latest announcements

 Please subscribe to receive email notifications of announcements and other parish events.

Subscribe
Subscribe to this content and receive updates directly in your inbox.
Name
Email

Streaming Mass and Announcements for the Week of 14 June 2020

Click here to Reserve A Seat (Español)
In accordance with the Governor’s Phase 2 and Arlington Diocese Guidelines, we welcome you and your family back to Saint Bernadette. For specific instructions for attendance click the "New Guidelines for Attending Mass" video link below.


NEW MASS SCHEDULE

SATURDAY VIGIL 5pm - In-Person in the Church

SATURDAY 5:30pm - live-streamed on for Sunday 

SUNDAY 7am, 10am, 1pm (Spanish), 5pm - In-Person in the Church

MONDAY through FRIDAY 

8am - live-streamed
9am - In-Person in the Church

SATURDAY 
8am - live-streamed ONLY
No In-Person Mass for the month of June


Click here for the video explaining our "New Guidelines for Attending Mass at Saint Bernadette
"

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

           Worship Aid for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Community Mass for Saturday in the elevnth Week of Ordinary Time

Community Mass for Friday in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Community Mass for Thursday in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Community Mass for Wednesday in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Community Mass for Tuesday in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary TIme

Community Mass for Monday in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
          Worship Aid for the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

 
ANNOUNCEMENTS

fleur cross logo Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries. We humbly ask for your continued financial support.  Please consider Faith Direct. Thank you for your generosity. 

fleur cross logo Please remember Bishop’s dispensation of the obligation for attending Mass is in effect indefinitely. Our Saturday morning Masses will be live-streamed only for the month of June. Saturday 5pm Mass will be in-person in the church as before and we will continue live-streaming at 5:30pm to provide continued access for those who cannot or are not yet comfortable attending Mass in person. Masses Monday through Friday are live-streamed at 8am and in-person in the church at 9am.

fleur cross logo  If you haven’t, please view our “How to Attend Mass Video.” If you didn’t have a reservation today, please do so in the future. Once the church starts to fill up this will guarantee a seat. Also, reservations are required in an effort to keep everyone safe. By doing so, we can manage capacity levels and help provide assurance that we have considered you (and your family’s) personal safety according to the department of health’s recommendations. In the unfortunate event someone becomes ill or reports to us that they have tested positive, the reservation system will help supply the needed information to contact trace individuals at minimum by Mass.

fleur cross logo  Mass cards for the Father’s Day Novena of Masses are available in the vestibule of the church. There is also a downloadable intention form on our parish’s website announcements page. Remember your dads and grandfathers in this beautiful remembrance. Please return your envelopes by Friday, June 19.

fleur cross logo ECHO will be conducting a food drive on Tuesday 30 June here at Saint Bernadette from 10am to 2pm, The drop-off point for the food will be the parish parking lot. This will be a Springfield and Burke ecumenical effort. Due to  the large unemployment rate, ECHO continues a need for a large amount of food donations of every kind. We will follow all covid-19 guidelines to include maintaining a social distance and wearing face masks.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 14 June 2020

 Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

The June 6 Religion section of the Washington Post had an above the fold article about Archbishop Gregory of D.C..  It included a paragraph that I found perplexing, as so many things seem to be today:

“The intensity of Catholic discussion around Gregory's outspokenness this week reflects the deep divisions among U.S. Catholics over whether racism is an urgent spiritual sin or a subjective political matter.  Catholics, like other Americans, are largely divided along racial and ethnic lines about the president.”

Today I’m going to try to say some things that everyone can agree with. First, words of welcome. One thing the Catholic Church has given witness to over the centuries is that our divisions can be just as deep as everybody else, but somehow we are held together.  Some say this is proof of the Holy Spirit, but I am not one to say that we have an exclusive contract with the Holy Spirit.  I believe he breathes in all of creation, including our non-Catholic brothers and sisters.  But as much as our president seems to be a lightning rod for division, we must witness Jesus Christ and his mercy and compassion.  For this reason, despite differences of opinion, there must be mutual respect, even reverence for one another in showing welcome to one another despite differences.

The Church and, indeed, our culture may be obviously divided politically, but this must never be confused with the truth of Church teaching on racism.  Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange, CA, wrote this week, “Remembering that most basic command of Jesus, let us begin by affirming unequivocally: Black Lives Matter.”  Political opinion does not define truth.

Consideration of racism is grounded in fundamental spiritual beliefs:  equal dignity of all people, created in God’s image, and Christ’s redemption of all.  From our Catechism:

“The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: ‘Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.

“Moral judgments on racism, based on equality, are consistent: ‘any theory or form whatsoever of racism and racial discrimination is morally unacceptable;and ‘racism is not merely one sin among many, it is a radical evil dividing the human family...’3

This position regarding racism isn't just a “Catholic” thing:  I would challenge any notion that anyone could be both Christian and racist.  The same can be said of most world religions, though power twists the public witness of many religions’ teachings, as has happened in the Post.

The possibility that the Post could get such an incorrect understanding of Catholic teaching only underlines the fact that we are not consistent in our witness as a Church.  We are giving a mixed message, because we are allowing politics and political affiliation to muddy the water where clear Church teachings should be clearly witnessed by the faithful.  We must clean up our misleading example.  When I was a kid and altar server we had a retired bishop in our parish, Bishop Joseph Marling.  Before Mass, when we would kneel and kiss his ring (those were the days...) he would always ask us what our primary role was as altar servers.  The answer was first that we must be edifying, that is to say, to provide the example to all coming to Mass of how to be reverent and attentive, and pray the prayers.  To teach by witness.  We have to stop polarizing everything and making everything an opportunity for division.  On the contrary, each opportunity is a challenge to put unity where discord is found.  Saint John of the Cross says, where there is no love, let me put love, and there I will find love.  This is the remedy for self-absorption.  Self interest should not be the driving factor for laws and legislation which are intended to serve all.

A few years back I participated in a dialogue held in Taiwan between the Vatican and Buddhist leaders from around the world.  The topic was violence and witnesses to non-violence throughout eastern and western traditions.  I presented a paper on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Beloved Community.  In the face of hate and violence Dr. King insisted that we had a role to play because of our relationship with God as his children, to bring about an era of peace.  Love will overcome and we need to persevere even in the face of generational, systemic prejudice.  We must speak the truth, and walk the path of justice.  His work is still not accomplished, but we see that it is still alive.  May it be so in us.

God bless you. 

1 No. 1935, quoting Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, No. 29
2 Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (USCCB, 2007), No. 433
3 USCCB, Brothers and Sisters to Us, 1979, No. 39.

Streaming Mass and Announcements for the Week of 7 June 2020

Click here to Reserve A Seat (Español)
In accordance with the Governor’s Phase 1 and Arlington Diocese Guidelines, we welcome you and your family back to Saint Bernadette. For specific instructions for attendance click the "New Guidelines for Attending Mass" video link below.


NEW MASS SCHEDULE

SATURDAY VIGIL 5pm - In-Person in the Church

SATURDAY 5:30pm - live-streamed on for Sunday 

SUNDAY 7am, 10am, 1pm (Spanish), 5pm - In-Person in the Church

MONDAY through FRIDAY 

8am - live-streamed
9am - In-Person in the Church

SATURDAY 
8am - live-streamed ONLY
No In-Person Mass for the month of June


Click here for the video explaining our "New Guidelines for Attending Mass at Saint Bernadette
"

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (5:30pm Saturday)
      Worship Aid for the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Community Mass for Saturday the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Community Mass for Friday the Tenth Week in Ordinary TIme
Community Mass for Thursday the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Community Mass for Wednesday the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Community Mass for Tuesday the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Community Mass for Monday the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

The Most Holy Trinity Sunday

     Worship Aid forThe Most Holy Trinity Sunday 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

fleur cross logo Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries. We humbly ask for your continued financial support.  Please consider Faith Direct. Thank you for your generosity. 

fleur cross logo Please remember Bishop’s dispensation of the obligation for attending Mass is in effect indefinitely. Our Saturday morning Masses will be live-streamed only for the month of June. Saturday 5pm Mass will be in-person in the church as before and we will continue live-streaming at 5:30pm to provide continued access for those who cannot or are not yet comfortable attending Mass in person. Masses Monday through Friday are live-streamed at 8am and in-person in the church at 9am.

fleur cross logo  If you haven’t, please view our “How to Attend Mass Video.” If you didn’t have a reservation today, please do so in the future. Once the church starts to fill up this will guarantee a seat. Also, reservations are required in an effort to keep everyone safe. By doing so, we can manage capacity levels and help provide assurance that we have considered you (and your family’s) personal safety according to the department of health’s recommendations. In the unfortunate event someone becomes ill or reports to us that they have tested positive, the reservation system will help supply the needed information to contact trace individuals at minimum by Mass.

fleur cross logo  Mass cards for the Father’s Day Novena of Masses are available in the vestibule of the church. There is also a downloadable intention form on our parish’s website announcements page. Remember your dads and grandfathers in this beautiful remembrance. Please return your envelopes by Friday, June 19.

fleur cross logo CATHOLIC CHARITIES St. Lucy Project is in GREAT NEED OF FOOD! On Friday, June 12, Saint Bernadette will once again host “No crowd - drop and go - no contact - Drive-Thru Food Drive.”  A St. Lucy Food truck will be parked on our parish parking lot from 10am to 2pm to receive food donations. We hope you can drive-thru and help so many who are in desperate need during this time.  For those who may wish to support the program with a financial donation, please make checks payable to CCDA with St. Lucy Project in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Catholic Charities, 8426 Kao Circle, Manassas, VA 20110. Many thanks and blessings.

fleur cross logo ECHO will be conducting a food drive on Tuesday 30 June here at Saint Bernadette from 10am to 2pm, The drop-off point for the food will be the parish parking lot. This will be a Springfield and Burke ecumenical effort. Due to  the large unemployment rate, ECHO continues a need for a large amount of food donations of every kind. We will follow all covid-19 guidelines to include maintaining a social distance and wearing face masks.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 7 June 2020

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

We are living in a storm.  Being limited in so many ways – kept from moving about freely without risk, struggling to work, even losing our jobs, our houses becoming home and office and school – we have lived through a time rarely like any other, and as Bishop Burbidge told us pastors, this isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon.  So we need to learn new ways to live into the present reality in ways that are healthy and sustainable.
This is not easy, and real.  We can be surprised by our feelings, even feelings of resistance and rebellion to the oppression of this pandemic.  It is honest, natural.  But how we act on them affects who we are and our relationships with others. On the daily news feed the expression of this frustration is taking a huge toll on our society and our cities.  I watched the news about the early protests becoming riots and looting, suddenly destruction and hate, so easily enflamed into a crisis.  This is not who we are.  Or is it?

I have thought a lot about this.

There  is a relationship that stands at the base of our identity, whether the world wishes to acknowledge it or not.  A relationship that defines us.  It is the connection of Creator and creature.  But because of original sin, it remains undefined to general consciousness, largely undiscovered though God has revealed it, and is revealing it constantly.

Without the knowledge of our own identity we are seemingly formless, the pilgrimage of life is just a wandering.  Life becomes just a continuous lashing out of self-will.  The community is a mob.
But without a you, there is no I.  The I, in order to understand myself as a person, must be defined by the relationship.  I am defined by the other.  That Other is God, and you.  To not acknowledge you, to value you, to respect all lives, is self-destruction.

This relationship is love.  It has to be, because you give me meaning. And it is the Holy Spirit who is Love.  He is the love of the Father and the Son, and the love that binds us as community.
We’ve been often alone struggling with ourselves for nearly three months.  We also have relationships with others sharing a small space, perhaps, or with those we wish we could see.  God has been there all the time but, like the Apostles waiting and praying in the locked room after Jesus' ascension into heaven, we’ve had to lock ourselves in our personal spaces for fear of what is beyond the door.  We don't even know what is out there.

Think of the Apostles in their relationship with Jesus – what a storm of emotions:  the experience of being chosen by Jesus, the wonder of discipleship, the joy of belonging.  Then the trauma of Jesus’ betrayal, torture and crucifixion.  Real loss.  Then the joy of new life, resurrection.  Then, suddenly, he is gone.  Sorrow, confusion, uncertainty.  What of the pilgrimage now?

But they pray for intervention:  O Lord, how long?  The first novena.  On the ninth day, his Spirit returns as Jesus told them, to inform them of all that they needed to know, to remind them of all that Jesus had told them.  He comes to supply a restoration of the love they had already received from him – but a love now to live in a new context.  The love once received in Baptism that now, like a roaring wind and fire comes into their locked up spaces, in their hearts, and opens the door for them.  Off the hinges.

They go out and speak the truth of life: of faith, hope and love that is possible because of their relationship with Jesus and each other.  They know finally who they are because this love reminds them of who they are.  Their words are heard because the words are genuine.  Real words from real people, 

The first miracle of Pentecost is that his love banishes their fear and restores them.  "Peace be with you..."

The second miracle is that what they say is heard by everyone in their own languages.  Notice the miracle doesn't happen in their mouths, but in the ears of those who are listening.  His words in them overcome the difference and divisions we allow to happen with race, culture, language, nationality.  Divisions are overwhelmed and united.  The second miracle, like the first, happens in each ear, each heart of one who is listening.  I am formed by you.

God is still revealing himself in the light of the Holy Spirit himself.  It is the light of Pentecost, a constant renewal of the face of the earth.

Let us listen, and hear.  Let us recognize, and realize, and embrace him and each other in love.

God bless you.

Streaming Mass and Announcements for the Week of 31 May 2020

Click here to Reserve A Seat (Español)
In accordance with the Governor’s Phase 1 and Arlington Diocese Guidelines, we welcome you and your family back to Saint Bernadette. For specific instructions for attendance click the "New Guidelines for Attending Mass" video link below.

NEW MASS SCHEDULE

SATURDAY VIGIL 5pm - In-Person in the Church
SATURDAY 5:30pm - live-streamed for Sunday 

SUNDAY 7am, 10am, 1pm (Spanish), 5pm - In-Person in the Church

MONDAY through FRIDAY 

8am - live-streamed on Facebook
9am - In-Person in the Church

SATURDAY 
8am - live-streamed on Facebook ONLY
No In-Person Mass for the month of June
Please Reserve a Seat



Click here for the video explaining our "New Guidelines for Attending Mass at Saint Bernadette
"

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES 

Community Mass for Saturday 6 June 2020 (streamed live-on Facebook only)

The Most Holy Trinity Sunday
             Worship Aid forThe Most Holy Trinity Sunday

Community Mass for Friday 5 June 2020

Community Mass for Thursday 4 June 2020


Community Mass for Wednesday 3 June 2020


Community Mass for Tuesday 2 June 2020


Community Mass for Monday 1 June 2020

Pentecost Sunday
       Worship Aid for Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Vespers (Evening Prayer)
       Worship Aid for Evening Prayer 


ANNOUNCEMENTS

fleur cross logo Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries. We humbly ask for your continued financial support.  Please consider Faith Direct. Thank you for your generosity. 

fleur cross logo Please remember Bishop’s dispensation of the obligation for attending Mass remains in effect indefinitely. Our Saturday morning Masses will be live-streamed only for the the month of June. Saturday 5pm Mass will be in-person in the church as before and we will continue live-streaming at 5:30pm to provide continued access for those who cannot or are not yet comfortable attending Mass in person. Our Sunday Mass schedule will change to 7am, 10am, 1pm in Spanish and 5pm, to allow for enough time for your arrival, Mass and departure, followed by a thorough cleaning of the church and bathroom facilities.  Monday through Friday at 8am live-streamed and in-person in the church at 9am beginning tomorrow, Monday June 1. Registration Required.

fleur cross logo  If you haven’t, please view our “How to Attend Mass Video” and visit our online reservations system. Reservations are required in an effort to keep everyone safe. By doing so, we can manage capacity levels and help provide assurance that we have considered you (and your family’s) personal safety according to the department of health’s recommendations. In the unfortunate event someone becomes ill or reports to us that they have tested positive, the reservation system will help provide the needed information to contact trace individuals at minimum by Mass. This is not intended to be an infringement. We kindly ask that you please provide your name and phone number should you need to be reached.  If you do not wish to make a reservation, join us for our Sunday Mass via our live-stream platform. Please do not subject the porters and ushers with the uncomfortable task of asking you to return to a later Mass.

fleur cross logo .Please remember stay home if you are sick or experiencing any symptoms of COVID 19. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Wash hands often and limit close contact with others as much as possible (about 6 feet).  If you should become ill during Mass, please see an usher and you will be escorted to an isolated room (bride’s room) until arrangements can be made for your transport.

fleur cross logo Please join us tomorrow evening/this evening (Pentecost) for Solemn Evening Prayer. A link to the video-recorded event and worship aid can be found to the left in the sidebar of the announcements page of the parish website. Evening Prayer, or Vespers, is a wonderful way to conclude the season of Easter for the parish.

fleur cross logo CATHOLIC CHARITIES St. Lucy Project is in GREAT NEED OF FOOD! On Friday, June 12, Saint Bernadette will once again host “No crowd - drop and go - no contact - Drive-Thru Food Drive.”  A St. Lucy Food truck will be parked on our parish parking lot from 10am to 2pm to receive food donations. We hope you can drive-thru and help so many who are in desperate need during this time.  For those who may wish to support the program with a financial donation, please make checks payable to CCDA with St. Lucy Project in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Catholic Charities, 8426 Kao Circle, Manassas, VA 20110. Many thanks and blessings.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 31 May 20

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

We learned this week that Saint Bernadette is welcoming a new, third priest, Fr. Peter Okola, at the end of the month.  I will meet him this week, and we will be sure to ask him to prepare an introduction about himself for the bulletin when he arrives.

This weekend we start our new (temporary) Mass schedule as we reopen the church in the midst of our pandemic.  In addition to live-streaming Masses everyday, same as we have done these past weeks, we will add Masses at 5pm Saturday Vigil, and on Sundays 7am, 10am, 1pm (Spanish) and 5pm.  We are also adding weekday Masses at 9am.  Seating for all Masses will be accessed by making reservations on our parish website.  I know this may seem overkill at first as congregations are probably starting out small, but it is a discipline we will have established when we get to the point that some Masses begin to fill.  We hope to avoid people coming to Mass and being turned away.  With every other pew roped off, we estimate—keeping in mind six feet of space between people/families—that our church capacity is about 280-290.  We are doing sign-ups also for weekdays because we have heard from very many people that they are planning to skip Sundays and find a lesser crowd on weekdays.  I wonder if that will be the case.  Remember you must wear face coverings and bring hand sanitizer for before and after Communion, and if you have any kind of symptoms whatsoever you are asked not to come, but attend Mass online.

For the month of June, until Fr. Peter is here, we will have only live-streaming Mass on Saturday mornings.  Two Masses simultaneously in the morning and two in the evening is too much, especially as we schedule most funerals on Saturdays now, and still have weddings and confessions.  The requirement to sanitize the church between every event makes the schedule very tight, especially on Saturdays with schedules that shift.

I remain optimistic about what this reopening could look like, although the visuals lately have been devastating.  We are not going to reopen as the same people who entered into the hibernation of pandemic.  I'm hoping that we find in our hearts a more generous kindness, a selfless, more thoughtful compassion.  But it is not going to be easy.

We clearly still are not freed from the brutality, division, self-will and reckless behavior that made the daily news before, as it still does.  How do we reopen  and at the same time rehumanize?  We have deep wounds with regard to race and privilege that this pandemic seems to have only deepened.

We will reopen schools, maybe, but one of the guidelines will be that kids will not be able to share anything.  One Pre-K teacher responded:  "But that is the main thing we learn in Pre-K!"  We will reopen businesses having left behind one out of four of all our employees.  We will reopen restaurants and at the same time three out of four families are not being served with the same feeding programs they relied on before. The funding which has housed the homeless during these months will come to an end.  Will all of them just be back out on the streets?


As we reopen our churches, there must be a corresponding reawakening of our responsibility for our community, our states, our nations.  Our worship is authentic if we love and serve one another.  Our reopening must be also a reopening of our commitment as a world to solve these crises of debt and poverty.  The situation is interesting because everyone owes everyone.  The solution must have as a first priority to not worsen the condition of the already poor, and not to deepen the pockets of the already rich.

How does that look at ground level from here at the parish?  I've been thinking a lot about this.  As we reopen, instead of maximizing profit and looking only at the bottom line, might we figure out how to include a new employee in our budgets?  Include hiring somebody as a part of a business success plan.  Include charitable contributions intentionally in our household budgets for those who have less.  Those with the gift of entrepreneurship could offer consulting for those whose businesses closed/are closing and provide creative new ideas to help them get restarted.If I'm cooking for three, might I fix a fourth plate and make sure it gets to someone who is hungry?  

The environmental stressers we've known aren't going away, either.  Reopening must include a plan of how we are going to care for one another despite the flooding, the storms, the fires, the locusts in the Arabian peninsula and Africa, the world pandemic of hunger.  How will we care for each other?

These are all things we look at and can feel very small, indeed.  But if we could join all our talents and resources as one human family, we might be surprised at what we didn't know we could do.

God bless you.

 

Streaming Mass and Announcements for the Week of 24 May 2020

Click here to Reserve A Seat (reservation system is scheduled to be available on Tuesday afternoon, 26 May)  (Español)
In accordance with the Governor’s Phase 1 and Arlington Diocese Guidelines, we welcome you and your family back to Saint Bernadette. For specific instructions for attendance click the "New Guidelines for Attending Mass" video link below.


Click here for the video explaining our "New Guidelines for Attending Mass at Saint Bernadette
"


STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES
 

Community Mass for Saturday after the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Pentecost Vespers (Evening Prayer)

       Worship Aid for Evening Prayer 

Community Mass for Friday after the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Thursday after the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Wednesday after the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Tuesday after the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Monday after the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Mass for the Ascension of the Lord 
         Worship Aid for the Ascension of the Lord


ANNOUNCEMENTS

fleur cross logo Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries. We humbly ask for your continued financial support.  Please consider Faith Direct. Thank you for your generosity. 

fleur cross logo Plans are in progress to welcome you back to Saint Bernadette next weekend. Please remember the dispensation for attending Mass remains in effect indefinitely. Our Saturday 5pm Mass will be in-person in the church as before and we will continue with Live Streaming at 5:30pm to provide continued access for those who cannot or are not yet comfortable attending Mass in person. Our Mass schedule for Sunday will change to 7am, 10am, 1pm in Spanish and 5pm, to allow for enough time for your arrival, Mass and departure, followed by a thorough cleaning of the church and bathroom facilities. In order for our reopening to be effective, efficient and safe, a minimum of 2 Porters and 4 Ushers are needed for each Mass. If we are unable to staff a Mass with the minimum number of volunteers the Mass will be canceled. You will find a complete overview of our plans in Fr. Don's letter and an instructional video will be available this weekend on the announcements page of the website. Our online reservations system is scheduled to be available on Tuesday afternoon, 26 May. Reservations will be required. Daily Masses are scheduled to resume on Monday June 1.

fleur cross logo Our Novena to the Holy Spirit begins this Friday, May 22.  We will pray the novena prayers at the end of live-streamed Masses and you will find the text of the prayers on pages 12-13 in this bulletin as well as at the parish website's announcements page.

fleur cross logo  Our Parish Staff members will be observing the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, 25 May. We will be available to receive your calls again on Tuesday 26 May.

fleur cross logo Please consider our Catholic School.  We invite you to visit our Virtual Open House at our school Facebook page, facebook.com/stbernschool/videos, 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.  Registration is open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.

fleur cross logo For the Fairfax County Health Department's toolkit regarding mitigation of the coronavirus spread please see https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus/toolkit-slow-spread   To receive regular updates by text, you may text FFXCOVID to 888-777.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 24 May, 2020

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Here is the text of our welcome back video which will be available online at our website and facebook platform:

Finally it is time to welcome you back to the Lord’s table.  We want to provide a safe space for you, and ask that you always wear a mask, bring hand sanitizer, and observe 6 foot physical distancing as outlined by civil authorities.

Remember Bishop’s instruction: the dispensation from the Sunday/holy day obligation is in effect indefinitely, and no member of the faithful is obliged to attend Mass. The allowance for the public celebration of Mass in no way intends to place an undue burden on the conscience of those who choose not to attend Mass, out of concern for their own safety and/or the safety of others whom they regularly encounter.  Anyone 65 years of age or older, anyone with medical or mental issues which could put them at risk, and anyone responsible for their care is encouraged to attend Mass online through our live-streamed Masses which will continue everyday.

Our area has seen one of the highest infection rates in Virginia, and we have parishioners who have tested positive.  Spread of infection also occurs by people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 so to come to a large gathering without a mask only adds to the existing risk.  I would advise people with small children to consider not bringing them, as they can’t receive Communion anyway, and we still do not know the extent of COVID-related inflammatory syndrome in children.  
We are opening back up, but the virus is no less contagious.  Let us find Christ also in the way we take care of one another.

Online sign-up required
You will be able to sign up online as individuals or in family groups.  This is so that you will be able to see before leaving home whether or not there are going to be enough available seats.  When one Mass is full, please choose another.  We’ll review that online process with a step-by-step explanation in greater detail on the website.

Entering the church
You will be asked to arrive here at the church starting 30 minutes before Mass begins.  Please do not be late, this will already be a slow process.  While waiting, please observe proper social distancing with masks on.  This includes children.  Porters will be inside the door on either end of the vestibule to admit you, and an usher will escort you into the church.  Please pay attention and follow the directions of the ushers.  The restrooms will have an occupancy of only two people at a time, so please plan ahead not to use the bathrooms at the church.  Children will not be allowed to get up and run around the vestibule during Mass, as that area will have been exposed to everyone coming into the church.
You will see in the vestibule large baskets in which we ask you to drop your offertory envelopes.  We thank you in advance.

The small handicapped entrance will not be open for entering:  those requiring handicapped accessibility to the church are asked to park in the designated spaces behind the rectory and enter by way of the new ramp between the gym and the church.

Unfortunately, there can be no stopping and talking, no gathering, no standing room in the vestibule or back of church.  We expect everyone to enter the church single-file and down the center of the aisles.  The aisles will be taped off every 6 feet to help you keep a safe distance from the person in front of you.

You will see we have placed a brass upholstery tack 40 inches from the ends of each pew.  No one is to sit closer to an aisle than this 40-inch marker.  Every other pew will be roped off; our pew backs are exactly 6 feet between every two pews.  The usher will invite you into the next available pew and you will go to the other end as far as the brass tack on the other end.  Individuals, couples and families may sit comfortably spaced, then there must be a 6 foot gap between you and the next person.  When less than 6 feet remain between those seated and the first upholstery tack, that pew is full.  You will not be able to choose your favorite pew in the church.

Once in the pew, you will notice that all hymnals have been removed.  If you would like to have the readings for Mass with you, you are encouraged to follow along with a hand Missal or readings brought from home.  For the time being, there will be no singing, as this has also been shown to be a cause of spread.

The diocese has stated that there is to be no sign of peace, and no holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer.  There will be announcements and explanations given during Mass to help everyone as we get accustomed to these practices.

Holy Communion
At Communion time, people will be called forward section by section to receive, one section at a time, single file, 6 feet between each person.  All are encouraged to sanitize your hands before and after receiving Communion.  Bishop has asked all Catholics to prayerfully consider choosing the option of receiving on the hand, at least temporarily.

You will see crosses on the floor where you are to stop if receiving Communion in the hand, 6 feet from the priest or deacon.  You receive it, step aside from the priest, lowering your mask with your free hand, placing the host in your mouth. Priests are instructed to sanitize their hands if making contact with your hand before continuing distribution.

If you receive on the tongue, try to distance as best you can from the priest, lowering your mask for only the moment of reception.  Because the virus is airborn and the priest's hand is close to your nose and mouth, he is required to sanitize his hands after each instance.  

You will return to your pews, distanced 6 feet, without crossing traffic lanes with any others in the aisles.

At the end of Mass
At the end of Mass you will be asked to leave the church one section at a time and exit through the vestibule and go to your cars.  The back pews in each section will leave first, minimizing exposure.  Unfortunately you will not be permitted to stay in the church for prayer when it is time for your section to leave.   Once outside and away from others, face coverings may be removed.

Sanitizing
Speaking with other pastors who have already opened their parishes again, we know that it will take about 30 minutes to get everyone into the church, and somewhat less than 30 minutes for everyone to leave.  At that time, the doors will be locked with no one in the church except our cleaning company, who will come into the church and carefully sanitize all pews and surfaces, vestibule and bathrooms.  They will require about one hour to do this work, before we are able to open the church 30 minutes before the next Mass.  

Some priests are asking their parishioners to wipe down their areas with sanitizing wipes before they leave.  While it is true this would take less time, we are advised that this is not wise in areas where we have seen higher instances of coronavirus.

New Mass schedule
Because of these needs, we will adjust the Sunday Mass schedule to 7am, 10am, 1pm in Spanish, and 5pm.  We will keep the 5pm Vigil Mass on Saturday and also keep the 5:30pm live-streaming Mass which will be available to the parish from 5:30 Saturday throughout the day Sunday.

We thank you for your disciplined cooperation to these guidelines.  We also ask that you be flexible to attend Mass when seats are available on the sign-up platform online.  I know everyone is going to want to come to the 10am Mass on Sunday but not everyone will be able to do so.  Consider the need we have for Eucharist and do not allow convenience to prevent you from attending.  

One last word about masks/face coverings:  please do not wear a mask that is inappropriate or will distract from the prayerfulness of our gathering.  Follow the same rules we try to follow with regard to what is reverent and appropriate in our attire.

I know there will be people who do not want to wear masks;  nobody likes it.  Studies indicate more and more each day that masks are going to be the solution to virus spread.  They provide an 80% decrease in possible infection.  Wear a mask because it is an act of love for those around you and include it as a part of your offering to God at Mass when you are able to join us.

God bless you.

 


P.S.  At the time of this posting (Friday evening, 22 May), we only have 13 volunteers for Porters and Ushers.  We figure we need a minimum of 6 per Mass to open safely - a Porter at each entrance and 4 Ushers to escort families to properly-spaced seating. 

Please contact me if you are willing/able to serve:

Porters/Ushers Job Description 

Eligibility:  Adults under 65 years of age and not suffering from any sort of medical or mental condition which would put you at risk.  We must state from the start that this ministry will not be without inherent risk.  You must wear a mask (we can provide for ministers) and observe the discipline of CDC guidelines of physically distancing from all people by six feet.  A balance of authority and humility, patience. High school students who wish to volunteer need to call Fr. Don and have a letter of permission from their parents.

Porters will stand at the entrance doors of the church and regulate people, preventing people from grouping together inside.  Doors will be propped open to prevent spread by contact.  We will begin using an online sign-up platform so that we do the same thing from the start without changes and people can get accustomed to using it, but we don’t anticipate exceeding the number of seats inside for a while.  You will kindly ask people not wearing masks to come back to another Mass or attend Mass via live streaming online.  Near you will be a basket where people will be able to drop their offering before or after Mass.  Your job will be to keep an eye on it.  They are 36” tall and easy to keep track of.

Ushers will escort families or individuals into the church one group at a time (we must have at least four per Mass), taking them to the next available pew.  We have a simple way for this to work, and will cover this in training early next week (hopefully).  After each seating, you return to the porter to invite the next family in.  There is no collection, and there will be no need to direct traffic at Communion as we will call each section to come forward individually to avoid crossing lanes of traffic.  Likewise, we will invite the people to leave the church section by section starting at the back of each section, and staying six feet apart as they leave the church.

Streaming Mass and Announcements for the Week of 17 May 2020

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Community Mass for Saturday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Friday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Thursday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Tuesday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Monday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Mass for the Sixth Sunday of Easter 
         Worship Aid for the Sixth Sunday of Easter


ANNOUNCEMENTS

fleur cross logo Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries.The Second Collection this weekend is for Parish Special Needs. We humbly ask your continued financial support.  Please consider Faith Direct. Thank you for your generosity. 

fleur cross logo Arlington Diocese released guidelines this week about how parishes are going to reopen for Mass.  As we are currently still in Phase 0 (pre-opening stage due to continued rise in local infections) we are instructed by Bishop Burbidge to wait until the weekend of May 30-31 to resume community Masses.  You will find explanation and initial planning in Fr. Don's article this week (page 3) as well as the instruction sheet prepared by the diocese (page 5-6) in today's bulletin.

fleur cross logo Our Novena to the Holy Spirit begins this Friday, May 22.  We will pray the novena prayers at the end of live-streamed Masses and you will find the text of the prayers on pages 12-13 in this bulletin as well as at the parish website's announcements page.

fleur cross logo Our Parish Staff members are all working from home and standing by to receive your calls.  Let us know how we can serve you.  We're still here for you.

fleur cross logo Please consider our Catholic School.  We invite you to visit our Virtual Open House at our school Facebook page, facebook.com/stbernschool/videos, 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.  Registration is open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.

fleur cross logo  Washington Lamb has informed us that effective this week they need to discontinue the food order/delivery program until further notice.  They have been experiencing difficulty in receiving deliveries on the supply side and must prioritize the normal demand for their primary restaurant clients to whom they are first contractually obligated.  They apologize for the suddenness of this announcement but want to let you know they are still offering their walk-in retail option to members.  Questions may be directed to 703-339-7000, info@washingtonlamb.com.

fleur cross logo For the Fairfax County Health Department's toolkit regarding mitigation of the coronavirus spread please see https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus/toolkit-slow-spread   To receive regular updates by text, you may text FFXCOVID to 888-777.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 17 May 2020

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

All of a sudden we have a big bulletin this week!  We knew the Holy Spirit Novena was coming:  rather than attach it to daily Mass this year, since we have the video option, we will record and provide the short prayers with a link for the texts on the announcements page of the parish website.  This was the first novena, the nine days that the Apostles prayed in hiding after Jesus' ascension into heaven (observed next Sunday) and Pentecost, two Sundays from now.  We all need to pray "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful" now more than ever!

As you will find beginning on the page to the right, Bishop has published guidelines for the reopening of parishes.  Some parishes to the south are open this weekend, but we are delayed because we are not yet determined Phase 1 in the plan of reopening.  We are still under stay-at-home orders and the best thing we can do to beat this is to stay at home.  On a zoom meeting with pastors this week he told us that it does no good, in a Phase 0 zone, to pretend that we are not in a Phase 0 zone.

Even once we reopen he asked all pastors to remind everyone that coming back together does not mean that our doing so does not involve risk.  The virus is no less contagious than it was two months ago.  For this reason he has told us that nobody should feel like this has to happen right away.  He expects a slow return as people become more and more comfortable, and people display proper respect for others by wearing masks and physical distancing, at least six feet between people.  The Mass will be no different.  We will be expected to wear masks, have no physical contact with each other and build a culture of trust where we know we are safe with our parish family.  You can read where he has included certain precautions to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The dispensation from any obligation of public worship continues indefinitely.  If anyone is over 60, or has any medical or mental condition that could put them at risk, you are encouraged to stay home.  All will be asked to make sure they do not have a fever or any (even non-COVID) symptoms in order to come into proximity with others.  All will be asked to bring their own masks and hand sanitizer.  I've been told that Walmart has stopped providing sanitizer because they simply can't afford the quantity of sanitizer that was being used.  Please be working on obtaining these items if you haven't already.

Bishop also asked that anyone who has responsibility to care for someone who might be at risk to take seriously the need to stay healthy and not put them at risk.  Masks and distancing aren't practiced to keep ourselves healthy, but to keep others protected from us, as none of us knows if we might be asymptomatic positive carriers.

We are also watching developments in children's cases, so I would caution parents (hopefully unnecessarily) about bringing children who move around rather than staying in the pew, if at all for now.  Maybe parents can come individually while one stays home with the children.  My parents did this when we were little because we couldn't sit still.

My purpose here might seem discouraging, but it isn't.  My point is to make sure that our actions don't endanger any parishioners.  Care must be our motive and caution our method.

We have a Liturgy Committee meeting this week and will be looking for parishioners who would be willing to help us as porters/ushers to help people to be seated according to the restrictions.  With six feet between individuals, we can only accommodate about 175 people at a Mass, so we will need to figure out what that looks like.  Also, the Mass schedule will need to adapt to the reality of seating people before Mass properly-distanced in the aisles and pews, dismissing the church section-by-section with proper distancing, and closing the church between Masses so the cleaning crew can come in and sanitize the pews and all surfaces which were touched by the people at a previous Mass.  We are in contact with parishes who are already opening this weekend (so much work in a short time) and pastors and Bishop will meet on Monday by Zoom to determine best practices.

I intend to produce a video this week which will be available by the end of the week, a virtual procedures demonstration of how people will enter church, be seated, come forward for Holy Communion, and be dismissed when Mass is over.  Unfortunately, there can be no pausing and visiting for a while.

I hope that this is going to help us all become people who are more aware of the care that others need from us even when we might be unaware of them.  So much of our health depends on the caution of others who are doing the right thing.

God bless you.

 

mass cards 3 small 002

Mass Intentions

 

Bishop Burbidge's Pastoral Message on Fundamental Lessons from the 2020 Cornavirus


Support Catholic Charities ~ How can you help?

(updated 4.4.2020)

ECHO needs your continued support
(updated 4.4.2020)

 
   Campaign Logo Badge
  

 

Our Saint Bernadette 2019'-2020 Ministry Catalog

 

   2019 2020 Catalog