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

Announcements ~ 14 July 2019

fleur cross logo Summer Theater tickets will be on sale after all Masses beginning TODAY. This year, since Bishop Ireton High School is under construction, we will have the performances right here in our gymnasium at Saint Bernadette. See page 7 for information and save the date!
 
fleur cross logo Please consider our Catholic School. We invite you to visit our website, stbernpar.org/parishschool, if you would like to see what we can do for your child. You are welcome to call our Saint Bernadette School office at 703-451-8696 to learn more, or to arrange for a tour. Registration is still open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.
 
fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette is hosting a Called and Gifted Workshop on Saturday, September 7, 2019. Just when you thought you there wasn't a program that could help you know your path by God's plan, this Workshop comes along! For more information please see page 9 in this bulletin or visit our parish website announcement page for online registration.
 
fleur cross logo A letter was sent to every registered family in the parish who has a sixth or seventh grader explaining the change to our current Confirmation preparation process. If your family did not receive a letter, please contact our Faith Formation office. Sixth graders who begin the new process this year will be Confirmed their 8th Grade Year (Fall of 2021). Seventh graders will also begin the Confirmation process this year and will be Confirmed their 8th Grade Year (Spring of 2021). Information sessions will be scheduled at the beginning of the school year.
 
fleur cross logo The Greater Springfield Communities of Faith are providing school supplies for children in our community. Supplies should be turned in before or after Masses Sunday, 28 July. A box will be available in the Church Vestibule to place your donations.
 
fleur cross logo Please support Saint Bernadette School! AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support our school every time you shop, at no cost to you. Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Saint Bernadette School.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 14 July 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
Every once in a while you need to keep your ear to the ground and listen to what people are talking about.  Once in a while you realize that it might be God talking to you through them.
Just in the last few days I have had people come forward and offer their gifts for programs in the parish that might not typically fit into the traditional categories of Catholic ministries.
 
We have many parishioners who have suggested we try a program of health and wellness in the parish.  Maybe a series of talks in many disciplines from the care of the elderly in our community to the emotional support of families suffering from members with addictions.
 
Maybe it is because I am finally realizing the sluggishness that gluten causes in my own daily life (since I have not eaten any for a few weeks), that I believe that if we do not start talking about diet and chemicals we will find ourselves sick.  We have people in the parish who have offered to do programs on all the ways that God has provided us healthy and delicious alternatives, as well as natural remedies for the many ways we have damaged our bodies. 
 
Another parishioner wants us to start a prayer group that involves physical movement, to get our bodies into the discipline of prayer.  I'm pretty sure this won't be high-impact activity, but I am intrigued by the idea of praying with your whole being, which of course includes our bodies as well.  I suppose we kneel and stand, so we are already started.
 
A most interesting conversation this past weekend was with a parishioner and speech pathologist, who said that we don't grow into our identities unless we learn to fully use our voices.  This would go beyond offering help to teachers or liturgical ministers (cantors, lectors), but even to every person who needs to have confidence in their own voice and how they sound to find a new level of self confidence and self acceptance.  I like the idea of a ministry which would give voice to the "voiceless" among us, aging adults, youth who feel unheard, children who are grappling with the first experiences of the unkindness and aggressive behavior of other children.
 
In my last parish we started a Parish Nurse program which always seemed to lack a clear vision.  We were able to do evaluations with people who were in transition working with physical and occupational therapists to help people get acclimated at home.  One of the best things we did was accompany families who had a loved one transitioning to hospice care, and the level of attention that was required not only to the person dying, but also those who lived.
 
Rather than a parish nurse situation, what if we formed a wellness committee (call it "Body and Soul"?) and see what is possible.  Of course, our greatest limitation will be finding the space where we can develop this ministry.
 
Summer is a time for planning.  For all of you I've spoken with, contact me again.  I probably lost the note I made to remind me to call you back in all the craziness this spring and summer. 
~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Finally, it is time to give a plug to our great parish Summer Theater Staff and the 60+ youth who have worked this summer putting together Kiss Me Kate.  Previous years I showed up a few times to see rehearsals or talk to everyone.  I have to admit it is good to have some life on the property during the summer!  But this year I have been a little more attentive to what it takes to decide on a show and produce it within two months.  A seemingly impossible task, they make it possible.  I was up in the gym just last night and the kids are singing and dancing their hearts out, so that you and I can come and see the show.
 
I don't know if you are acquainted with this Cole Porter classic.  We did it as singing waiters in repertoire at supper clubs when I was in college.  You can rent it and check it out, but it is one of those plays that never disappoints.   And after the energy and focus that I saw last night, I can only ask everyone to save the date to attend one of the performance times and come.  June 25-28 (see p. 11)
 
It will be a bit of an added challenge this year that we even have to build a stage... but I am confident that Bill and Anna Molino and all the creative and administrative talent who have given so generously of their summer will appreciate our generous applause, and thanks for using their amazing gifts.
 
God bless you.
 

Announcements ~ July 7, 2019

fleur cross logo Summer Theater tickets will be on sale after all Masses beginning Sunday, July 14. This year, since Bishop Ireton High School is under construction, we will have the performances right here in our gymnasium at Saint Bernadette. See page 7 for information and save the date!
 
fleur cross logo Please consider our Catholic School. We invite you to visit our website, stbernpar.org/parishschool, if you would like to see what we can do for your child. You are welcome to call our Saint Bernadette School office at 703-451-8696 to learn more, or to arrange for a tour. Registration is still open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.
 
fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette is hosting a Called and Gifted Workshop on Saturday, Septemeber 7, 2019, Just when you thought you there wasn't a program that could help you know your path by God's plan, this Workshop comes along! For more information please see page 9 in this bulletin or visit our parish website announcement page for online registration.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ July 7, 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
Recently after the Bishops' November conference in Baltimore a friend called and asked me if I had heard what one of the speakers at the conference told the bishops, that 65% of the young people who have left the Church said that they already had made that decision by the time they were 13 years old.  I replied that, in fact, I did, and had given a talk to all high school teachers in the diocese on that subject about five years ago.
 
Not a week goes by that I do not hear from a parent who is devastated that their children have decided that they do not believe in God anymore, or that they have decided not to be Catholic.  I wonder: how does a 12 year-old have the knowledge to make such a decision, or even the sense of autonomy to do what would have been unthinkable when I was a boy.
 
When I speak with people who say they don't believe in God anymore, I have realized it is important to stop and ask them, exactly, to describe for me the God they no longer believe in.  In every circumstance, the God they describe is defined by individual, emotional experience.  I say to them, "If that is truly who God is, I wouldn't believe in him either.  Now, let's talk about the God who doesn't only live in your head."
 
The presentation I gave to high school teachers five years ago was a waste of time—not that the teachers aren't wonderful and have every intention to journey with students on the path of faith—but because the students were already gone at that point in high school.  In fact, my experience shows that the majority of our eighth graders are already gone by the beginning of eighth grade, and Confirmation for them is just a hoop they must jump through to "graduate" from God.  Pope Francis has referred to Confirmation as "the sacrament of goodbye."
 
If 12 to 13 year olds are making this decision to not believe in God in sixth grade, then it is problematic that sixth grade is the least attended year in religious education/faith formation.  The majority of the minority of families who enroll their children in faith formation only come for the two-year preparation for First Communion and seventh and eighth grades for Confirmation.  The vacuum of formation between third and seventh grades is taking its toll and giving children the idea that sacraments are really a just a commodity that we "get" along the way, not a choice of a way of life and a commitment to a community of beloved disciples which will change their lives and make them truly happy.
 
Some bishops in the country have moved Confirmation back to second grade, to restore the ancient order of the sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist), with the hopes that the grace of the sacraments will move these children, now fully initiated, into the active life of the Church.  After all, we learn to be Church by being and serving with people who are the Church.  It isn't learned by a textbook, it is learned in the context of a community.  Think how much more quickly you will learn and live another language by immersion, contrasted to just using a book.
 
For this reason this year, we will begin the Confirmation preparation two-year program with sixth graders as well as seventh graders.  We want to start the dialogue with our daughters and sons a little earlier with the hope that our voice will break through all the other voices that speak to them all the time.  The program will be the same, it will simply start one year earlier at the age of 12.
 
That means this year we will have two parallel Confirmation preparation programs—seventh into eighth grade and sixth into seventh.  The seventh graders who begin this year will be confirmed in the spring of their eighth grade year (as before); the sixth graders who begin this year will be confirmed right at the beginning of eighth grade.  Our faith formation for eighth graders will be focused entirely on deepening life in Christ and in his Church.
 
We sent a letter to every family in the parish who has a seventh grader, as well as a letter to families with a sixth grader this week.  If you did not receive one, please contact the office.  We will be getting this word out also through all our channels of online presence and social media, but somehow we never get to everyone.  For that reason, I ask you to consider the best form of communication in getting news out to people—word of mouth.  Tell your friends, begin to plan the beautiful process of preparing to be temples of the Holy Spirit and living members of Christ's Body.  If anyone has any questions, please call Martha in our Faith Formation office.
 
God bless you.
 
 

Announcements ~ 30 June 2019

fleur cross logo Peter’s Pence (Holy Father) Collection
Our second collection today 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 today. For more information, visit usccb.org/peters-pence.
 
fleur cross logo Happy Fourth of 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 and Fr. Rich will concelebrate Mass at 9am, using the Mass intentions for both the 6:30 and 9am Masses. In observance of the holiday, our offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, 4 & 5 July, 2019
 
fleur cross logo Summer Theater tickets will be on sale after all Masses beginning Sunday, July 14.
 
fleur cross logo Please consider our Catholic School. We invite you to visit our website, stbernpar.org/parishschool, if you would like to see what we can do for your child. You are welcome to call our Saint Bernadette School office at 703-451-8696 to learn more, or to arrange for a tour. Registration is still open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.
 
fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette is hosting a Called and Gifted Workshop on Saturday, September 7, 2019. For more information please visit our parish website announcement page for online registration.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 30 June 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
There is kind of a confusion about the reality of redemption and salvation going around today.  Have you ever had a Protestant brother or sister ask you in a challenging tone, "Are you saved?"  I remember the first few times I was asked like this I kind of broke out in a sweat.  First of all, the whole choosing Jesus thing as my personal Lord and Savior is confusing language to me.  "I was not you who chose me, but I who chose you, to go out and bear much fruit."  If I'm the one doing the choosing then I am somehow placing God under myself.  I have the power to choose God, like Coke or Pepsi.  There is really no other options in the category where God is, although we might be tempted to think that other things are as important, like popularity, prestige, power, comfort or wealth.  Really, there are only two options:  God, and me.  It's where you put your heart.
 
Am I saved?  This is one of those pivotal questions that drive people through life down various paths.  In responding to this question, we make a point of clarification as Catholics.  The power of the Cross has saved us from the fires of hell as a default.  The work of salvation is done by Jesus on the Cross, there is no other offering necessary to make reparation for mankind's sin.  And yet, unlike other Christians, we don't believe that it is automatic.  We must live into the reality of our being redeemed, which depends always on the choices we make everyday.  Do we choose God?  or do we choose ourselves?
 
I know I talk about this a lot but here I go again.  The fact that many are fooled into thinking that faith is an individual relationship just between me and Jesus.  This is a modern misunderstanding.  It is true, I receive my baptismal identity in Christ, but by being conformed to Christ I am automatically brought into the vast Communion of Saints, the family of God, the Body of Christ which is the Church.  In this case we know that the Church here is not just Roman Catholic:  we acknowledge the validity of all Christian faiths who baptize with proper form, formula and with the intention of the Church.  Anyone can baptize, and it is God's will that all be baptized.  With baptism we are delivered from our isolation, and connected in a mystical way that forms us as one family, a community.  To deny this is to be something other than a follower of Christ.
 
Am I saved?  At the moment of baptism, yes.  Every moment after that is a choice we make to draw closer to God, or move away.  If God is far away in our life, and since he is the Unmoved Mover who is literally in all places, then it is we who have to move to him.
 
I am redeemed.  This is a step that many forget.  The simple and total gift of the Father's only Son on our behalf, emptying himself of his life that we might receive it, is the one defining event which gives us hope and the grace to move toward that end which is God's Plan for each of us, in the community of all of us.  We must move.
 
We fall into a sleepiness and can too easily be consumed by the distractions of the day.  It is true, there is simply too much for me to accomplish in one day.  Maybe even one lifetime.  But I am not meant to accomplish this for myself, by myself.  Together, as I believe the Plan goes, we will accomplish it for God.  Not even for ourselves, the community, but for God.  Communities can be narcissistic, too.  There are two choices: God, or ourselves.
 
So, then, are all saved?  This has been the topic of many books and papers by popes and professors: dare we hope that all are saved?  The answer is, of course.  Without that hope, what hope is there for me, unless I have placed myself above another.  The Church is in the business of proclaiming saints.  We know in faith that there are scores of saints in heaven.  It is interesting that the Church has never dared to declare that someone is in hell.  There might be two reasons for this.  First, we may never judge the secret movements of the heart, even in people who appear to be most evil.  You have to be in your right mind to sin.  Second, to do so would be to underestimate the power we share in interceding for one another.  Do not forget: prayers are powerful and we can call upon Mary and all the saints to go to bat on our behalf when we seem to be failing and wish profoundly for renewal and reconciliation.
 
Now, we come to the final point.  If we are, indeed, saved at the moment of baptism, saints in the Communion of Saints, perfect creations without sin, then here is the source of our hope.  With true contrition (sorrow for our sins) and the desire to make reparation (to heal the scars of sin in us and in our community) the sacrament of reconciliation / penance / confession (whichever you prefer is fine) has the ability to restore us to that moment of perfect holiness which we once knew as newly-baptized persons, whether we can remember it or not.  Redeemed, and saved.
 
God bless you.
 

Announcements ~ 23 June 2019

fleur cross logo Please consider our Catholic School. We invite you to visit our website, stbernpar.org/parishschool, if you would like to see what we can do for your child. You are welcome to call our Saint Bernadette School office at 703-451-8696 to learn more, or to arrange for a tour. Registration is still open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.
 
fleur cross logo Please support our Capital Campaign Fundraiser by purchasing tickets for “La Gran Pollada” on Sunday, June 30 from 2-6pm in the School Cafeteria (Pollada is a Peruvian style dinner with chicken, potatoes and salad). There will be music. Tickets are $10 and will be available for purchase in the church vestibule after all Masses.
 
fleur cross logo We are introducing a new option for religious faith formation in the parish, Family Faith Formation. Parents attend one class at the beginning of each month and then teach religion at home, with families coming back together the last Sunday morning of the month for a wrap up.  Come to an information night this Tuesday, 6:30pm in the Bradican Room to learn more!
 
fleur cross logo La Hermandad del Señor de los Milagros de NOVA les invita al Bingo bailable pro fondo para Misa y Procesión del Señor de Los Milagros el sábado 22 de Junio, 2019 de 2:30pm a 10pm . Habrá premios, música y exquisita comida peruana. Las entradas estarán a la venta el Domingo después de la Misa de la 1pm.
 
fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette is hosting a Called and Gifted Workshop on Saturday, September 7, 2019. For more information please visit our parish website announcement page for online registration.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 23 June 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
All the volunteer leaders, Fr. Rich and I gathered this week to celebrate our parish Capital Campaign's success.  We are now at the half-way point of our goal.  It is also the time that we transition away from the Steier Group and take the opportunity to evaluate how it has gone, and how we go forward from here.
 
We asked some difficult questions - why did so many parishioners refuse to volunteer as callers?  Why did so many people never return phone calls?  I felt uneasy after calling people a couple of times and getting no reply.  There are several good answers.
 
We weren't allowed to even speak of our campaign until we met our goal for the Bishop's Lenten Appeal (which we did quickly—thank you again!),  At that point we had already asked for money three weekends in a row and so maybe our announcement didn't really stand out.  I discovered recently that many parishioners are not even aware of the middle school wing behind the school upon which the parish hall will be built.  We were on a very tight, demanding schedule to get the information out and get the campaign started, and we didn't take the time to get to really even talk to one another.
We followed the calculus of professional fundraisers in a "best practices" approach that became very much like a business and not like a parish.  It was more of a sales job trying to sell buildings.  We should not have said the goal is $5M.  The goal is for us to become a community.  I realize it is quite possible for many parishioners not to have this as a priority in their lives.  For a change of heart in this area we need to pray constantly.
 
I was deeply disappointed to learn only this week that all this had been done in my name.  Volunteers' scripts read, "Help Fr. Don reach his goal."  "This is the amount of money Fr. Don is asking of you."  "I'm calling on behalf of Fr. Don who is asking for your generous support."
 
I'm not asking anyone to help me, I'm asking you to help yourselves and provide a space where things can happen for our community.  The Church has been doing this for centuries.  You must provide a home for your family, hopefully with an appropriate modesty and consideration of others in need.  Our parish family—if we plan to be a family—must also provide a home for our family where we can gather in all the ways families gather.  It is a place for you.
 
We talked about how most people may not even realize there is a need, especially those who might only come to Mass on a weekend and see such a huge church only half-full.  Our church is twice as big as most other churches, so it is deceiving.  The fact is, we are not able to host any conferences or invite any programs for spiritual or social concerns or enrichment for people here because all available spaces are, this week, already booked through the coming year.
 
We're going to change the vestibule thermometer.  Anything above a $5M goal was icing on the cake.  We don't need it anymore, actually, because we have gone ahead contracting with a Catholic foundation who manages investors and electricity sources to install solar panels on all our buildings at no cost to us.  The savings on our monthly electric bill will be modest at first, eventually growing to about $40K savings each year 25 years from now but, once again, it isn't about the money.  We need to care for our home and have this opportunity to provide our own sustainability and less strain on resources.
 
I misspoke at our meeting this week—the cost of the Parish Hall isn't $3.1M, it is $3.8, so we aren't on the brink of having enough to start a Parish Hall.  But we are close.  So close, thanks to you.
So we begin this new phase of the campaign and will continue to follow a lot of the program that is established as we move forward.  This is the last weekend you have to purchase tickets for the fundraiser sponsored by the Spanish speaking members of the parish, La Gran Pollada Bailable.  Dozens of people are coming on Saturday to prepare hundreds of delicious meals—please participate in their effort on behalf of the Capital Campaign.
 
This is exactly the way we grow as a community, getting to know each other, at the same time contributing to accomplishing the dreams of a parish home where we will have room to do all the things that families need to do.  If you haven't, walk around the property and see all the wonderful things we have already accomplished in making improvements and expansion of our school, and all the work we've done on the property.  Come visit our offices anytime and I will give you a tour explaining all that we hope to accomplish in the spaces where we work everyday, where you should also come and feel welcome as we hope to serve you and the community around us.  You are welcome.
 
God bless you.
 

Announcements ~ 16 June 2019

fleur cross logo Please consider our Catholic School. We invite you to visit our website, stbernpar.org/parishschool, if you would like to see what we can do for your child. You are welcome to call our Saint Bernadette School office at 703-451-8696 to learn more, or to arrange for a tour. Registration is still open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.
 
fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette Parish will be conducting a Summer Hungry Children food collection drive for the St. Lucy Project, a Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington program today June 15-16 after all Masses.
 
fleur cross logo Please support our Capital Campaign Fundraiser by purchasing tickets for “La Gran Pollada” on Sunday, June 30th from 2-6pm in the School Cafeteria (Pollada is a Peruvian style dinner with chicken, potatoes and salad). There will be music. Tickets are $10 and will be available for purchase in the church vestibule after all Masses.
 
fleur cross logo La Hermandad del Señor de los Milagros de NOVA les invita al Bingo bailable pro fondo para Misa y Procesión del Señor de Los Milagros el sábado 22 de Junio, 2019 de 2:30pm a 10pm . Habrá premios, música y exquisita comida peruana. Las entradas estarán a la venta el Domingo después de la Misa de la 1pm.
 
fleur cross logo Saint Bernadette is hosting a Called and Gifted Workshop on Saturday, September 7, 2019. For more information please visit our parish website announcement page for online registration.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 16 June 2019

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
 
Last week was a whirlwind... this is the way this time of the year always goes.  You celebrate all the larger than life Mysteries of Jesus' death and resurrection, Confirmations, first Holy Communion, all the graduations clustered around Mothers' Day.  It is a lot.  And then suddenly you look around and it is the last day of school, the eighth graders we've enjoyed getting to know are moving onward and upward.  There is a lot to be thankful for, there is a lot to look forward to.
 
I like the word commencement.  Commence.  Let us begin.  Graduation can sound kind of glass-half-empty if you consider it to be the goal.  Yes, there is accomplishment and we look back and recall and reward a job well done.  But that job is for a purpose, something yet to come.  We go out, we take what we have learned and begin what comes next.  It is time to take your tools and fix the world.  Take your words and use them to heal.  Take the love you have been shown and known and help someone else to know it.
 
I especially like the kindergarten celebration (seen here).  We don't use the word graduation - there just isn't enough past yet.  It is truly a commencement:  imagine how great life would be, how stressless and full of wonder if we could just know our ABCs and therefore go out and discover the world.  You might tell me well, it isn't that easy.  Well, I'm not sure it is really that complicated.  When I was assigned to Saint Leo the Great (1998?) our art teacher in the school got a better offer from Fairfax County and resigned one week before the school year started.  I stepped in for the first couple of weeks that it took to find a new art teacher.  In those two weeks I became thoroughly convinced that our teachers are the greatest, most valuable people in our parish.  Especially teachers who teach specials.
 IMG 5163
I have never been so tired.  You go from seventh graders to the next period with first graders, then to fifth, eighth.  One different age-appropriate art project after another.  You learn pretty quickly not to use messy art materials.  The roller coaster never stopped to let me off.  (You can't begin to pay teachers what they truly deserve.)
 
Anyway, one day I just wanted to know what the kids were thinking.  I asked the kindergartners: "How many of you are artists?"  All hands shot up.  In the first grade, a few were unsure.  By third grade we were down to half, and by middle school I wasn't sure if anyone understood the question.  By eighth grade there were only a couple of brave souls who raised their hands.  In all cases, I asked why they said they were not artists.  In every case it was because someone had told them that they were not. 
 
It is my prayer that all our graduates this year are commencing with a strong sense of encouragement.  We must always go forth filled with our gifts, not emptied of them, confident that we are up to the task because of God's love for us and our own God-given abilities to fulfill his plan for our life. 
 
Like I said, none of this is about ending.  We want to see you every Sunday - for as long as you live here - and for you to know that you can't graduate from home.  Home is always here and you always have a place.  All of you, now get involved in our life.  If you serve Mass, you are always welcome to serve.  Come and sing with us, and pray, and continue to grow in God.  And thanks to Mrs. Dalmut, and all our teachers and staff, for a job well done.
 
God bless you.

 

 

 Campaign Logo Badge
  
 
 
Please Join Us
November 15 at 7:30 PM
as we welcome the 
(click icon below for more information)
Wind Symphony Logo
 
presented by Concerts at Saint Bernadette 
 
 
ibreviaryweb en

 

 

Our Saint Bernadette 2019'-2020 Ministry Catalog

 

2019 2020 Catalog