'll have more to say soon about our new Religious Education program, our new principal, Darcie Girmus, and our new Director of Youth Ministry, Sara Giffin.  In the meantime, if anyone can help me with weeding the gardens, the place is a mess!
 

The Lord be with you.