Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,
In a certain sense every day is a crossroads. We always have the choice to move forward. We have the opportunity to go backward, too. It is the same with the life of a community as it is with the spiritual life of each member.
Saint Bernadette is not a parish in decline, but every parish has to be intentional in living the Gospel so the Holy Spirit can do his work gathering us together. To do nothing to plan for the future is to go backward.
Now we have a chance to do something for the future of our parish family. I firmly believe that growth will come. I believe that if we are a healthy parish we will witness the return of many who have gone away for a time. When they return, we will need spaces to welcome them.
Join with me in making this parish a priority in our lives, a real home where people can come to know God and find him in each other as we grow in wisdom and grace. Be an active part of the renewal of our hearts and our home.
God bless you,
1959, when Saint Bernadette Parish was only about three months old, the first pastor understood his task to be “generating a new spirit with the Holy Ghost enkindling the fire of love.” here was no doubt in anybody’s mind where the priest was going. From the moment he arrived a feverish activity began. Father seemed obsessed with a fiery seal and a dedication to God’s service given only to a few. Now, 60 years later, we are blessed with a pastor with a similar zeal and dedication. Our vision for generating a new spirit within our parish is fully described in these pages. We draw on this vison for the parish and for this campaign - “Make All Things New” – from the Book of Revelations in which Saint John describes “the new creation: the new heaven and the new earth.” (Rev, 21)
The funds generated by the MAKEALLTHINGSNEW capital campaign will be strategically invested in ways that allow St. Bernadette to grow – both in its available space, its accessibility to all parishioners, and most importantly in its spirituality. The Parish campus is literally at maximum capacity for more meetings, rehearsals, or spiritual gatherings. Also, the St. Bernadette infrastructure is not as welcoming to people with mobility challenges as it should be in the 21st century.
Key benefits from the campaign include:
- The construction of a new parish hall to be located on top of the middle school wing. The new hall will provide:
- Over 11,000 square feet that can accommodate about 1,000 people for a sit-down dinner
- The space will be dividable into 4 large meeting rooms.
- Outside the main hall, there will be an additional meeting room, restrooms, a coffee bar area and plenty of storage — all accessible from any of the four areas.
- There will also be a beautiful glass East wall with balcony and large outdoor deck for seating overlooking the woods and creek below.
- Office renovations will create a new, more visible and welcoming entrance. The new entrance will improve access control and security for better safety of staff and visitors.
- A new entrance straight off the lower parking lot with a new elevator to provide easy access to all levels of the Parish Office and to the Church.
- The campaign will also allow the installation of solar panels that will help to offset the parish’s $10K+ monthly electric bill.
All of these benefits will help to make St. Bernadette a place for growing its sense of community. This will be felt both within the parish, as part of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, and the larger Christian ecumenical and interfaith communities.
St. Bernadette was founded over 60 years ago in the garage of a house and it has been over 17 years since its last capital campaign. The MAKEALLTHINGSNEW campaign will serve to prepare the parish for a new era of growth as we enter the 21st century.