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Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 26 April 2020

STREAMING WEEKDAY AND SUNDAY MASS

Community Mass for Saturday after the Third Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Friday after the Third Sunday of Easter 

Community Mass for Thursday after the Third Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Wednesday after the Third Sunday of Easter 

Community Mass for Tuesday after the Third Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Monday after the Third Sunday of Easter 

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

Taizé Ecumenical Prayer Service

Worship Aid for Taizé

 NO FACEBOOK ACCOUNT NEEDED TO VIEW DAILY AND SUNDAY MASSES, Just click on "Not Now"


ANNOUNCEMENTS

fleur cross logo  Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries.  We humbly ask your continued financial support.  Our Second Collection next weekend is for our  Catholic HOme Missions. Please consider Faith Direct - our parish code is VA70.  Thank you for your generosity.

fleur cross logo Washington Lamb is partnering with organizations to get fresh meat, poultry and other essentials in family quantities at wholesale prices out to communities. This coming Thursday, April 30, Saint Bernadette Church  in Springfield, VA will host a pick-up event from 10am - 2pm. Below are fliers with a list of products being offered and pricing. Orders are placed, prepaid, and distributed utlizing no contact service, greatly reducing spread and contraction factors compared to traditional brick and mortar grocers. Prices are lower and the supply is guaranteed at the time of order. 

COVID 19 Relief Program Overview

Saint Bernadette Church - Thursday, April 30, 10am - 2pm 

Community Drop Pricing

fleur cross logo The Catholic Home Missions Appeal second collection is today. Right now, over 40 percent of dioceses in the US are considered home missions because they are unable to fund essential pastoral work needed in their communities. Please prayerfully consider supporting this appeal and ease their struggle. More information can be found at usccb.org/home-missions.


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 Instead of our monthly TAIZE prayer service on Monday, April 27 at 8pm in the church, you are invited to join us in prayer online via our parish facebook page. Invite all your Christian friends to join us in this beautiful, peaceful ecumenical prayer service in the tradition of the Taizé Community in France.

fleur cross logo 
The Bishop’s Lenten Appeal continues  and we are asking every household in our parish to support this appeal to the extent you are able.   BLA funds are restricted gifts that provide many programs, services and ministries that serve people in need—now, more than ever—and may not be used for any other purpose.

fleur cross logo Due to current circumstances, we ask that you convert your CRS Rice Bowl donation to a check and mail it to the Parish office. This will greatly assist in counting of the funds, and forwarding them on to Catholic Relief Services. Please note in the memo line CRS Rice Bowl, otherwise please place the funds in a sealed envelope and drop it through the mail slot at the parish office with a note CRS Rice Bowl.

fleur cross logo Mass Intentions are still available.  In fact, we have many Masses scheduled without intentions.  You can find a request form for Mass intentions on the Announcements page of the website.  Or, just call the office.

fleur cross logo Updated information for Fairfax County Health Department Toolkit and CDC Guidelines for those persons at Higher Risk has been added to the sidebar.Text FFXCOVID to 888-777 for regular updates.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 26 April 2020

 Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Can you recall the first Earth Day 50 years ago?  I can.  We had just moved to our new house in the Kansas suburbs and our new school, Cure of Ars, had a tree-planting ceremony in the afternoon. Even then we already knew we needed to treat the earth better.  At that point we had commercials on television begging people not to throw their trash out of their car windows as they drove past the crying Native American chief.

So, we have made some progress.  Most people have accepted the concept of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” if not the practice.  But Pope Francis’ words this past week should get our attention.  In his catechesis on Wednesday, the pope said Earth Day was “an occasion for renewing our commitment to love and care for our common home and for the weaker members of our human family.”  “As the tragic coronavirus pandemic has taught us, we can overcome global challenges only by showing solidarity with one another and embracing the most vulnerable in our midst.”  It requires a new way of looking at the earth, not as a “storehouse of resources for us to exploit,” but as a sacred gift for sustaining all of humanity. 

Care for the earth is necessary to care for each other.

This week I dialed in to an online dialogue between Buddhists and Catholics on the topic of care for creation, and there were many convergences of message between the contributors.  Here are a few which I found to be significant and relevant:
                          •  When we put vulnerable populations at risk because of our selfishness, the resulting social and environmental injustice is morally wrong.

                          •  Consumerism is the fastest growing world religion that actually contradicts all other world religions.  It is the replacement of the divine with the self.

                          •  We are living as if our resources are not finite.  Why is more and more always better if it will never be enough?  And are these resources a means to an end, or a responsibility?

We are being challenged here, at that time when we “reopen” as a world community, to decide to open again to a better reality than before.  Our old ways of excess and ignorance need to be replaced with a heightened sense that God is calling us to be good stewards of the fragile reality of our life on this earth. 

It is time to consider him as an integral part of this picture, not only as Creator, but also the Sustainer upon whom we depend entirely.  I once heard a priest in a homily say that our entire existence is dependence on God.  If he stopped thinking of us for an instant we would no longer be.  But we are trained from a very early age that our existence is independence and we are consumed with the ideas of fairness and rights.  Again, this sense of entitlement is unfounded, a fiction.  But even if we have such rights, Saint Thomas says, they come with a corresponding duty.  That duty is justice, and a practical part of the virtue of justice is religion:  giving what is due to the Author of rights.

We have a lot to do here at Saint Bernadette, even to act on the “reduce, reuse, recycle” practice.  Going “zero waste” is a lifestyle journey that is possible, but not immediate.  We need to start with little steps imagining how we might use less, and produce less trash. 
 
A sign went up in our staff break room which I first found annoying but it grows on you.  It quotes Mother Teresa saying that you must wash your plate not because it is dirty, but because you love the next person that will use it.  Such instructions might be posted because somebody is tired of finding a sink full of dirty plates, but it reveals the same message of Pope Francis this week:  the focus of our lifestyles must not be only ourselves, but for others.  What we do must benefit others first, and a kind of servant leadership begins to emerge.  Sounds familiar, right?  I did not come to be served, but to serve... and to give my life...

When I was a kid we were expected to memorize poems, and one of my childhood memories is Joyce Kilmer's “Trees.” 
 
I think that I shall never see 
                            A poem lovely as a tree...
                            Poems are made by fools like me, 
                            But only God can make a tree.


I'm not a tree-hugger as such, but I have always marveled at the beauty of trees in any season, their architecture in winter, the subtlety in early spring and the grand finish in the fall.  I notice them, and am grateful for them.  There were early seeds planted in me—whether by planting a tree on that first Earth Day or because we memorized poetry, or living on a farm where I had time to reflect—to notice.  In a time of solitude, your senses sharpen and your thoughts can help redirect actions.  May we take advantage of this time of extra time to reflect, evaluate, and reshape the practice of our lives, focusing on others.

God bless you.

Mass and Weekly Announcements for 19 April 2020

WEEKDAY and SUNDAY MASSES

Community Mass for Saturday after the Second Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Friday after the Second Sunday of Easter 

Community Mass for Thursday after the Second Sunday of Easter 

Community Mass for Wednesday after the Second Sunday of Easter 

Community Mass for Tuesday after the Second Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for the Solemnity of Saint Bernadette 
     Worship Aid for the Solemnity of Saint Bernadette 

NO FACEBOOK ACCOUNT NEEDED TO VIEW DAILY AND SUNDAY MASSES, Just click on "Not Now"


ANNOUNCEMENTS (español)


fleur cross logo  Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries.  We humbly ask your continued financial support.  Our Second Collection next weekend is for our  Catholic HOme Missions. Please consider Faith Direct - our parish code is VA70.  Thank you for your generosity.

fleur cross logo CATHOLIC CHARITIES St. Lucy Project is in GREAT NEED OF FOOD!

As we are all aware, unfortunately there can be no parish food drives until regular public Masses resume.  However, in his "shelter-in-place" order, our Governor has declared that food banks are an essential service; and the need for food to feed families in our communities is even greater now than ever.  On Friday, April 24th, St. Bernadette will be participating in a new and creative St. Lucy Food Drive Project - “NO CROWD - DROP AND GO - NO CONTACT - Drive-Thru Food Drive”.  Here is how it will work: A St. Lucy Food truck will be parked on our parish parking lot from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm to receive food donations. Parishioners will line up in their cars (NO CROWD), drive up to the truck, roll down their driver-side windows, DROP the plastic bag (no cloth bags please) in a large box without leaving their car, and then GO (drive off).  Catholic Charities staff will stay with the truck (NO CONTACT) and drive the truck back to their warehouse for safe distribution to those in need.  There will be no physical contact between the driver and the St. Lucy staff and no one will need to leave their car.  We hope you can drive-thru and help those 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. Click here for the LIST OF ITEMS NEEDED.

fleur cross logo Washington Lamb is partnering with organizations to get fresh meat, poultry and other essentials in family quantities at wholesale prices out to communities. This coming Thursday, April 23, Saint Bernadette Church  in Springfield, VA will host a pick-up event from 10am - 2pm. Below are fliers with a list of products being offered and pricing. Orders are placed, prepaid, and distributed utlizing no contact service, greatly reducing spread and contraction factors compared to traditional brick and mortar grocers. Prices are lower and the supply is guaranteed at the time of order. 

COVID 19 Relief Program Overview

Saint Bernadette Church - Thursday, April 23, 10am - 2pm 

Community Drop Pricing

fleur cross logo 
Due to current circumstances, we ask that you convert your CRS Rice Bowl donation to a check and mail it to the Parish office. This will greatly assist in counting of the funds, and forwarding them on to Catholic Relief Services. Please note in the memo line CRS Rice Bowl, otherwise please place the funds in a sealed envelope and drop it through the mail slot at the parish office with a note CRS Rice Bowl.

fleur cross logo Divine Mercy Devotions are scheduled online for 3pm on the Second Sunday of Easter, today, Sunday, April 19.

fleur cross logo Please join us for the Feast of Saint Bernadette, which will be celebrated this year with a special Mass on Monday morning, April 20, at 8am. A worship aid is available for the Mass on the parish website announcement page. 

fleur cross logo Mass Intentions are still available.  In fact, we have many Masses scheduled without intentions.  You can find a request form for Mass intentions on the Announcements page of the website.  Or, just call the office.

fleur cross logo Updated information for Fairfax County Health Department Toolkit and CDC Guidelines for those persons at Higher Risk has been added to the sidebar.Text FFXCOVID to 888-777 for regular updates.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 19 April 2020

 Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Happy Easter, everyone!  Our celebration of life continues through the Octave:  today is as much Easter Sunday as eight days ago.  It is a practice that comes from our Judaic roots, that the presence of God in the Shabbat (Saturday) cannot be contained by 24 hours.  This day is literally bigger than a day, so it begins with sunset on the evening before.  We have the same observance.  The Lord’s day is bigger than 24 hours, so we have the Vigil on Saturday evening when Sunday begins.  What Sunday is to the week, Easter is to the year, and it cannot be contained even within seven days, and is therefore celebrated as an octave of eight days.  We celebrate risen life on Easter and every Sunday.

Christ our hope has arisen.  Pope Francis spoke on Easter Sunday about the contagion of hope, something that passes from heart to heart because we are somehow wired to hear this Good News and we wait for it, we long for it.  Hope is something that helps us through the difficult times—not to avoid the Cross—but to pass through it.  Because we know, in Christ, we can.  He already has.  Pope Francis says this is the unique hallmark of the power of God.  He opens paths in the abyss, he transforms evil into good.  

This message is revealed also in the visible, risen Body of Christ.  “The Risen Lord is also the Crucified One, not someone else.  In his glorious body he bears indelible wounds:  wounds that have become windows of hope.  Let us turn our gaze to him that he may heal the wounds of an afflicted humanity.”

Let’s sit for a bit on this idea of our woundedness.  All of us have lived through some very difficult, traumatic times.  Certainly, there are events and tragedies that define an age.  World Wars, the World Trade Center, now this pandemic.  Themselves traumatic, it is possible that these events compound your personal experience by drawing on past trauma or abuse, or danger at the hands of others.  These wounds are real, perhaps more profound than physical wounds.  But they, themselves, do not define who we are; what we decide to do with them is what determines us.  We don’t minimize their impact or deny their reality, and we can’t judge others by comparing experiences.  Each person’s worst is truly their worst.  But healing comes through our ability to share our stories and humbly offer and receive compassion and healing from each other.  

It is the hope of resurrection that always allows us to look beyond the moment.  This is the irresistible message of the Gospel, shown to us by Christ himself, in his own suffering and death.  We are invited into that Body of Christ, whose wounds are the instrument of belief.  To Thomas:  “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side,and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”  Finally, Thomas is able to share the contagious excitement of the other Apostles when they greeted him with “We have seen the Lord!”

The intensity of their exuberant proclamation of resurrection is built on and informed by the deep footings of their trauma and despair only several days before when they witnessed the destruction and darkness of the same Person who stands before them.  It is the wounds that ground them:  there is no way that these two can be separated in their minds.

You and I are the Body of Christ.  Remember the early catecheses of many Fathers of the first centuries speaking to those who had been recently received into the Church through the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil:  “come forward, Christian, and receive that which you are...”  Our holy communion with each other is the community of life and love which is formed by the wounds we have experienced together, in and through Christ.  Saint Paul says to the Romans how nothing can separate us from the love of God: not calamity, or persecution, or hunger or poverty, nor pandemic.  Overwhelming victory, he says is ours through Christ, who loved us first (Rom 8:35-37).  United in this love of God, nothing can separate us from each other, either, unless we will it.

Pope Francis, in his Easter message, continues in this vein.  Only we can allow this to come apart, and these are the attitudes we must avoid:  indifference, self-centeredness, division, and forgetfulness.  All of these are opposites of the love which unites our wounds with the glory of God himself.  Only we can allow fear and death to overwhelm, “if we do not let the Lord Jesus triumph in our hearts and lives.”

He concludes:  “May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of suffering humanity and lead us to the light of his glorious day, a day that knows no end.  With these thoughts, I would like to wish all of you a happy Easter.”

God bless you.

 

Mass and Weekly Announcements for 12 April, 2020


fleur cross logo 
Washington Lamb is partnering with organizations to get fresh meat, poultry and other essentials in family quantities at wholesale prices out to communities. This coming Thursday, April 16, Saint Bernadette Church and Saturday, April 18, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Springfield, VA will be hosting pick-up events from 10am - 2pm. Below are the fliers for both partnering churches and a list of products being offered and pricing. Orders are placed, prepaid, and distributed utlizing no contact service, greatly reducing spread and contraction factors compared to traditional brick and mortar grocers. Prices are lower and the supply is guaranteed at the time of order. 

COVID 19 Relief Program Overview

Saint Bernadette Church - Thursday, April 16, 10am - 2pm 

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church - Saturday, April 18, 10am - 2pm

Community Drop Pricing


fleur cross logo 
Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries.  We humbly ask your continued financial support.  Our Second Collection this Easter weekend is a Special Collection for Parish Buildings and Maintenance.  Thank you for your generosity.

fleur cross logo Parish Staff will have a holiday on Easter Monday and the office is closed.  Resuming Tuesday Kendra and Ivonne are working from home and standing by to receive your calls.  The parish staff is working at home, so let us know how we can serve.  We're still here for you.

fleur cross logo CATHOLIC CHARITIES St. Lucy Project is in GREAT NEED OF FOOD!

As we are all aware, unfortunately there can be no parish food drives until regular public Masses resume.  However, in his "shelter-in-place" order, our Governor has declared that food banks are an essential service; and the need for food to feed families in our communities is even greater now than ever.  On Friday, April 24th, St. Bernadette will be participating in a new and creative St. Lucy Food Drive Project - “NO CROWD - DROP AND GO - NO CONTACT - Drive-Thru Food Drive”.  Here is how it will work: A St. Lucy Food truck will be parked on our parish parking lot from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm to receive food donations. Parishioners will line up in their cars (NO CROWD), drive up to the truck, roll down their driver-side windows, DROP the plastic bag (no cloth bags please) in a large box without leaving their car, and then GO (drive off).  Catholic Charities staff will stay with the truck (NO CONTACT) and drive the truck back to their warehouse for safe distribution to those in need.  There will be no physical contact between the driver and the St. Lucy staff and no one will need to leave their car.  We hope you can drive-thru and help those 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 The ECHO Yard Sale has been postponed for next weekend.  A new date will be announced.

fleur cross logo Due to current circumstances, we ask that you convert your CRS Rice Bowl donation to a check and mail it to the Parish office. This will greatly assist in counting of the funds, and forwarding them on to Catholic Relief Services. Please note in the memo line CRS Rice Bowl, otherwise please place the funds in a sealed envelope and drop it through the mail slot at the parish office with a note CRS Rice Bowl.

fleur cross logo Divine Mercy Devotions are scheduled online for 3pm on the Second Sunday of Easter, next Sunday, April 19.

fleur cross logo Mass Intentions are still available.  In fact, we have many Masses scheduled without intentions.  You can find a request form for Mass intentions on the Announcements page of the website.  Or, just call the office.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 12 April, 2020 ~ Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Happy Easter, everyone!  Our prayers are with you as we find ourselves celebrating these beautiful feasts so differently this year.  All of them have been recorded afterall and are available at links on our website, our parish Facebook page and YouTube channel.

I'm writing to you this afternoon, on Good Friday, and wish we could be together celebrating our beautiful traditions.  I would like to propose something:  we can do this, because we have time, and alarms on our phones.  Set a reminder on your computer or phone for all of us to stop for a moment at 12 noon everyday.  Here is a possible prayer we might say, uniting us and asking God for help: 

Father, your Son handed himself over as an offering to you on the Cross at this moment.  As we experience suffering, help those through his suffering who need it the most.  As we experience limitation, help us through his inability to move.  As we experience trauma and anxiety, help us through his forsakenness.  As we experience isolation, give us your Word which fills us with hope.  In his Death, assure us of your Life, through Christ, our Lord.

Yesterday we had our first food order delivery from Washington Lamb, Inc.  For a first effort, it went well.  We filled over 100 orders which people made online for quality meats and other items at affordable prices.  It is a great alternative to shopping, you can just stay in your car.  I helped checking everyone in at the start of the carpool line and it was wonderful seeing so many of you again in person.  Watch the website for our next scheduled delivery and place your orders.

Even though I'm not yet emotionally at the point of celebrating Jesus' resurrection (tomorrow night), I have had plenty of time to consider the impact these days are having on us in the middle of so much uncertainty, even worry.  Is it me, or are the texts of songs and prayers speaking exactly to us at this moment in time?  Maybe we don't have so many other things in our heads right now that we can focus better on the meaning of our worship.

All these resources we have made available to you.  The prayer books for each Mass/Liturgy, the book of the Liturgy of the Hours.  All these texts (English and Spanish) are a treasure that we never could have afforded to print.  Now they are in your hands, all available at our parish website.  The few who have attended the Liturgy of the Hours (Morning Prayer/Office of Readings) in past years have grown to several hundred each day.  400, sometimes over 600 people come to daily Mass.  Our live-stream of the Mass of the Lord's Supper last night reached 2,025 homes and 1,367 homes attended...  We have never been together more, and strangely, we are limited to our homes.

Here is my suggestion for Easter this year.  Embrace the secret of God's work among us.

What was that moment of resurrection like?  Nobody saw it.  Was it silent? or bright?  Was there anything to see at all with our human eyes?  God always does things in secret.  His secret Mysteries are then revealed later when we are ready, when the world is ready to understand.  The Epiphany of our Lord was the moment that God revealed the Mystery of the Incarnation, the secret event that happened long before. People were still looking for the Messiah not knowing he was already among them.  The Last Supper was the moment that Jesus revealed in his own sacrifice the Mystery of God's covenant with his people many centuries before.  The resurrection of Jesus, another secret event, was not revealed until the next day when he appeared to his Apostles and faithful in different ways.  He doesn't do these things according to our plans, but according to his own.  Sometimes we might wish he would follow our plan more, but we know he is God, not me.

Embrace the secret work of God's love in your life, even in moments of suffering, insecurity, anxiety, even loss.  We know he is working in the background, we must trust this even if we can't see it right now.  This is how God has always worked, without a fanfare or show.  Easter joy always comes out of our joining Jesus in his sacrifice of love.  It involves a Cross freely accepted.

Let us learn humility, then, and selflessness because these are the things that allow us lay down our own entitlements to discover the overwhelming reality of God's love and how we fit in his plan, not he in ours.  And let us commit to praying for one another, every day at noon, to help those most in need of God's help.  We will pray for each other and we will get through this together faithfully in God.

Christ will fill you with light.

God bless you.

Mass and Weekly Announcements for the week of 5 April 2020

Easter Triduum Liturgies

To view the live streaming of the liturgies of the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday at 7:30pm, Good Friday at 3:00pm and Holy Saturday - Easter Vigil at 8:30pm) go to our FaceBook page. These beautiful liturgies will be live and archived to be viewed after the conclusion of the Liturgy - NO FACE BOOK ACCOUNT NEEDED,  if you receive a popup at the bottom of the page, please click "Not Now" 

Mass of the Lord's Supper 

Holy Thursday Mass of the Last Supper Liturgy Booklet  

 

OFFICE OF READINGS AND MORNING PRAYER

Office of Readings and Morning Prayer for Good Friday 

Liturgy of the Hours Booklet

Join with Fr. Don and Fr. Rich and members of our  parish Lector Ministry and staff and in praying the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours for the Paschal Triduum. Pray with us using the booklet: Thursday starts on page 1, Friday on page 12 and Saturday on page 25. We have followed the Holy Week tradition of joining each day's Office of Readings and Morning Prayer together by omitting the Concluding Prayer of the Office of Readings and continuing with Antiphon 1 of Morning Prayer.

NO FACEBOOK ACCOUNT NEEDED TO VIEW DAILY AND SUNDAY MASSES, Just click on "Not Now"


ANNOUNCEMENTS

fleur cross logo Washington Lamb is partnering with organizations to get fresh meat, poultry and other essentials in family quantities at wholesale prices out to communities. This coming Thursday, Saint Bernadette Church and Friday, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Springfield, VA will be hosting pick-up events from 10am - 2pm. Below are the fliers for both partnering churches and a list of products being offered and pricing. Orders are placed, prepaid, and distributed utlizing no contact service, greatly reducing spread and contraction factors compared to traditional brick and mortar grocers. Prices are lower and the supply is guaranteed at the time of order. 

Saint Bernadette Church - Thursday, April 9, 10am - 2pm 

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church - Friday, April 10, 10am - 2pm

Community Drop Pricing


fleur cross logo 
Following guidelines provided by Bishop Burbidge, there will be no distribution of palms this year.

fleur cross logo 
Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries.  We humbly ask your continued financial support.

fleur cross logo With the closure of Fairfax County Government Offices, our parish office is not physically open, but Kendra and Ivonne are standing by to receive your calls forwarded to them at home.  Fr. Don is still in the office and between the three of them we can probably respond to your needs or connect you with the rest of our parish staff who are still working from home.  We are still here for you.

fleur cross logo The Bishop’s Lenten Appeal is underway  and we are asking every household in our parish to support this appeal to the extent you are able.   BLA funds are restricted gifts that provide many programs, services and ministries that serve people in need, and may not be used for any other purpose. 

fleur cross logo Mass Intentions are still available and beginning next week we have Masses scheduleed without intentions.  We have a form which may be found on the Announcements page of the website for you to make requests for Mass intentions.  Or, just call the office.  We are still answering the phone!

                                                                               LET US HOLD EACH OTHER CLOSE IN PRAYER

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 5 April 2020

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

With stunning speed the liturgy today begins with a triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to the acclaim of the crowd, changing into rejection and a death sentence by the crowd and crucifixion by the end of the week.  Jesus’ freely chosen collision course with the world plunged him and his followers into a darkness we scarcely could imagine.  Jesus’ church who follows in his example, has repeated the story over the many centuries in the lives of her martyrs and heroes who continued to seek her mission without regard to themselves, despite the suffering and death they shared with Jesus.  Just as Jesus knew he would not have died but freely gave himself up to death for us and for our salvation, he gives hope to those whose love allows them to give themselves to God with the full knowledge that, in him, the fullness of life comes after our time on this earth is over. 

The underlying love overcomes the fear.

Jesus knows the truth of death and helps us have a proper understanding of death.  Look to him.  The immensity of his love which had its beginning in the very life of the everlasting, always active love of the Trinity.  Our life is without end, as is God's.

I did my M.A. thesis in Systematic Theology on the kenosis, or self-emptying love of God.  The self-emptying love of Jesus on the Cross was the culmination of what had begun before time itself.  The Book of Revelation in chapters five and 13 speaks of a Lamb on the throne, slain before the foundation of the world, in whose hands are held the names of all the living.  The Lamb who is slain lives, giving his life.  The Lamb is, himself, the Beloved of the Father. The Father empties himself so completely in his begetting that a perfect likeness is revealed, so completely the same that the only difference between the two is that one Person is begetting, one Person is being begotten.  One is not before the other:  the process is the constant, eternal identity of God.  Jesus introduces the names Father and Son.  The perfect self-emptying love of the Father in begetting the Son and the perfect love of the Son in return—that bond of love—is something always new in the dynamism of God: the Holy Spirit.

The Son, the Word with which the Father reveals himself, is the Son spoken by the Father in his incarnation.  The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.  The invisible God made visible.  In his human form we can see the complete selflessness of this love, because we also know our selfishness.  He empties himself of his glory given to him on the throne of heaven:  “power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.  To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever” (Rev. 5:12-13).

St. Paul says he emptied himself and took the form of a slave.  A limited humanity, poverty. But his relative human powerlessness was an active choice he made, because God has a plan.

The image of the Lamb is key: lambs were sacrificed.  John the Baptist pointed him out when he came: “Behold the Lamb of God!”  Jesus himself becomes the lamb at the Passover celebration, very carefully, legally prescribed by God himself in the Torah.  There was no lamb sacrificed at the center of the Passover meal of the Last Supper.  Jesus says, this is my Body which will be given up for you; this is my blood of the new and eternal covenant which will be poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins.  Literally, now and without beginning or end, “Do this in memory of me.”

He gave us his Word, and his Mother, and his blood and water on the Cross.  Calvary is the culmination of God as he reveals himself from the beginning.  In the depths of the Mystery of the Trinity, despite the bond of Love, the obedient Father-emptying Son is sent forth to reveal and empty himself to us, and for us.  The Word is silent.  In his humanity he knows the darkness of utter forsakenness where exists that everlasting relationship of Love with his Father.  “My God, why have you forsaken me?”  We are born when, after his victory, he empties out his Holy Spirit upon those who are to carry forward his work of revelation and reconciliation.

The sacrifice which restores our love is complete.

As I write this letter to you, there is expected a kind of suffering and feeling of forsakenness which we probably have never known.  Already today (Wednesday) the numbers of the deceased due to this pandemic are rising quickly.  I would ask that you find your confidence in Jesus’ own confidence, that wherever we might go, Jesus has been there before and is still there waiting for us.  He has gone before us in death, certainly, but he is also there in every moment of our life, in our joys and sorrows.  Call upon him, hold onto him.

As we relive the saving passion, death and resurrection of Jesus this Holy Week, consider seeing it from the perspective of his throne in heaven before time began, and is still, when time has ceased.  He is Lord.

God bless you,

Masses and Weekly Announcements ~ Week of 29 March 2020

Community Mass for Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Community Mass for Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Community Mass for Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent


Community Mass for Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent 

Community Mass for Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent


NO FACEBOOK ACCOUNT NEEDED TO VIEW DAILY AND SUNDAY MASSES, Just click on "Not Now"

 

fleur cross logo Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries.  We humbly ask your continued financial support. We humbly ask your continued financial support.


fleur cross logo With the closure of Fairfax County Government Offices last Friday afternoon, our parish office is not physically open, but Kendra and Ivonne are standing by to await your call with calls forwarded to them at home.  Fr. Don is still in the office and between the three of them we can probably respond to your needs or connect you with the rest of our parish staff who are still working from home.  We are still here for you.


fleur cross logo Lenten LIVING STONES are back.  You are welcome to place a stone from the container to in front of the altar, symbolic of those you have already asked to return to the church, so that our whole community might be reminded to pray for them.  If supply is low, please be patient; we will bring more the next week.


fleur cross logo The Bishop’s Lenten Appeal is underway  and we are asking every household in our parish to support this appeal to the extent you are able.   BLA funds are restricted gifts that provide many programs, services and ministries that serve people in need, and may not be used for any other purpose. 


fleur cross logo Mass Intentions are still available and beginning next week we have Masses scheduled without intentions.  We have a form, which may be found on the Announcements page of the website, for you to make requests for Mass intentions.  Or, just call the office.  We are still answering the phone!

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 29 March 2020

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,


First, know that you all are in our prayers, daily Mass and everything we are offering up for each other during this Lenten season.  Somebody said to me a couple of weeks ago, "Don't worry about looking for Lent; Lent will find you."  Prophetic words, perhaps.  I have a feeling we are in for an extended Lent season this year.  But the resurrection will be amazing.


Hopefully by now you have heard about what we can still offer to help bring hope and consolation. Daily Mass, a recorded Stations of the Cross, a Taizé Prayer Service.  It is undeniable that God provides what we need and presents the possibility when the moment is right.  While all of this was unfolding last week and I had no idea how to move forward, suddenly God provided a solution.  Two of our alumni of Saint Bernadette School, Andy Carluccio and Jonathan Kokotajlo, offered to help.  They have turned our chapel into a holy recording studio with several cameras and the expertise to take the footage and edit it, producing a quality video.  I never considered all the different nuances of sound and light in video work.  We thank them not only for their generosity in giving so that the parish might still have our Mass, but also in their willingness to come to the parish when it is probably advisable to stay home.  They are preparing a way for us to continue recording Masses even when they many not be able to be here.


Bishop Burbidge prefers Masses to be recorded and released on the same day, which means that we will be able to provide a daily Mass online beginning at 8:30am on weekdays and Saturdays.  We will celebrate Sunday Mass for the parish online on Saturday afternoon and it will be available by 7:30pm.  Liturgies for the Sacred Triduum will be live-streamed (see page 6) and NOT recorded, so please tune in when it may be found on our parish Facebook page.


Confessions will continue outside. Also, David Mathers our music director will continue to produce weekly liturgy sheets which we will post online so you have a resource to follow along with at Mass, including readings and music.  Since the Government Center shutdown last Friday, we will determine hours be creative and see what we might do.


Remember ECHO.  People will be needing food now more than ever and ECHO is our most active feeding service in the parish.  Rather than dropping food off at the church as we have done with our Can-A-Week program, please take it directly to ECHO and they will pick it up from you at the curb.  Contact ECHO to learn their greatest needs and hours of operation at www.ECHO-inc.org.

~  ~  +  ~  ~

We know good can always come out of the darkest times.  Jesus is the light that dispels all darkness.  Now more than ever you must stay close to him in spiritual Communion.  One of the songs we sing in the Taize prayer service online says, "Dare to forgive and God will be with you.  God is forgiveness.  Love and do not fear."  Fear is the absence of love, and can happen when we have isolated ourselves and find ourselves feeling alone.  Be confident that the love of God floods your being, and our love being together multiplies that love and casts out fear.  But we must rely on one another, and together pray to God.  

I have already been hearing stories of how peoples' lives have changed in just one week—for the better.  Some people have said that they realize now that all the hectic things they had put in their lives may not have been so important after all.  They can see that family time is more important.  We needed to simplify.  Even our faith and God had been often pushed out of the calendar because we make ourselves busy.  When I have been out, I have seen families taking walks together, getting to know each other again. 


This will also reveal to us that so many things, so much stuff in our lives, really isn't necessary.  It is my deep desire that we will rediscover how great our faith practice is and how we may have been taking it for granted.  Sometimes we realize how much we desire something when we are deprived of it.


In the season of Lent, this is one of the reasons we practice fasting.  Fasting has long been a practice to ask God for the forgiveness of our sins as well as, as a people, to call upon God for deliverance.  I ask you to please consider choosing a day to fast.  I will be fasting on Fridays and perhaps we can be spiritually united in this ancient practice.  Also there are many rosaries and other devotions live streaming on Zoom and other social media platforms—join in.  I am very grateful that we have the internet as a way to continue coming together.  For the past week our community in the school and parish gatherings has taken on the appearance of Hollywood Squares or the Brady Bunch.  I have never been a fan of video conferences taking the place of face-to-face encounters, but when that is not possible, it is so, so great to see you online, for now.  I pray you stay cautious, healthy, and hopeful.


God bless you.

 

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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)

 
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Our Saint Bernadette 2019'-2020 Ministry Catalog

 

   2019 2020 Catalog